Netanyahu: Arab nations more realistic on Israeli-Palestinian conflict than EU

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the 2014 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Credit: World Economic Forum/Rimy Steinegger via

( Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the World Economic Forum on Thursday that a number of Arab nations are becoming more realistic about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict than many European Union countries.

"Saudi Arabia recognizes that Israel is an ally rather than an enemy because of the two principle threats that threaten them, Iran and Daesh (Islamic State),” Netanyahu said during an onstage interview with CNN's Fareed Zakaria in Davos, Switzerland.

"'Who can help us?' they ask. Obviously, Israel and the Sunni Arab states are not on opposite sides," said the prime minister.

Netanyahu continued, "I have one request, that the EU policy vis a vis Israel and the Palestinians merely reflect now the prevailing Arab policy to Israel and the Palestinians. There is a great shift taking place...we used to think that if we solved the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it would solve the larger Israeli Arab conflict. The more I look at it, the more I think it may be the other way around. That by nurturing these relationships that are taking place now with the Arab world, that could actually help us resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and we're actually working towards that end." 

Netanyahu’s remarks come as Israel is receiving criticism for declaring 154 hectares (380 acres) in the Jordan Valley as “state lands,” according to the COGAT (Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories) unit of the Israeli Defense Ministry, Reuters reported.

Posted on January 21, 2016 .