'Middle East is in a dangerous regional arms race'

Education Minister Bennett warns that a nuclear Middle East is a threat to the entire world.

Uzi Baruch, Washington,

Naftali Bennett
Naftali Bennett
Tomer Neuberg, Flash 90

Education Minister Naftali Bennett (Jewish Home) spoke on Monday at the AIPAC Conference in Washington.

Regarding the Iran deal, Bennett emphasized that there is a regional arms race which endangers not only Israel but the entire world.

"Already, Saudi Arabia is trying to enrich uranium," he pointed out. "It's true that the government today is one that's easy for the West to communicate with, but the Middle East and Arab countries are innately unstable. We cannot allow Iran, Saudi Arabia, or any other countries to attain nuclear capabilities. It's dangerous for Israel, and it's dangerous for the world.

"We need to change something in our consciousness. It's time to fight the head of the Iranian octopus, not just its branches in Lebanon, Syria, and Gaza. We need to harm their operational ability, and I thank you all for advancing legislation against the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and Iran's other systems.

"The head of the octopus is in Tehran, and its arms are spread to make us miserable, until we give up. It needs to be clear: We will not give up. We have been here for thousands of years, and we will continue to be here."

Regarding Israel's relationship with Diaspora Jewry, Bennett, who also serves as Diaspora Minister, said that "for seventy years, Israel has been the Jewish nation's project. Now, Israel needs to work in order to preserve Diaspora Jewry and draw it closer. Israel has a right to exist as a home, as a destination, regardless of the Holocaust."

"We need to think how we can turn Israel into a lighthouse of good for the world, to be a light unto the nations - in cyber, in medicine, and more. We can do much good and build a joint and connected Jewish future."