Trying to get a workable peace between us and our Palestinian neighbors is something we are both seeking to achieve. The formula is simple: two states for two peoples, a nation-state for the Palestinian people and a nation-state for the Jewish people.
Prime Minister Netanyahu: Chancellor Merkel, my dear friend Angela, it’s a pleasure to welcome you and your delegation to Israel. We had a very enjoyable and productive dinner last night in which we covered a breadth of issues, maybe the most important issues that relate to Israel’s security interests and our quest for peace. And I appreciate your understanding and your consideration.
We had today an exceptional meeting of our two governments – exceptional because first of all, we stuck to the schedule. We were on time. Second, we stuck to the agenda and I think a lot of areas were covered and we can learn a great deal from each other. I must say that I learned quite a few things, including how to cut bureaucracy and streamline regulations, which is a revelation for me. So we intend to deepen these exchanges because this is part of our common policies. So I extend a warm welcome to you and your entire delegation.
I want to thank you for making clear that the Palestinians who ask us to recognize a Palestinian state have to reciprocate by recognizing the Jewish state. Because without Palestinian recognition of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people, there can be no real reconciliation because the conflict cannot end without the Palestinians basically giving up all national claims to the Jewish state. This is the idea of the two nation-states: they have a nation-state for the Palestinian people, we have a nation-state for the Jewish people and there are no more claims.
I know that there are those in Europe who have been calling on a boycott for Israel so I want to be very clear: there can be criticism of Israel. That’s legitimate. But it’s hard not to notice the fact that those who call for boycotting Israel are not calling for the boycott of any other country. They boycott only Israel. They blame only the Jewish state and singling out Israel, the one democracy – the one true democracy in the whole Middle East – is neither moral or correct and I would say or productive because actually these boycotts push back peace. They only serve to strengthen Palestinian intransigence. They also don’t help the Palestinian economy, you know? There are 30,000 Palestinian workers who work in the settlements and the Jewish communities and their economy would be hard hit.
This is continuing every day, as we speak. It’s happening right now. Iran continues to perpetrate terrorism directly or through its proxy Hezbollah in Europe and around the world. And Iran continues its relentless pursuit of nuclear weapons. They continue to do so while developing the means to deliver those weapons. They’re developing long-range ICBMs and I want to say, they are not directed against us. They already have the missiles to reach us. Those ICBMs are intended for Europe; they’re intended for you; they’re intended for the United States. And they have only one payload – that’s a nuclear payload. And of course, Iran continues to call for the annihilation of the Jewish state.
We know that we cannot have a world in which fanatic regimes, irresponsible regimes, have atomic bombs. We understand already what is happening in one part of the world, in Asia, with such a regime having such weapons and we cannot afford to have that replicated by a regime that I say is the equivalent of 50 North Koreas – having weapons that could threaten not maybe the security of Israel and the security of Germany, but the security of the entire world.
The goal is to prevent Iran from having the capability to manufacture and deliver nuclear weapons. I believe that means zero enrichment, zero centrifuges, zero plutonium and of course an end to ICBM development. Because none of these elements – none of them – is necessary for developing civilian nuclear energy, which is what Iran has claimed that it wants.