Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu today met with the UN Ambassador's delegation organized and hosted by Israel's UN Ambassador Danny Danon.
"Welcome to Israel, to those of you who are coming for the first time," the Prime Minister greeted the guests. "Israel is a gigantic country," Netanyahu quipped to a smattering of laughter from the assembled delegates. "You're going to fly above the narrow waist of Israel - it's about twelve kilometers.
"You'll go up to the northern border and you'll see the terrorist tunnels that Hezbollah tried to dig into Israel, a clear violation of UN resolutions and international law.
"The fact that you're here represents the fairness and integrity of your approach. I wish that this characterized the UN. In the UN General Assembly this year alone there were twenty resolutions against Israel, six against the rest of the world, which includes Syria, and includes Iran, and so on. So it's honestly absurd. But the important thing is not merely to see the truth, which you will, in this visit, it is to speak the truth, and may I say to vote the truth.
"So I have a non-hidden agenda in agreeing to Danny Danon's suggestion that you come here," netanyahu said as he turned to Danon on his right, and then, turning back to the ambassadors, said with emphasis, "We want to see you change your votes. For those of you who have already done it, thank you; for those of you who will do it, thank you in advance.
"The second point I have to say is that we are faced with a great, aggressive power in the Middle East. The Middle East has changed a lot. If you had come here several decades ago there'd be an Arab-Israeli conflict, with the Arab world, much bigger than Israel, aligned to destroy us; that is, I have to say, changing. Changing in an important way. Into practical alliances that Israel has with many of the Arab countries, in formal peace treaties that we have with two of our neighbors, with Egypt and Jordan. And these practical alliances recognize that a great shift is taking place in the Middle East. That shift is the rise of the aggressive theocracy of Iran that seeks to conquer the Middle East, eliminate Israel, and dominate many other parts of the world.
"Iran has proxies. One of them is Hezbollah. Hezbollah just joined the government of Lebanon. A misnomer - they actually control the government of Lebanon. And that means that Iran controls the government of Lebanon. And it's important to send this very powerful message: Just as we stopped the terror tunnels coming into Israel, we will stop all the aggression from Lebanon or from Syria or from Iran itself. We are committed to preventing this aggression and in so doing we are not only protecting Israel itself but we are protecting our neighbors and world peace.
"I'm sure you'll have the opportunity to see the spirit of the people of Israel and the soldiers of Israel, and I hope you'll come back for future visits," the Prime Minister concluded.