Netanyahu meets Democratic Congressmen
Netanyahu meets Democratic CongressmenHaim Zach (GPO)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met today (Monday) with a group of Democratic Congressmen who are visiting Israel as part of an AIPAC delegation, led by House Democratic Caucus leader Hakeem Jeffries and AIPAC President Michael Tuchin. The meeting was held at the Prime Minister's Residence in Jerusalem.

Prime Minister Netanyahu told the delegation: "There is a monumental change that is going on in the world. The fundamental change is the geometric pace of technological change which is bound to have fundamental effects on our society, on our economies, on our foreign relations, on our security."

"I've been studying this now for the past few months, having studied before that cybersecurity and having made Israel, and I've committed to have it become, one of the five cyber powers. AI is much, much, much bigger. The hype is not hype. It's real," he said. "The future belongs to those who innovate but the future also belongs to the free societies who cooperate with each other to assure that our people, our citizens, get the benefits of AI and not its curses. We have plenty of both."

"I think in this regard, and in many other regards, Israel has no better ally than the United States and the United States has no better ally than Israel. We are the innovation society.

Moving to the field of global security, Netanyahu said that "the most important thing is to produce a credible military threat to Iran. The other thing is use it. We don’t want a world in which Iran can threaten New York or Washington or Los Angeles or anything in between with nuclear weapons."

"Certainly we're not going to have one in which they could annihilate Israel, which they call a one-bomb country. It's an abhorrent statement but it tells you where they are," he said. "We will do everything in our power, with or without this or that agreement, to defend ourselves."

Turning to the efforts to expand the Abraham Accords and to reach a normalization agreement with Saudi Arabia, Netanyahu said: "What has happened is that this peace forged on Iran on one hand and technological and business cooperation with each other exploded. It's an economic peace. It already has billions moving in both directions with joint ventures, with tourism and people-to-people, economy-to-economy. And that's an exciting bottle for peace."

"If we have it with Saudi Arabia, which again is what our governments are working on right now, this will be such a quantum leap," he said. "There is a physical infrastructure element that exists in a Saudi-Israeli peace that has been there but has been defied by politics."

Prime Minister Netanyahu added: "I wanted to thank you for your position on antisemitism, for your position on the mendacious attack on Israel as an apartheid state, for your support for Israel's security and for supporting the President's effort to expand the peace. These are hectic times but they're also full of promise."