Netanyahu: Middle East Changes ‘Brought by Rise of Two Powers – Iran and Israel’

YERUSHALAYIM -
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu speaks next to Health Minister Yuli Edelstein as they attend the arrival of a plane with a shipment of Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccines, at Ben Gurion airport, January 10. (Motti Millrod/Pool via Reuters)

The dramatic changes in the security and political landscape of the Middle East were “brought about by the rise of two powers — Iran and Israel,” Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told i24NEWS in an interview on Thursday.

In the interview, Netanyahu said that Israel’s rise had largely been driven by his policies, with a focus on economic and military might that would also bolster the country’s diplomatic outreach.

Israel’s power, as well as Netanyahu’s international campaign against Iran’s quest for nuclear arms, is what had driven many Arab nations closer to Israel, Netanyahu said.

He hailed the quick progress in Israel’s ties with the United Arab Emirates, saying that “peace of leaders transformed into a peace of people.”

Commenting on Israel’s vaccination campaign, Netanyahu said that the country “performed a miracle,” touting his leadership on the international stage and procurement efforts, as well as being “obsessive” about Israelis’ health.

“We will not have another lockdown,” he pledged, saying that the country had been able to vaccinate most of the people in risk groups and now had no need for such measures.

“We’re emerging from World War III,” he said, adding that it was up to him to navigate Israel’s way through the post-pandemic era – a time where Netanyahu said he intends to turn the country into an economic “powerhouse.”

When asked about the situation in Israel’s north, he stressed that most of the country’s security challenges were ultimately emanating from Iran, and without the support from Tehran, the Lebanese Hezbollah terror group will quickly collapse.