The greatest challenge for Israel is the unremitting fanaticism

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Remarks by Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu at at the meeting with US President Barack Obama at the Lotte New York Palace Hotel, on September 21, 2016.

 

Mr. President, it’s very good to see you again. First, I want to thank you for the Memorandum of Understanding that we signed last week. It greatly enhances Israel’s security. It fortifies the principle that you’ve enunciated many times that Israel should be able to defend itself, by itself, against any threat.

Secondly, I want to thank you for the extensive security and intelligence cooperation between our two countries. I don’t think people at large understand the breadth and depth of this cooperation, but I know it. And I want to thank you on behalf of all the people of Israel.

Third, I want to thank you for the many meetings we’ve had in which we discussed how to confront common challenges and how to seize common opportunities. The greatest challenge is, of course, the unremitting fanaticism. The greatest opportunity is to advance a durable peace. That’s a goal that I and the people of Israel will never give up on.

We’ve been fortunate that, in pursuing these two tasks, Israel has no greater friend than the United States of America, and America has no greater friend than Israel. Our alliance has grown decade after decade, through successive presidents, a bipartisan Congress, and the overwhelming support of the American people. It’s an unbreakable bond based on common values, buttressed by common interest, and bound by a shared destiny.

And I want to thank you, Mr. President, for the opportunity to once again discuss how we can shape that destiny together.

And I’d like to add, if I may, one final point. As you conclude your presidency, I know you’re going to be busy with many, many things, much more than improving what I hear is a terrific golf game. (Laughter.) Your voice, your influential voice will be heard for many decades. And I know you’ll continue to support Israel’s right to defend itself and its right to thrive as a Jewish state. So I want you to know, Barack, that you’ll always be a welcome guest in Israel.

And, by the way, I don’t play golf, but right next to my home in Caesarea, in Israel, is a terrific golf course.

(pht/PMO)

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