Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Wednesday participated in the Foreign Ministry's traditional pre-Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) toast in Jerusalem.
Speaking to those gathered, Netanyahu said, "We are holding the toast early due to success, since we are going to make an historic visit: It seems that this will be the first time that a sitting Prime Minister of Israel will be traveling to the countries of Central and South America. This is a gigantic bloc that we have not yet visited."
"Today we are in a different place. The alliance with the United States – with North America as a whole – is stronger than ever, as are ties with Europe, including developing ties with Eastern Europe. The great breakthrough is to all continents. Regarding our return to Africa, we are expanding the scope of technology assistance and it is leading to great interest across the continent.
"This breakthrough is also finding expression in major efforts in Asia. There had not been any real contact with China or significant contact with India and Japan, to say nothing of the Muslim countries, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan. This changed...over the past two years.
"There is also a great change with Russia, and this is a major change regarding both joining economic and cultural interests and, of course, to achieve – as much as possible – coordination of expectations and intentions on a strategic level and you understand how critical this is at present. The link is being fostered and strengthened by us and by Russia itself.
"These are great changes, a sea change that is happening now, and we will not forget Australia which we visited."
According to Netanyahu, there are also changes in Israel's ties with Latin America.
"We are currently developing ties with Latin America," he said. "It is a great market in a large bloc of important countries. There is a breakthrough here. The basic assumption was that if we made an agreement with the Palestinians - which we have wanted and still want - it would open the world to us.
"There is no doubt that it will help, but the world has opened without it, although that does not detract from the importance of considering options and the diplomatic process and normalization."
Pointing out that Israel's relations with the Arab states are also warming, Netanyahu said that "what is actually happening with the Arab states has not happened in our history even when we signed the agreements."
"There is cooperation in various ways, on various levels, but is not yet out in the open. But what is not yet out in the open is much greater than in any other period in Israeli history. This is a major change. The entire world is changing. This is not to say that it is changing in international forums – the UN and UNESCO.
"What there is here is a great change and it is happening despite the fact that, to our regret, the Palestinians have not changed the conditions for a diplomatic agreement which are unacceptable to a large portion of the public, and it is still happening.
"It is happening because we are cultivating two kinds of strength, which together are bringing a third. We are cultivating as policy, economic-technological strength which allows us to cultivate Israel's military-intelligence strength and their combination gives diplomatic strength and this is a different concept."