Speaking at Wednesday’s renaming ceremony for the Shimon Peres Negev Nuclear Research Center in Dimona, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that “our enemies know very well what Israel is capable of doing. They are familiar with our policy. Whoever tries to hurt us – we hurt them.”
Remembering the late President Shimon Peres – whom he defeated in the 1996 elections – Netanyahu said: “Shimon aspired toward peace but he knew that true peace can be achieved only if our hands strongly grasp defensive weaponry. In the Middle East, and in many parts of the world, there is a simple truth: there is no place for the weak. The weak crumble, are slaughtered and are erased from history while the strong, for good or for ill, survive. The strong are respected, and alliances are made with the strong, and in the end peace is made with the strong.”
Netanyahu marveled at the regional changes of the past two decades: “This process of normalization by leading countries in the Arab world with the strong State of Israel is happening before our eyes, on a scale that would have been impossible to imagine a few years ago,” he said. “This process bears hope within it that, in the end, the cycle of peace will be completed. But it is impossible to deny the fact that there are yet many enemies in this region and beyond.”
As to the Jewish State’s firm intent to hurt anyone who tries to hurt her, the PM said, “I am not spouting slogans. I am describing a persistent, clear and determined policy. This is our policy. It is backed by appropriate deployment, equipment, preparedness and – in the hour of need – appropriate orders.
“We are working to prevent Iran from establishing a military presence in Syria. We will not relent in pursuit of this goal just as we did not relent in bringing about the cancellation of the bad nuclear agreement with Iran, a goal which was seen as impossible when I put it on the international agenda for the first time several years ago.
“In the diplomatic sphere, we will continue to apply pressure on the dangerous, extremist regime in Iran. Just yesterday we saw the fruit of this pressure in remarks by the Iranian President who said that many among the Iranian people have lost hope in the future and strength of Iran due to the resumption of economic sanctions. In the military sphere, the IDF will continue to take strong and determined action against Iran’s attempts to station forces and advanced weapons systems in Syria. No agreement between Syria and Iran will deter us; neither will any threat deter us.”
“Whoever threatens us with destruction puts himself in similar danger and in any case will not achieve his goal,” Netanyahu vowed.