One of the strongest things that motivated Zionism was the Kishinev pogroms, which gave impetus to the words of Theodore Herzl six years earlier, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the president of Moldova during his visit to Jerusalem on Tuesday.
Netanyahu shared that conversation with participants Wednesday during his address to the Globes Business Conference held at the Jerusalem International Convention Center.
“The magnitude was not relatively large in comparison to what happened afterwards, but they focused the understanding of our people in dealing with the fate that awaited,” Netanyahu said. “My main function as prime minister is that there will not be another Yad Vashem.”
His other daily tasks are often dictated by the country’s economy, Netanyahu said — even those of the nation’s defense.
The only way to meet Israel’s military needs, said Netanyahu, is with a free market economy.
“Practically, there is no possibility of the first layer of our existence without economic strength, and that requires a free market. Therefore, we enacted 50-60 major reforms which increased GDP and this gives us the means to move forward.
“Even if the price of electricity rises, and it will not rise more than eight percent, it will still be 10 percent less than what it was in 2014. Who was Finance Minister then? It does not matter.
The price of electricity in Israel is significantly lower than in European countries and I tell you that it will not rise by more than eight percent. I do not know how much it will rise, but by a few percent in the worst case. It is certainly not because of the gas outline; it has very little influence.
“The fact is that Israel has military, technological and economic strength that has given us an unprecedented diplomatic flourishing. The strong survive. Alliances are made with the strong, as is peace. The strong uphold peace and we are seeing to it that Israel will be very strong.
“We are in a mighty revolution the likes of which have not been seen in the history of humanity and economies.
“We are committed to fighting the nuclear agreement also with operations and actions and diplomatic moves. I was pleased to see that the current American administration has adopted the sanctions. I spoke about this with the U.S. President [Donald Trump] on Monday and with [U.S. Secretary of State Mike] Pompeo yesterday.
“We are striking Iran and Syria, and of course the U.S. is striking Iran economically. We are working to shrink this body which is responsible for almost all of the security problems that the State of Israel has.
“We are fighting the arms of Iran and Hezbollah. We are exposing its tunnels and are systematically denying them all of the tunnels, just like we did with Hamas in the south by various means. We are denying them precision weaponry by various means. They planned to have thousands of precision missiles and they have a few dozen at best.
“In Europe we exposed several terrorist attacks that Iran was due to carry out; there are 40 major terrorist attacks on all continents that we thwarted. The entire world needs this; therefore, the entire world is coming to us.
“I am unwilling to make peace with the Arabs conditional on the consent of the Palestinians,” he said. “We want and seek peace with them. We are not waiting and the good news is that the Arabs are not waiting either. It is a process of normalization that is expanding. There will be other countries in the Muslim, as well as in the Arab, world.
After years of unconditionally developing the state we developed a concept that says that if we cannot achieve peace with the Palestinians – this is to prevent a bi-national state, I share in that and do not want a bi-national state – if we cannot do it we have no hope.
“We want to resolve this crisis. What we are doing in the meantime is establishing three enormous strengths: Economic, military and diplomatic, and most importantly, what envelopes everything is the cultivation of our moral-spiritual strength.
“It means a democratic Jewish nation-state which respects the individual rights of all its citizens, preserves the symbols of nationality and basic national rights, such as the inevitable right of every Jew to come here. It respects and wants to include all. So I invested NIS 15 million in the program for the Arab sector because I want them in this success story.
“Everyone needs to be included in this success story.”