The most important political challenge is to fight against the delegitimization of Israel.

 DepFM Ayalon: The residents of Ashkelon are on the front lines of Israel


Deputy FM Danny Ayalon (MFA archive photo)

(Communicated by the Deputy Foreign Minister’s Bureau)

On Friday, December 17, Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon delivered a lecture at the Ashkelon Academic College. He emphasized that the city’s residents are on the front lines opposite the Gaza Strip and he compared it to the Israeli presence in the Middle East. "You are on the front lines of Israel and of the entire free world against radical Islam and terrorism," he said.

Ayalon also talked about the importance of the relations between Israel and the United States. "Our alliance with the Americans is a natural alliance and does not stem solely from Israeli need," Ayalon stated, and emphasized that the United States, the West, and the entire free world need Israel as the front against radical Islamic terrorism. "Just as the towns around Gaza, including Ashkelon, are the front lines of the State of Israel vis-à-vis the Gaza Strip, so the State of Israel is the front for the United States and the West, for civilization and free culture."

According to Ayalon, the most important political challenge is to fight against the delegitimization of Israel. "The Foreign Ministry is working to promote relations with other countries from Asia to South America, including the remote ones," he said. "As part of this strategy, we will increase our international involvement in every field, such as science, medicine, etc."

Ayalon also discussed the negotiations with the Palestinians, saying that "Only when Abu Mazen agrees to recognize the State of Israel as the national homeland of the Jewish people will we be able to attain peace. Anyone who says that time is working against us is distorting the reality. Now it is the Palestinian’s turn to show some flexibility, after Israel has been flexible and compromised more than a little. Instead, they continue to smear and attack Israel in a completely untoward manner in various international forums."

In addressing the bi-national demographic situation in the region, Ayalon was reassuring, saying that there was no real threat. "The demographic issue is an empty threat. From the moment that we agreed to the two-state principle, no one will force us to accept them here as citizens, but they have the option of becoming regular citizens in their own state. The global trend is not to artificially unify and amalgamate different nations, but rather to separate them into homogeneous cores."