Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday to the United Nations General Assembly debate in New York that the government in Jerusalem will not accept any attempt by the UN to dictate terms to Israel.
“The road to peace runs through Jerusalem and Ramallah, not New York,” he stressed.
The prime minister turned to Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s speech to the plenum earlier on Thursday, urging the PA leader to address Israel’s Knesset instead of condemning it at the UN. Netanyahu added that he was prepared to address the Palestinian people in Ramallah.
The premier opened his speech by slamming the “moral farce” of the United Nations, before telling the assembled diplomats and world leaders that the “obsession” and voting patterns over Israel will change, “and sooner than you think,” thanks to increasing Israeli cooperation with foreign nations across the world.
Focusing on innovation, intelligence and water technology, Netanyahu said that despite the UN “deserving every word” of his previous criticism of the body, he was positive that Israeli expertise in these areas mean it has a “bright future” in diplomacy.
Shortly after telling the assembled diplomats that they would soon change their voting patterns on Israel at the world body, Netanyahu openly called Arab states “allies for security, prosperity and peace.”
“For the first time in my lifetime many other states in the region recognize that Israel is not their enemy, they recognize that Israel is their ally,” he stated. “Our common enemies are Iran and ISIS, our common goals are prosperity and peace.”
“I hope that in the future we will work together openly,” he added, truly taking the growing regional cooperation out of the closet.
In his address, just one day after meeting with US President Barack Obama on the sidelines of the General Assembly, Netanyahu also focused on the “unbreakable bond” between the two nations.
“Our unbreakable bond with the US transcends parties and politics,” he said. “It reflects, above all else, the overwhelming support of Israel among the American people, which is at record highs, and for which we are grateful.”
Netanyahu’s speech was well received inside the auditorium, with the audience applauding at numerous points.