Bennett to Christian Media Summit: Iranian terror is sweeping the region

Netanyahu tells 5th annual gathering of news executives and opinion leaders that Palestinians don’t want peace with Israel and have ‘lost their veto’

Lazar Berman is The Times of Israel's diplomatic reporter

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett addresses the Fifth Annual Christian Media Summit in Jerusalem, on November 11, 2021. (YouTube/screenshot)
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett addresses the Fifth Annual Christian Media Summit in Jerusalem, on November 11, 2021. (YouTube/screenshot)

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett focused on Iran in a recorded address to the 5th annual Christian Media Summit on Thursday, saying Tehran was instigating terror that threatened Israel and other countries.

“As the world fights this invisible enemy,” he said, referring to COVID-19, “in Israel, we’re also fighting a very visible enemy — radical militant Islam that is sweeping across the Middle East.”

“The terror that begins in Tehran seeks to destroy Israel, dominate the world and drive it into a dark abyss,” he continued.

Bennett also cited positive developments for Israel, saying it was “facing a new dawn” after forging ties the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain last year.

“This conference commemorates the signing of the Abraham Accords, which have contributed greatly to regional stability, prosperity and peace between Israel and her neighbors,” he said.

He added that Israel is the only place in the Middle East “where the Christian community is growing, thriving and prospering.”

“Today, more than ever, Christians stand united with Israel,” he said. “And today, more than ever, Israel stands united with Christians.”

According to the host Government Press Office, over 150 news executives and opinion leaders in Christian media attended this year’s virtual gathering, which it said “is meant to better understanding and strengthen the friendship between Christians” and Israel.

Former prime minister and opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu lauded the Abraham Accords, which were brokered while he was premier, during his speech to the summit.

He portrayed the peace agreements as a defeat for Palestinian rejectionism, calling it the “first time Israel made peace for peace.”

Netanyahu called this a “novel concept” and “the way of the future.”

Former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks to the 5th annual Christian Media Summit, on November 11, 2021. (Screenshot)

“We removed the Palestinian veto,” Netanyahu said. “Palestinians don’t want peace with Israel. The Palestinians don’t want a state next to Israel. They want a state instead of Israel.”

Netanyahu added that Arab countries were also pushed toward Israel because of the specter of a nuclear Iran, which “wants to dominate and conquer all these Arab lands and turn everyone against these forces of moderation and the future.”

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, in his address to the summit, discussed “the important role Christian media plays in connecting Christians everywhere with Israel, and in strengthening the friendship between Christians and Jews around the world.”

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid speaks during a Yesh Atid faction meeting at the Knesset on November 8, 2021. (Oliiver Fitoussi/Flash90)

He said that Christian Zionists could help expand the “circle of peace” and build upon the Abraham Accords.

“Israel is now entering a new era,” Lapid said. “An era of peace, friendship, and coexistence. An era based on the idea that what unites us is greater than what divides us. An era of peace between countries and between peoples.”

The summit included a session with Arab journalists from Abraham Accords countries, a talk on Black Christian Zionism, and messages from well-known rabbis and authors.

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