On Sunday, the Government of Israel decided upon a new policy regarding Gaza. We are already seeing a significant growth in the scope of the civilian goods entering Gaza, a trend that will only increase.

 PM Netanyahu welcomes Austrian Chancellor Faymann


PM Netanyahu and Austrian Chancellor Faymann (Photo: GPO)

[translated from Hebrew]

Good evening.

Chancellor of Austria, Werner Faymann, welcome to Jerusalem.

Austria and Israel have an excellent relationship in many areas such as tourism and trade. The Chancellor just informed me that Israeli trade has increased but Israeli imports have decreased. I told him that both imports and exports will increase. Among other things, your visit serves to strengthen our relationship. I am happy to see you here, and for the opportunity that we had and will have again, to talk about our relationship and our ambition to achieve peace and security among us and our neighbors.

Austria took an important step on the matter of regional and world security when it voted for sanctions against Iran at the UN Security Council.

This step must extend beyond the Security Council.

It is now time for the United States and EU countries to continue in the same direction and initiate crippling sanctions against Iran outside of the UN Security Council, first and foremost in the area of energy. The current regime relies on energy. Effective sanctions against refining and exporting oil can certainly have an influence.

On Sunday, the Government of Israel decided upon a new policy regarding Gaza.

From now on, all civilian goods will be able to enter Gaza. Weapons and war materiel will not be allowed to enter Gaza. During the next few days, we will publish a list of materials not allowed into Gaza, in order to enable all other items to enter. This is a fundamental and important change in our policy regarding goods entering Gaza.

We are already seeing a significant growth in the scope of the civilian goods entering Gaza, a trend that will only increase.

I have learned of Iran and Hizbullah’s plans to dispatch additional flotillas to Gaza.

If anyone doubted this earlier, it is now clear that there is no reason or justification in organizing these flotillas.

Whoever wishes to bring genuine civilian goods to Gaza – food, toys and medicine – will be able to do so via the Port of Ashdod. Therefore, the claims that they made in the past are no longer relevant. These flotillas are not organized by peace supporters but by those that oppose peace – Iran and Hizbullah.

Their real aims are to instigate provocation against Israel in order to disrupt the security curfew, not the civilian curfew, but the curfew against importing missiles, rockets and other weapons.

I just heard of a new method that they have. They intend to make cynical use of women in order to cover up their hostile activities.

My friends, I want to show you the extent of the absurdity.

The darkest forces in the world – Iran, Hizbullah and Hamas, who want to return the world to the Middle Ages, who prevent their women from dressing, working and expressing themselves freely, where their women live under slavery and oppression, sometimes without basic rights, often exposed to violence; they actually organize a boat of women as propaganda against Israel?!

The time has come to put a stop to this hypocrisy and take a genuine stance for women’s rights and human rights in our region.

I call upon all peace and human rights activists in the progressive world:

Go to the places where they oppress women. Go to the places where they hang homosexuals in squares and deny the rights of minorities. Go to the places where there is no freedom of expression, no freedom of press, no independent courts and no human rights organizations. There are no human rights. Go to Teheran. Go to Gaza.

For those for whom human rights are truly important, you need to support the democratic and liberal Israel against these dark forces.

This is the change that will help us advance peace together and to push aside the forces opposed to it. If someone is really concerned with human rights, they should concern themselves with Gilad Shalit’s most basic rights. He has been sitting in captivity for four years, in darkness, with no visit from the Red Cross, with his family’s terrible suffering, of his parents, of his grandfather with whom I had a heart-wrenching conversation yesterday.

The international community needs to stand alongside Israel in demanding Gilad Shalit’s immediate release.

Welcome to Jerusalem, Mr. Chancellor. I am looking forward to our discussion.

Thank you very much.