During his address before the Knesset plenum on Wednesday, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said “Whoever boycotts Israel doesn’t understand that he is boycotting himself and doesn’t understanding that he is betraying his own future.”
The Knesset,” he said, ”should know that Italy will always stand at the forefront for cooperation – never for boycotting. That is foolish and futile.”
Speaking about global terror, Renzi said ”this is a battle between barbarism – a minority of violent extremists – and the majority which believes in dialogue. We have no doubt as to which side we are on.”
Renzi mentioned the recent terror near the Italian Consulate in Cairo, and said: ”The terrorists tried to frighten us, but it made us support the regime in Egypt even more.”
Turning his attention to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Italian premier said ”the peace we are seeking for Jerusalem will be possible only when there will be two states for two peoples, and this will happen only if everyone`s complete security is assured.”
“Recognizing Israel means recognizing reality… The existence of the State of Israel is not a gesture of the international community after the Holocaust, but a fact that predates any international agreement by hundreds of years… Israel exists despite the Holocaust not by virtue of the Holocaust,” he told the plenum.
”Let me be clear, almost blunt: Your security is also our security,” he said. ”We share something even bigger than values and roots … We share the same fate and no one can forget that, not even for a moment.”
Addressing the nuclear deal with Iran, Renzi said ”Along with the United States, we believe that this deal can be a compromise that can reduce the instability in the region.”
The West would check its implementation on a daily basis, and would not forsake Israel, Renzi vowed.
”I understand your fears. Yesterday I listened to [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu. He emphasized to me all the most problematic aspects of the deal,” said Renzi.
”I want to be very clear there can never be a compromise on the future of Israel,” said the 40-year-old center-left leader, the first head of state to visit Israel since the Iran nuclear deal was concluded in Vienna last week.