Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu Addresses AJC Global Forum
Jun 09, 2015, 09:50 ET
WASHINGTON, June 9, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, addressing the AJC Global Forum, called for stepped up efforts to confront the twin threats of global anti-Semitism and worldwide campaign to delegitimize Israel.
"Contemporary anti-Semitism doesn't limit itself to slandering, vilifying and targeting the Jewish people," said Netanyahu, speaking from Jerusalem to an audience of more than 2,000 gathered for the Global Forum's World Leaders Plenary session. The resurgence of anti-Semitism "first and foremost targets the Jewish state" and the "international campaign to delegitimize Israel is a manifestation of this phenomenon," he said.
The prime minister cited several recent examples of the "orchestrated global campaign to delegitimize the State of Israel." They include an attempt to expel Israel from the FIFA world soccer federation, a British student union vote to support boycotting Israel, and a French telecommunications company CEO's declaration to end his company's business dealings with Israel.
Netanyahu pointed out emphatically the "absurdity" of the Palestinian-inspired delegitimization efforts. "They consistently shun direct peace talks and then call for sanctions on Israel because there are no peace talks," said Netanyahu. "Unfortunately, all too many in the international community go along with this charade."
He pointed out that the "Palestinians walk away from peace negotiations. They walked away from Barak, they walked away from Sharon, they walked away from Olmert, and they now walked away from me."
In the battle against delegitimization, "our most potent weapon is the truth," Netanyahu declared. "We must speak the truth -- loudly, clearly, proudly."
The truth is that "Israel seeks a genuine peace with our Palestinian neighbors just as we are fending off the barbaric forces of terrorism and extremism that surround us," he said.
"Israel is the most embattled democracy on earth," said Netanyahu. "And what a democracy it is, robust and rollicking with an often rancorous parliament. A thoroughly independent judiciary – it will stay that way. A free press – it will stay that way. A democracy that vigorously protects the equal rights of all its citizens without exception."
Delegitimization, he concluded, "is not about this or that Israeli policy. It's about our right to exist here as a free people, our right to defend ourselves, our right to determine our own future."
The Israeli prime minister also expressed his admiration for "David Harris, the indefatigable and dedicated executive director of the AJC for the last quarter of a century."
SOURCE American Jewish Committee
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