Itongadol.- Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu touted Israel\’s strength among world nations on Monday, saying that Jewish state\’s international alliances account for its high ranking among global powers.
Speaking at the weekly Likud faction meeting, Netanyahu said that two trends were characterizing Israel\’s international standing: an effort to delegitimize Israel on the one hand, and a strengthening of Israel\’s ties with the nations of the world on the other hand.
Netanyahu cited a survey published recently by the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, which ranked Israel the eighth strongest country in the world.
The survey listed the most powerful nations as the United States, Russia, China, Germany, Britain, France, Japan, and in eighth place, Israel, according to Netanyahu.
"They rank us high in international power because of our international alliances," Netanyahu said.
Netanyahu\’s comments came after Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid and Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman held a press conference earlier in the day, contending that Netanyahu had damaged Israel\’s standing in the world.
"Israel is ranked eighth in the world on the basis of three criteria that the survey mentioned: military power, that\’s clear. International influence, and notice what they said – international alliances," he said.
Netanyahu said that he had met earlier in the day with the new Egyptian ambassador to Israel and later with representatives from African states who want Israel to strengthen its ties once again with Africa. He said that he would also be meeting US Vice President Joe Biden in the coming days.
"We are strengthening ties with the great powers of Asia and with Latin American countries. That is what we do all the time, on a daily basis," he said.
Dismissing the press conference held by Lapid and Liberman, Netanyahu said: "The coalition chairman told me that the left-wing parties held a political emergency conference. So there are those who choose to blabber and to deal with political conferences, and there are those who defuse the pressures on Israel an strengthen the international alliances in order to ensure our future here."
Netanyahu said that Israel\’s military, economic, diplomatic and technological strength would ensure the country\’s future and bring Israel\’s enemies to make peace with it.
Lapid and Liberman had argued that Netanyahu was hurting Israel\’s ability to fight the delegitimization of Israel by closing down foreign representations abroad and splitting the Foreign Ministry up into smaller departments.
Laqid said that "the deterioration is dramatic. The BDS movement is gaining steam. The international media is running an anti-Israel line with the help of Israeli organizations like Breaking the Silence. Our international standing has never been worse, and what makes the situation more drastic is that the Israeli government won\’t admit that the situation is terrible."