Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett spoke to Bahraini students during his visit to the Gulf country Tuesday. Following are his full remarks.
I have come here to talk about the future.
My people’s future.
Our shared future.
A future that chooses cooperation over conflict,
hope over hostility,
and friendship over fear.
A future that is dependent on all the people sitting in this room.
I want to begin by telling you what an honor it is for me to be here, as the first Israeli Prime Minister to officially visit the magnificent Kingdom of Bahrain.
Today I met with His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and the Crown Prince and Prime Minister.
I thanked them for their warm welcome and for their courage on embarking on this change
— this incredible change —
that is taking place in the Middle East.
I thank you all for the warm welcome today and for the part you will play in the future of our shared region.
There was once a tent — that was the first home of all of us:
The tent of Abraham.
Abraham, you know, he was not your average leader.
He was a man of God,
He was a man of the world.
He wasn’t just a family man — but a business man.
A man who was both deeply attached to his faith,
but at the same time — open to the world.
Everyone was welcome in Abraham’s tent.
It was wide open.
I think it is remarkable that the historic agreements between Israel and the Arab nations are called “the Abraham Accords”.
When I became Prime Minister, I was asked what I thought about the “Abraham accords”;
I was asked if I planned to keep using this name — I said:
“There could be no better name.”
Religion in the Middle East no longer needs to be defined by brutality and extremism.
For the like-minded leaders of the Abraham Accords,
our faith was the glue that healed the wounds of our past — and strengthened the connection between us.
My Bahraini friends — together we sit in the great tent of Abraham.
In this tent, no one is a stranger — we are all family.
We are lucky enough to be living in a time that will go down in the history books.
What is written in those history books…
is up to you,
You define what the future looks like.
That is why I wanted to speak to you today — the younger generation — and through you — I would like to convey a message to young people across the Middle East.
These are no ordinary times.
After a decade of regional instability,
After two years of pandemic - that still hasn’t gone away,
While the world is in turbulent times,
—We have been blessed with a unique opportunity.
An opportunity to build bridges.
We may live in different cultures,
We may practice different religions,
but actually — we are on the same side.
We’re on the side that chooses hope over hostilities, and possibilities over problems.
The fault lines used to be between Arabs and Israelis.
But now, the fault lines are between agents of terror and chaos — and people of hope.
You see, the future of Israel’s relations with the Middle East —
they don’t just depend on declarations,
They rely on real connections.
And the best way to connect is by meeting face-to-face.
Which is why I urge you all to come and visit Israel.
Come and see for yourself what Israel is about. The Israeli people welcome you with open arms.
The Middle East is changing and I am convinced that Israel’s growing friendships with Bahrain and other countries in the region — are a leading force in the profound change.
Together, we are creating a new reality in the Middle East that will greatly benefit our people, our countries and the entire region.
We must seize the momentum of the historic Abraham accords,
We must make the most of the opportunity we’ve been given.
וַיֹּאמֶר אַבְרָם אֶל לוֹט אַל נָא תְהִי מְרִיבָה בֵּינִי וּבֵינֶיךָ וּבֵין רֹעַי וּבֵין רֹעֶיךָ כִּי אֲנָשִׁים אַחִים אֲנָחְנוּ:
And Abraham said unto Lot — who your Quran refers to as ‘Lut’:
“Let there be no strife between me and you, and between my herdsmen and your herdsmen;
for we are brothers.”
We are brethren and together, God-willing, we can fulfill Abraham’s dream.