by Elad Benari
Israel’s Ambassador to the US at AIPAC: You are supporting two of the world’s greatest forces of good.
Amb. Ron Dermer Pal Photography
Israel’s Ambassador to the US, Ron Dermer, spoke on Sunday at the AIPAC Policy Conference.
He began by thanking President Donald Trump for recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.
“It’s so significant in historical terms because 52 years ago we acquired that territory in a defensive war. But it’s one thing to achieve a military victory and it’s another thing to achieve a diplomatic victory,” said Dermer, who added that America's recognition of the Golan Heights will be made official on Monday.
Asked by i24NEWS anchor Michelle Makori what Israel is looking to achieve in Syria, the Ambassador replied, “We want Iran out.”
“Israel is going to do whatever we have to do to defend our state and to defend our people,” he stressed, while also praising the US administration for leaving the Iran nuclear deal and thus pressuring Iran economically.
“The wrong path was to sign that nuclear deal. That deal does not block Iran’s path to nuclear weapons. The reason we fought against it, the reason why Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu came and spoke to Congress against it, was because that deal does not block Iran’s path. It paves it. The decision by President Trump to walk away is a first step. We have to get others to walk away as well,” said Dermer.
Regarding the Trump administration’s peace plan, the Ambassador stressed the importance of Israel’s security, noting that previous plans stipulated that others would ensure Israel’s security.
“The people of Israel will never accept another army being responsible for their security. The people of Israel want the IDF to be responsible for their security,” said Dermer, adding that Prime Minister Netanyahu has always stressed the importance of Israel maintaining security control west of the Jordan River.
“I think today many Arab countries want to see an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and I think that’s new. Many of the Arab states look at Israel and say, ‘we need to have a stronger relationship with you,’” continued Dermer, noting that Arab countries wish to cooperate with Israel in the fight against terrorist groups like ISIS and are also interested in Israel’s technology.
“When you have this very close security and technological power next door, why not work with Israel?” said the Ambassador.
“Until the Palestinians abandon this idea that they want to destroy Israel, there will not be a chance for peace,” he added unequivocally, but opined that it is possible for Israel to make peace with its Arab neighbors.
Dermer also pointed that the BDS movement "is not a threat to Israel’s economy. It’s a moral attack against Israel. It’s an anti-Semitic attack against Israel and we have to fight it on moral terms."
Asked about the bipartisan support in the US for Israel, Dermer said, “Yes, Israel still has bipartisan support. We have bipartisan support and what I would tell people here is that you are supporting two of the world’s greatest forces of good. America has been a blessing to Israel and to every free society around the world. But in also supporting Israel, you’re also supporting a country that has been a tremendous support for good.”
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