Photo by Kobi Gideon, GPO
Prime Minister Netanyahu, at the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem, addressed a conference of Israeli ambassadors to Latin American, Asian and African countries. Following is an excerpt from his remarks:
“A great change has been created here. The Arab world needs technology and innovation. It needs water, electricity, medical care and high-tech. There is a growing connection between Israeli companies and the Arab world.
What is happening at the moment is that we are in a process of normalization with the Arab world without progress in the diplomatic process with the Palestinians.
The expectation was that progress or a breakthrough with the Palestinians would open links for us with the Arab world. This would have been true if it had happened. It seemed as if it was about to happen with the Oslo process but what happened was that the Arab refusal, together with the terrorism of the intifada, cost us almost 2,000 lives and wiped out this hope, which was shelved under Oslo governments.
Today we are going there without the Palestinians being involved and it is much stronger because it does not depend on their caprices. The Arab states are looking for links with the strong. Cultivating strengths gives us diplomatic power.
It is more likely that it will work in reverse. Links with the Arab world will bring normalization and create the conditions for developing links with the Palestinians.”