Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Sunday held a joint press conference with outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is visiting Israel.

Speaking about the Iranian threat, Bennett said that “there is no point in appeasing Iran, [since] for them being conciliatory is weakness. They try to mock the international community and to undermine the stability. We act on a daily basis against the Iranian desire to flood the area with weapons.”

Regarding the tensions between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, Bennett said, “We are not ignoring the Palestinians. They are not going anywhere.”

He added: “A Palestinian state will bring about another terror state, seven minutes from my home. I’m a pragmatic person. We do a lot of things on the ground in order to make things easier for everyone.”

Merkel said, “We need to do everything in order to ensure that Iran will not succeed in gaining a nuclear weapon. These are crucial weeks in how we handle the Iranian nuclear reactor. Iran’s accelerated enrichment of uranium has made this issue especially urgent.”

“I don’t think that the agreement with Iran is ideal, but it’s one of the ways. We are now in a difficult situation because the Americans said they would return to the deal, but the Iranians have not yet returned to talks and are continuing to enrich uranium.

“I spoke with the Prime Minister about Israel’s security. Germany is not neutral when it comes to the State of Israel’s security. I expect and hope that the citizens of Israel will be able to live in security – and that has not yet happened. I very much hope that the new governments in Israel and Germany will ensure this.”

Merkel added: “Israel has a very important role in the Middle East, even when the diplomatic solution with the Palestinians seems far off. We must not remove it from the table, but leave the vision for a solution to the issue, while it is clear that Israel will always remain a Jewish and democratic country, the way the Prime Minister said.”

Emphasizing that the relationship between Israel and Germany has flourished and complimenting the government of Israel, Merkel said, “Despite the different opinions in the government, there is a feeling of joint effort with the goal of working for the sake of Israel’s citizens.”

On the issue of rising anti-Semitism across Europe, she said, “We are fighting anti-Semitism. This is a very worrying trend which we are battling and which we will continue to fight with all our might, in order to weaken and eradicate it. Our historical responsibility includes maximum awareness of attempts to harm Jews.”

Bennett to Merkel: 'Palestinian state will create terror state'

Josh Toupos

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