Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has talked of a new Middle East with the friendship between Israel and Arab nations without Iran’s “terror tentacles.”
During his speech at the UN General Assembly on Friday, he stated that his country stood at the threshold of peace with Saudi Arabia, envisioning that this peace could be achieved with the assistance of US President Joe Biden and reshape the Middle East.
In contrast to Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi, whose 30-minute speech consisted of a series of rants justifying Iran's adversarial stance towards the West, the Prime Minister of Iran's archenemy presented a solution to address regional issues and reshape the Middle East. He asserted that a peace agreement with Saudi Arabia could be transformative for the Middle East, provided that the nuclear threat posed by Iran was eliminated.
He displayed contrasting maps showing Israel’s isolation at the time of its creation in 1948 and the six countries that have normalized relations with it, including four that did so in 2020 in the so-called Abraham Accords. “There’s no question the Abraham Accords heralded the dawn of a new age of peace.
He stated, "Such a peace will go a long way in ending the Arab-Israeli conflict and will encourage other Arab states to normalize their relations with Israel." He emphasized that it would also "promote broader reconciliation between Judaism and Islam, between Jerusalem and Mecca, and between the descendants of Isaac and the descendants of Ishmael."
Raisi had earlier in the day stated in Tehran that the solution to the Palestinian issue does not lie in normalization agreements or agreements like the Camp David Accords, Oslo Accords, or Sharm El Sheikh Memorandum, but rather with the Supreme Leader.
Netanyahu referred to Iran as a "fly in the ointment" in terms of regional peace and criticized the world for appeasing the regime's oppression at home and support for conflicts worldwide.
He called on the international community to do more to support "the brave women and men of Iran who despise this regime and yearn for freedom, who have bravely taken to the streets of Tehran and other Iranian cities and faced death."
He pointed out that the international community had been threatening "crippling" sanctions but turning a blind eye to Iran's uranium enrichment, alluding to the largely defunct 2015 Iran deal.
"Eight years ago, Western powers promised that if Iran violated the nuclear deal, sanctions would be reimposed," Netanyahu stated. "Well, Iran is violating the deal. But the sanctions have not been reimposed." He emphasized that this policy needed to change to halt Iran's nuclear ambitions.
Netanyahu also discussed the role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) advancements in reshaping the Middle East. While Iran's delegation engaged in a cat-and-mouse game to evade journalists during their stay in New York, with one of Iran International's reporters being attacked by a member of Raisi's entourage, Netanyahu was meeting individuals who could potentially turn his promises into reality.
He shared the stage with Tesla CEO Elon Musk at the auto manufacturer's Fremont factory, addressing a potentially contentious event before millions. He spoke about the risks and opportunities presented by artificial intelligence, as well as topics like antisemitism and judicial reform, all while appearing calm and well-prepared.
Netanyahu's message was particularly tailored to the two leaders he is attempting to engage in a legacy-defining agreement: Joe Biden and Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Additionally, Netanyahu had a first ever face-to-face meeting with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday, marking a milestone as the two countries have been gradually improving their relations, strained by disagreements over policies towards the Palestinians. Netanyahu suggested that if a solution could be found, Israel would cooperate, while Raisi had earlier asserted that "resistance against Israel" is the key to resolving the Palestinian crisis. Netanyahu and Erdogan also agreed to visit each other's countries in the near future