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Italy's PM Matteo Renzi at the Knesset: 'There can be no compromise on the security of Israel'

23-07-2015 WORLD NEWS

‘’There can be no compromise on the security of Israel,’’ Italy’s Premier Matteo Renzi told the Knesset.

In an adress to the Israeli parliament in Jerusalem, Renzi, on a two-day visit to Israel and the Palestinian Authority, voiced enthusiastic support for Israel – for its security, economy and culture.

Speaking of last week’s agrement between the world powers and Iran, Renzi said Italy thinks the deal "can be a compromise that will help decrease instability in the region."

"We can argue and may not agree about the compromise on the Iranian matter, but we will never compromise when it comes to the future of Israel. Your security is our security," he vowed.

His address to the Knesset came one after he met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, acknowledging that the two nations hold "different" positions on the Iran nuclear deal. "Italy supports this compromise but believes that Israel's security is a duty and right," he said then. "Israel's security is Europe's security and mine too: we have a common destiny to share," he added.

The Italian Prime Minister talked about his visit on Tuesday to Tel Aviv University together with a delegation of Italian scientists, and referred in that context to the calls for boycotts of Israel. “Whoever boycotts Israel doesn’t understand that he is boycotting himself and doesn’t understanding that he is betraying his own future,” Renzi said.

He called Israel the nation-state of the Jewish people. Renzi said that when he delivers a speech to the Palestinians in Bethlehem later in his visit, he plans to tell them that “to recognize Israel is to recognize reality.”

He called for a two-state solution with security for both sides, and said the Palestinians must recognize the Jewish People's right to a state in its homeland.

That right, he said, "does not exist because of the world's generosity after the Holocaust. Israel existed hundreds of years before. It exists despite the Holocaust and it will continue to exist with the support of its friends in Europe and the world.

"You do not only have the right to exist, you must exist and live for the future of your children and mine. You are a fulcrum of the world and we will stand with you," he stated.

Renzi talked about a global war against terrorism, barbarism and violent extremism.

"I have no doubt which side you are on. We will not stop fighting, together with you, on the right side, together with the US and the UN and Russia...and Arab states like Egypt and Jordan, led by great statesmen who want to bring us to peace and stability," he said.

In his statements, Netanyahu lamented the tone of European criticism of Israel.

"Israel is unjustly accused. We are not perfect, but when we are referred to as the source of evil in the world, that is a blatant lie that brings up clear memories from the past," he said. "The new anti-Semitism is a clear continuation from the blood libels and anti-Semitism of past generations. The Jews were always put on the least-just trial in history."

Netanyahu said that now, Israel has the power to fight back against those who want to hurt it and against lies and for truth, with countries like Italy.

''Israel is a lighthouse of morality, therefore, we expect Western countries to stand with us, united against our joint threats. Harm to Israel will also hurt Europe. We must join hands in the fight for the truth," he stated.

The Israeli premier thanked Renzi for his work to fight anti-Semitism and boycotts of Israel.

"You are a true friend of Israel, for truth and peace and against boycotts...We have always seen Italy as an important and central ally in the Middle East," he said.

Renzi was scheduled to meet later Wednesday with Palestine National Authority President Mahmous Abbas.

by Maureen Shamee

На фото: Italy's PM Matteo Renzi at the Knesset


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