Gantz: 'We have the strategic tools to face Iran'

'The Iranians understand that our cooperation gives us new options and strategies,' Israeli Defense Minister tells Arab journalists.

Tags: Benny Gantz
Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Gantz in teleconference with Arab journalists
Gantz in teleconference with Arab journalists
צילום: דוברות

Minister Gantz to Journalists from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE: “We have the strategic tools to face Iran. We are stronger than them. Our collaborations give us new strategies and options, and the Iranians understand that too; The best strategy for regional stability is peace"

In a teleconference earlier this evening organized by the Arab Council for Regional Integration, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz joined journalists from outlets in Saudi Arabia, UAE and Bahrain, including Al-Roeya, Al-Ayam, Alarabiya, amongst others, for a first-ever conversation between an Israeli defense minister and journalists from the Gulf states.

Asked about the basis for peace, Gantz said: “We have major mutual interests: the struggle against extremism and Iranian destabilization, amongst other things. We need to form a united front to face it. Our collaboration gives us new strategies, and the Iranians understand that too. The best strategy for regional stability is peace.”

He talked about the problem posed by militias, specifically mentioning Hezbollah in Lebanon, and stating: “I demand that states be held responsible. Lebanon cannot allow Hezbollah to operate against Israel from within Lebanon and later say – Sorry, that isn’t us... Any country that faces these types of threats must be able to act against the direct threat posed by the militia, but also against the government hosting it. Governments must claim accountability from other states for what happens on their territory.”

He added: Morality makes our life more complicated, but we must stay on the moral high ground."

On confronting extremist ideologies Gantz said: “We need to be able to offer a better alternative, to show the positive outcomes of moderation.“

He emphasized his appreciation for the people-to-people component of the Abraham Accords, saying: “We have so much to offer each other. Israel has largely been an island, but we have so much to offer and so much to receive. There is no better strategy than actual human ties.”

He added: “There is no shortcut. It’s going to be a long journey….But if leadership on both sides, political, educational, cultural leadership can strengthen the positive, I believe that the good is going to win. I hope the children being born today will know that they were born into better times for this region;”
Talking about the Palestinian conflict, he said: I look forward to the day that everyone will understand that no one is going anywhere, and the best thing is to find the right solution. Peace is the message. And it should be the message. But let us remember that peace also requires work. It is by far better to struggle for peace than to struggle for war. The most difficult peace is better than the easiest war.”