Leaked Video Shows Arab Ministers Defending Israel
DAILY DOSE | Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu leaked a video of Arab diplomats defending Israel's right to defend itself and bashing Iran. What do these remarks and actions mean about Israel's relations with the Arab states? Former Israeli diplomat Avi Pazner analyzes.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed on Thursday that the Palestinian issue no longer takes 'center stages' in the Middle East, and that Arab states recognize Israel's right to defend itself from Iran.
Netanyahu shared the stage with Arab foreign ministers at the Middle East summit in Warsaw, something an Israeli Prime Minister has not done in decades.
'Once the Palestinian issue took center stage. Now they (Arab states) say that first and foremost the Iranian issue needs to be dealt with,' Netanyahu told reporters at the conference.
'Four out of five Arab foreign ministers who addressed the conference (on Thursday) spoke strongly and clearly against Iran, saying exactly what I’ve been saying for years. They were as clear as possible about the issue, and Israel’s right to defend itself against Iranian aggression,' he added.
Netanyahu said the fact that Arab representatives did not leave the room as soon as he started talking symbolized 'the breaking of a taboo.'
'Here you have Arab foreign ministers, who say that Israelis have the right to defend themselves, and don’t say it in secret but on a stage with 60 other countries present,' he said.
Shortly after leaving the conference, Netanyahu posted a video from the closed door session with Arab foreign ministers.In the video, Bahrain's foreign minister, Shaikh Khalid bin Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, said Iran was partly responsible for the lack of process between Israel and the Palestinians.
'When we come to Israel-Palestine, we had the Camp David agreement. There was Madrid. There were many other ways of solving it, and we had stayed on the same path. If it wasn't for the toxic party… guns and food soldiers of the Islamic Republic, I think we would have been much closer today in solving this issue with Israel,' Khalifa said.
The Bahraini foreign minister was also quoted by reporters on the sideline of the conference as saying that his country would 'eventually' establish ties with Israel.Palestinian movement Hamas came out against the meeting in a statement released later in the evening, saying it was a 'stab in the back of the Palestinian people.'
'The meeting is a great shame, and helps to polish the image of the criminal occupation,' the statement said.
Rival faction Fatah condemned the talks in Warsaw, asking Arab states not to attend, or at least send low-level delegation.
Foreign minister Riyad al-Maliki said the Palestinians 'view the Warsaw conference as a plot against the Palestinian cause.'