Israel-Germany alliance 'offers hope to the world'

Israeli PM hails ties during Berlin meeting with German Chancellor, says Israel defending Europe in struggle against radical Islam.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Netanyahu and Merkel in Berlin
Netanyahu and Merkel in Berlin
Amos Ben-Gershom/GPO

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu hailed Israel's close alliance with Germany Tuesday, describing Israel as an island of democracy in a strife-torn Middle East.

Speaking at the sixth Israel-Germany Government-to-Government meeting in Berlin, Netanyahu thanked German Chancellor Angela Merkel for "your friendship, the constancy of your friendship, and the warm hospitality that you've shown me and my ministers and my entire delegation," as well her government's close cooperation with Israel "in defense; in security, particularly in the new area that you mentioned of cyber security... in politics and diplomacy, including our work together in Africa."

"In these and many other areas, our cooperation enables both Germans and Israelis to better meet the challenges and the threats, as well as to seize the technological and scientific promise of the future," Netanyahu said, underscoring the commonalities between the two countries. "Israel and Germany are two advanced countries, real societies, real science, real universities, real technology, real business sector."

However, unlike Germany, whose Western European neighborhood is perhaps more conducive to such progress, Israeli advancement in those areas "is not obvious," he said.

"As we look around us, it's not obvious, especially in our part of the world. But by cooperating, we make each other stronger and we are better able to innovate, and the future belongs to those who innovate.

"Now this was our sixth Israel-Germany Government-to-Government meeting. We had one meeting a few years ago, five years ago, which, in the course of the meeting... we heard of the events that were taking place in Egypt," he continued, describing the early "Arab Spring" revolution.

"So the world has changed in the course of these deliberations," the PM continued, but added, "I think one thing has not changed: It is the fact that in the midst of this terrific storm, in the midst of this global turbulence, there is one country in the Middle East that maintains not only an advanced society, a democratic society, an innovative society, but a society that maintains the very values that you here in Europe and you in Germany hold dear."

Netanyahu stressed that Israel's fight against radical Islam is the same one facing Western states such as Germany.

"We defend ourselves. There's no question about that," he said. "But when so doing, we defend also your values and by being where we are, in the center of the Middle East, by defending our flanks, by defending, by helping defend the neighborhood, we are preventing the addition of as many as a hundred million more people to the tragedy and turbulence of militant Islam.

"There are 50 million people in Iraq and in Syria that have been swept into this horror, but they are many more – at least twice as more – that have not been swept into this horror.

"If you look at the force of stability, the force of Western values, the force of a basic conception of human rights that we all share, that force is Israel. We are defending ourselves, but in so doing, we're defending our common values. And I would say that was the main point that I wish to impart. And I think, I sensed that this is something that is being received with understanding by my colleagues."

In forging and maintaining such a close alliance, Israel and Germany - which celebrated 50 years of formal relations last year - have overcome the ghosts of the past, to their mutual benefit, Netanyahu concluded. 

"This meeting was a further demonstration of our relationship, which celebrated its 50th anniversary. In that half century, we have built a unique relationship and it's a partnership that has significance far and beyond the confines of this hall. Because it doesn't only bring tangible benefits to both our countries; it also is, I think gives hope to all of mankind.

"It's an example of how, despite the unparalleled horrors of the past, our two peoples have forged a unique and constructive friendship. And I believe that this offers hope for the entire world."