Prime Minister Netanyahu met today (Tuesday) with Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta, stressing the positive relations between Jerusalem and Bucharest, and called on the international community to join Israel in rejecting the addition of Hamas to the Palestinian Authority government.
Meeting at the end of Ponta’s three-day trade mission, the prime ministers signed a series of agreements on a variety of issues, including environmental protection, medical science, care for senior citizens, information and communications technology, Holocaust remembrance, educational technologies and work visas.
“It’s very important for our construction plans, as well as our infrastructure, to have Romanian expert workers, and in addition, we signed, I think, a very important, specific agreement on the laser project, which I think will advance our fields and our expertise in both areas, in both countries,” Netanyahu said.
Ponta’s visit comes at a time when the two countries have been collaborating on political issues as well as economic ties. Last January, Romanian President Traian Basescu said his country supports Israel’s demand that Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state while also encouraging compromise with the Palestinians.
No Talks With Brutal Kidnappers
Netanyahu added that Israel and Romania share a strong commitment to democracy and freedom, as well as a commitment for the fight against bigotry and all forms of anti-Semitism, racism and intolerance.
“Anti-Semitism has perhaps been the worst intolerance in history, and I think there is a special responsibility and need to combat the forms of anti-Semitism that we see emerging in parts of Europe. We have a centuries-old affinity between us and I believe that we have to make sure that we do not repeat the mistakes of the past and embrace the future,” Netanyahu said.
The prime minister also called on his guess to end a strong message to Palestinian Authority Chairman Abu Mazen to break the unity agreement with Hamas, saying there can be no alliance with the kidnappers of innocent children.
“We need to define a clear fault line between civilization and savagery, and take concrete action against the forces of darkness. Last night we heard Khaled Mashal, the leader of Hamas, praise and defend the brutal kidnapping of the three innocent Israeli teenagers who were making their way home from school. Mashal once again made clear that Hamas remains committed to its war against Israel and its war against every Israeli citizen, and coincidently, against every Jew around the world.
“So, how can President Abbas make an alliance with these terrorists who extoll kidnapping? I appreciate what President Abbas said a few days ago in Saudi Arabia, rejecting the kidnapping. I think these were important words. Now, if he really means what he said about the kidnapping, and if he is truly committed to peace and to fighting terrorism, then logic and common sense mandate that he break his pact with Hamas. This is the only way that we can move forward. I think this is something that is shared by many in Europe who understand that the quest for peace and stability and tranquility means that we have to fight the forces of terror, intolerance and darkness. There can be no alliance with the kidnappers of children.”