You spoke in your brilliant speech in the Knesset of the Islamic radicals that are using terror against free societies. This is precisely what is happening here. What we’re seeing today is Iranian backed terror groups supplied by Iran with rockets firing at innocent civilians.
Prime Minister Netanyahu: In these very moments, the IDF is responding forcefully to the firing against the citizens of Israel by the Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip. If there is no calm in the south, there will be no calm in Gaza, and that’s putting it mildly. I call upon the residents of the south to follow the instructions. The IDF will do the job. [Translated from Hebrew]
Prime Minister Cameron, David, I want to welcome you to Jerusalem on a rainy night. It’s not only raining rain. Unfortunately it’s raining rockets on the citizens of Israel in the south of Israel.
You spoke in your brilliant speech in the Knesset of the Islamic radicals that are using terror against free societies. This is precisely what is happening here. What we’re seeing today is Iranian backed terror groups supplied by Iran with rockets firing at innocent civilians. This is something that no country could tolerate and I think it highlights two things.
First, if we’re to have a genuine peace, this cannot recur. We must have a peace in which territories adjacent to Israel are not used as launching grounds for rockets and missiles against the Jewish state.
Secondly, we must make sure that the backer of these terrorists, Iran, doesn’t have nuclear weapons and nuclear tipped missiles. Today we’re the targets, but with the ICBMs that they’re developing, London would be in range, Washington would be in range. In fact, the whole world can be in range. That must not happen and I know of your commitment to prevent that happening and your commitment to help us secure and achieve a genuine peace, a peace we can defend. Without security, peace is impossible.
You gave a moving speech today. I can tell you that the responses of the people of Israel are overwhelming. It was a powerful affirmation of our friendship which has stood the test of time and the currents of history. It touched on your desire to strengthen the relationship, which is my desire. We’ve been working at it effectively, and this visit undoubtedly will help strengthen all the bonds that we have between us, which are economic, technological, cultural, political and in the fields of security and defense. In all these things we know that you are leading Britain to a friendship with Israel that is valuable for both our peoples, but also valuable I think for the security and prosperity of the peoples of the Middle East. I want to commend you again for the sentiments that you expressed so wonderfully and I want to welcome you once again to Jerusalem. Maybe next time you’ll come we’ll have a little sunshine.
Prime Minister Cameron: Well, Prime Minister Netanyahu, Bibi, thank you very much for making me feel so welcome here in Jerusalem today. Can I first of all join you in condemning unreservedly the rocket attacks from Gaza on to your country. These are indiscriminate attacks aimed at population centers and that tells you everything about the despicable and wicked people carrying out these acts. We condemn them utterly. They do, as you’ve said, underline the importance of guaranteeing Israel’s security, and any two-state solution has to have at its heart the guarantee of Israel’s’ safety and security and the security of your people, and let me just say again how important it is for the whole international community to say with one voice that Palestinian statehood can only come about through dialogue and discussion. It can never come about through violence or terror, which we will always condemn.
Bibi, this has been a very special day for me, a huge honor to address the Knesset. As I said, instead of the calm and tranquility of the usual House of Common, I had the great honor of addressing a very lively Knesset, and of course I’ve just come from visiting Yad Vashem. I’ve been there before, but somehow when you go the second time it hits you all the harder. As I stood in that memorial to the 1.5 million children who were killed, it made me even more determined to make sure that in Britain we never forget what happened. That’s why I have established the Holocaust Commission. It’s why some of the members are here with me today to talk to people here about how we can do something very special in Britain to make sure that no generation ever forgets the lessons of the Holocaust.
Thank you for your hospitality here tonight. I know we’re going to have productive discussions about strengthening our bilateral relationship, about working together to keep our citizens safe and also finally the path to peace and the huge potential that it brings. On our trading relationship, worth almost 5 billion pounds a year, it runs from tech to science to research, I think we are coming up with some exciting collaborations. Israel, as I said in my speech today, is the Start-up Nation. We have the first ever tech hub between our two countries. There are a lot of British companies doing brilliantly in Israel and Israeli companies doing brilliantly in Britain. I brought some of them with me today and we must continue that process.
I’ve also underline to Prime Minister Netanyahu what we oppose, and that is opposing and will continue to oppose boycotts of Israel. Young Israelis will not be persuaded to support peace by seeing their own dreams for a successful future taken away from them. We’ve also discussed already and will discuss again tonight our security cooperation and our common objective of preventing a nuclear armed Iran. I understand the concerns of those who are skeptical over any agreement over Iran’s nuclear program. But as I’ve stressed to you before and will stress again, we will not settle for any deal. We have a clear aim to ensure the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program, not just for the sake of Israel, but as you said just now very powerfully, for the peace and security of the world. International pressure on Iran will not be lifted unless those vital concrete steps are taken.
Finally, we’re going to be talking and have talked already about the peace process. As I said in my speech earlier, I haven’t come to Israel to offer lectures to anyone. Peace processes differ depending on the situation, but from Northern Ireland I believe that we have learned something about what it can take to get peace after years of conflict and division. You need leaders who are able to move beyond the past and take brave steps towards the future. You need a process in which you can speak frankly and openly about the hopes and fears of your people and you need friends that you can rely on, people who share a fundamental belief in what you stand for. And I think you have all three of these things here in these circumstances. In Bibi and President Abbas you have two leaders who’ve shown courage and determination to secure peace. In Secretary Kerry you have someone who is giving this process their all and finally with Britain and with me you have a friend who believes in Israel, someone who wants the Jewish people to be free and safe in their homeland.
I know that tonight we’ll also discuss Syria, we’ll discuss the very difficult situation in the Ukraine. But above all I come here as a staunch supporter of Israel, as someone who wants to see you realize the dividends of peace and as a leader who wants to work with you to build a better, more prosperous, more secure future for both our countries.