Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu signs the United Nations guest book during a meeting with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Thursday, October 1, 2015 at U.N. Headquarters. He issued a warning about the “heavy price of silence”.
Over the past month, Lauder has met with both Abbas and Netanyahu as part of a continued campaign by the WJC to strengthen and revive the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration has vigorously defended the July 14 nuclear agreement with Iran against criticism from Republicans in Congress, who tried unsuccessfully to kill the deal, and Israel, describing it as the best way to avoid a new war in the Middle East.
There are no legalized casinos in Israel so far but that could change very quickly as Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu has requested two senior ministers in his government to conduct a feasibility study into the casino industry and confirm if it would be a lucrative market for Israel’s economy. I pointed out that roughly half of the world’s Jewish population is in Israel and half is in the USA; remove Israel – which, based on Iran’s rhetoric, is a primary motivation for their nuclear program – and the new target would be the US itself.
“We should all remember what our past has taught us”, Putin said. The Israeli leader repeated his willingness to enter negotiations with the Palestinian Authority without preconditions.
“This deal doesn’t make peace more likely”, he remarked.
“Unfortunately, President Abbas said yesterday that he is not prepared to do this”, he said Thursday. “By fueling Iran’s aggressions with billions of dollars in sanctions relief, it makes war more likely”, Netanyahu said.
But he also hinted at conciliation with the United States, and Netanyahu went out of his way to detail all the places where he and Obama agree. On Wednesday, Abbas told the assembly that the Palestinians should no longer be bound by agreements with Israel that were meant to form the basis for a two-state solution to the Middle East conflict.
Abbas also called on Israel “to cease its use of brutal force… particularly its actions at the Al-Aqsa mosque”, accusing Israel of violating the site’s status quo and preventing Muslim worshippers from accessing it.