Our top public diplomacy mission is to explain that the root of this conflict is not territorial.

 PM Netanyahu summarizes Operation Pillar of Defense


Photo: PMO Office webcast

(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, on Tuesday evening (4 December 2012), at his Jerusalem office, attended the meeting of the National Public Diplomacy Forum to summarize Operation Pillar of Defense. Participating in the meeting were the head of the National Information Directorate in the Prime Minister’s Office and senior public diplomacy officials from the Foreign Ministry, Defense Ministry, the IDF, the Israel Police, the Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Ministry and other bodies.

At the start of his remarks, Prime Minister Netanyahu said:

"This forum and its coordinated work of which during Operation Pillar of Defense are an important component in our national resilience. I think that this operation proved the importance of public diplomacy.

What was the war about? The war was about our very existence. We left areas that we captured in the Six Day War, like the Gaza Strip, and they fire missiles at us.

Therefore, our top public diplomacy mission is to explain that the root of this conflict is not territorial. It is over our very existence in any borders whatsoever. From 1967 until today, for 45 years, day in, day out, and hour by hour, they have been preaching the complete opposite. So certainly the lie has taken root, and there is no way to fight a lie except with the truth. We must tell the truth; it is the only thing that we can do and we must certainly do so.

We must constantly repeat that the root of the conflict is the very existence of the State of Israel, the refusal to recognize the State of Israel in any borders whatsoever. The second thing is their methods, mainly their desire to intentionally attack civilians. There is a link between the first and second points. Whoever uses such methods is beyond the pale internationally, morally and legally. He does not want peace.

The root of the conflict is not the settlements; it is the very existence of the State of Israel and the desire to wipe it off the face of the earth. We can anticipate many developments and changes in this evolving Middle East that we face, and some of them are very, very disturbing."

On Syria’s chemical weapons PM Netanyahu said:

"Together with the international community, we are closely monitoring developments in Syria regarding its stores of chemical weapons. I heard President Obama’s important remarks on this issue and we are of the same mind, that such weapons must not be used and must not reach terrorist elements."