Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz had a message for the world, and what better venue to deliver it than at the United Nations General Assembly last week. From recognizing Jerusalem to pressuring Hamas to countering Iran, Katz repeatedly called for all nations to unite in common causes in a speech delivered last Thursday.
“I call on the international community to unite in order to stop Iran,” said Katz, according to a transcript of his speech posted to the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs website. “The world cannot allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons. The world cannot allow Iran to develop ballistic missiles, and the world must stop Iran from supporting terror organizations in the region.”
Israel’s top diplomat went on to specifically call for the UN to label Hezbollah and the Iran’s powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as terror organizations. “They promote terror in the Middle East, Europe, Latin America, and all over the world,” said Katz. “And the world must stop them.”
Katz also urged the world to join United States President Donald Trump’s “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran, and that wasn’t the only area he hoped the international community would follow Trump’s lead.
“I want to thank the President of the United States, Donald Trump, for his historic and brave decision to recognize Jerusalem, the eternal capital of the Jewish People for three thousand years, as the capital of Israel, and to relocate the American embassy to Jerusalem,” said Katz.
“I call on all countries to follow the United States, and to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.”
Katz highlighted the recognition the UN has already given to Israel, noting that in 1947 the international organization recognized the Jewish people’s right to have their own state. “Israel is a real democracy for all of its citizens, Jewish and non-Jewish alike. But, first of all, Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish People, based on thousands of years of Jewish history, and the right of the Jewish People to its own homeland. Just as the UN decided seventy-two years ago.”
Turning to the Gaza Strip, Katz pointed out that Hamas continues to hold two Israeli citizens, Avraham Mengistu and Hisham Al-Sayed, as well as the bodies of two Israeli soldiers, Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul. “I call on the UN to implement the decisions that you took on this issue, and not allow any country to provide aid to Gaza until Hamas returns them to their families,” said Katz.
Conflict and controversy aren’t the only areas in need of unity, however. Katz also reiterated a plan to build a rail line from the Arab nations in the Gulf to Israel’s coast on the Mediterranean. Katz said the plan would be to “connect the Palestinian Authority to this project” as a “boost” to the Palestinian economy and a boon to Middle East peace.
“Israel has a clear policy to advance ties, and normalization with the Arab Gulf States,” said Katz. “We have no conflict with the Gulf states, and we have common interests in the field of security against the Iranian threat as well as in developing many joint civilian initiatives.”
That common threat with Iran is a message not only sounded by Katz last week. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had similar words in a speech at the United Against Nuclear Iran’s 2019 Iran Summit last Wednesday.
“I ask responsible nations: Will you publicly condemn Iran’s malign activity? We need you to; the world does… Most importantly, will you help us get Iran back to the negotiating table? We need your help; the world needs it,” said Pompeo in his speech, published by the US State Department. “And will you stand with us alongside of Israel? We need you to; the world needs you to join us.”
While the lofty objective of global unity on Iran and Israel expressed by Katz and Pompeo may seem difficult to achieve, the American diplomat believes things are changing for the better.
“Our goal is very straightforward, although not simple. But we know diplomacy is working, our resolve is strong, and our eyes our open,” said Pompeo. “The awakening, I think, in the world, has begun.”
For his part, Katz leaned on Biblical prophecy from Isaiah for his vision of hope.
Said Katz, “Allow me to conclude with the words of the prophet Isaiah who thousands of years ago invited all the nations of the world to come to pray in Jerusalem…
“I will bring them to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon my altar; for my house shall be called, a house of prayer for all people.”
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, October 1, 2019)