Israel Reaches Out: Netanyahu Calls for Embassies to Move to Jerusalem

PM Netanyahu addresses foreign diplomatic corps at Independence Day reception. Photo courtesy of Amos Ben-Gershom (GPO)

Israel was recently called a role model for the world by the Austrian Chancellor, Asia and Latin America are interested in growing economic ties with the Jewish State and Western nations appreciate Israeli counterterrorism intelligence. And that’s not the most impressive feat as the modern State of Israel recently turned 69-years-old according to the country’s leader.

“Perhaps most remarkably, from Arab leaders I hear an increasing recognition that Israel is not an enemy but an indispensable ally in the common battle against terror and the common effort to secure a different future, a better future for all the peoples of the Middle East,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to a group of foreign diplomats last week at an Israeli Independence Day reception.

And in view of all that, Israel has an invitation to those diplomats. “I want you to cut your travel time… Move your embassies to Jerusalem, the eternal capital of Israel for 3,000 years,” said Netanyahu in comments published by his office.

United States President Donald Trump has publicly expressed an interest in reviewing the making of such a move of the American embassy from Tel Aviv, the major coastal city that houses many foreign embassies. And while that move hasn’t happened yet, Netanyahu highlighted that Israel isn’t lacking in connections around the world.

“There is of course the line among a handful of academics and misguided protestors saying that Israel is isolated. No. It’s not,” said Netanyahu.

“Almost daily, I meet with world leaders. Well, to be precise, about 250 leaders from around the world—we have fewer work days so sometimes we have to meet twice a day—who come to Jerusalem and we meet here. And the number’s growing, all the time, year to year.”

Praising the Israeli morality that welcomes minorities, Netanyahu also highlighted the technological advances that Israel can share with the world. And he expressed the desire to share peace with their neighbors—and that could involve more than just the Palestinians.

“I believe that many in the region today understand that there are opportunities and advantages that weren’t available before. I think that through the intertwining of regional normalization and Palestinian-Israeli normalization, we can bootstrap our way up to another historic peace,” said Netanyahu.

While decrying the payment of terrorists by the Palestinian Authority that could have been used to build society, Netanyahu nonetheless expressed the hope that “the Palestinian leadership will make it possible for us to advance towards that peace.”

Because ultimately, Netanyahu said Israel wants peace, and not just with the Palestinians or even the region, but with nations around the world.

“We’re not perfect, I don’t know which country is, and we always strive to improve,” said Netanyahu to the foreign diplomats. “Israel is a moral nation which from its first day has tirelessly pursued peace with all our neighbors. And we can do a great deal of good in moving towards this not only with our neighbors but with every one of you.”

(By Joshua Spurlock,, May 7, 2017)

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