Netanyahu tells Likud: ‘We’ll continue to lead Israel for many years to come’
Speaking at his party's Jewish new year event, prime minister boasts: 'We've restored Israel's honor and control of our destiny'
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu boasted Thursday of Israelis’ reported contentment under his stewardship, and said his Likud party would continue to lead Israel in the coming years.
“Together we will continue to lead Israel for many years to come,” he said at a toast with Likud party officials, ministers, MKs, and hundreds of party activists, ahead of the upcoming Jewish new year.
“I want to begin the new year with a question — are things good for you in Israel?” he asked. “I wanted to check because the Central Bureau of Statistics asked people and found that 89 percent of Israelis were happy or very happy to live in Israel. It is good for them to live in Israel,” he said. “This is an incredible number.”
Netanyahu then had a dig at the media for failing to report such good news.
“This should have been the top item in the news,” he stated. “Did you see it on television? Did you see it with the sour commentators? Of course not, because it is not even sweet-and-sour, it is sweet news, and true.”
The prime minister also touted Israel’s accomplishments to his cheering supporters.
“Look how far we’ve come,” he said. “We have restored the honor and control of our destiny” to Israel.
“We have a state, we have sovereignty, we have the IDF and we are ranked as a power — perhaps even a world power. We have returned to ourselves first and foremost the ability to protect ourselves with our own forces,” he said. “First of all, before anything else we’ve regained the ability to defend ourselves against any threat… We maintain Israel’s security with determination and responsibility.”
The prime minister, who also serves as the country’s foreign minister, flaunted his diplomatic successes over the past year, noting Washington’s relocation of the US embassy to Jerusalem and its pullout from the nuclear deal with Iran.
“Only this week, leaders from Albania, Germany, Bulgaria, and the Philippines were here,” he said. “And I learned something interesting about the president of the Philippines — his daughter is called Sarah and his grandson is named Yair. What a world.”
Netanyahu’s wife is named Sarah and his eldest son is Yair.
This week, however, also saw Paraguay announce that it was moving its embassy back out of Jerusalem, four months after it relocated to the capital from Tel Aviv.
Earlier in the day the prime minister hailed the Shin Bet security agency for its work in preventing terror attacks against Israelis, saying, “Not a day goes by in which there is no thwarting” of an attack.
“The Shin Bet deters, thwarts, and defeats on a daily and hourly basis those who want us dead,” Netanyahu said at a toast with security chiefs for the upcoming Jewish new year.
He added: “If the State of Israel stands apart from the shocks roiling our region and from what is occurring in the countries around us — and it stands very much apart — it is not because there are no attacks or attempted attacks. It is because there is defense, counter-action, and deterrence. Your part in this is considerable.”
Latest polls show the Likud retaining or adding to its current 30 seats in the Knesset if elections were held today. A poll this week predicted it would win 36 seats in the 120-member parliament.