American actor Robert De Niro praised Israeli aggressiveness during a talk at the President’s Conference in Jerusalem on Wednesday.

“I always enjoy coming to Israel. Israelis are warm, they’re energetic people. Forthright. Very smart. I always like smart people. They’re nice people, you know. Aggressive, and I respect that aggressiveness because you need it in their situation,” he said.

The statement was akin to praise from Caesar, coming from the man who has made a career out of playing aggressive tough guys in movies from “Taxi Driver” to “Meet the Fockers.”

De Niro, 69, is one of several high-profile guests who came to Israel this week to celebrate President Shimon Peres’s 90th birthday and participate in his annual Facing Tomorrow conference. He flew back to New York late Wednesday.

Earlier in the day, De Niro visited the Western Wall with his son Julian, 17, putting a note in the Jewish holy site. He also visited the Western Wall Tunnels.