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Netanyahu stresses unity, security at pre-Rosh Hashanah toast

"We are working vigorously that our country should have a bright future, and I also hope that a wonderful year is before us," said the Israeli prime minister.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hosts the annual pre-Rosh Hashanah toast at his office in Jerusalem, Sept. 13, 2023. Photo by Haim Zach/GPO.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hosts the annual pre-Rosh Hashanah toast at his office in Jerusalem, Sept. 13, 2023. Photo by Haim Zach/GPO.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hosted the annual pre-Rosh Hashanah toast at his official office in Jerusalem, wishing attendees the traditional greeting of “a good and sweet year.”

“I wish that we may all, this year, have more unity among the people, less division among us, and it starts with all of us—or at least most of us—remembering that we are one people, with one state, one army, a common past and a common future,” said Netanyahu.

“In a democracy, there are always disagreements; that is the nature of democracy. However, if we agree to agree, we can reach consensus. This is our aspiration. I think that it is possible,” he added in reference to the ongoing internal debate in the country over the government’s judicial reform initiative.

Netanyahu next turned to security, calling it the “first and most important challenge” facing the Jewish state.

“There is an effort being led by Iran and its proxies to increase the terrorism, especially in Judea and Samaria but not just there. We are fighting them forcefully. Since the start of the year, we have eliminated almost 170 terrorists. But, of course, the hand is still extended [in peace]. This is a relentless struggle, and we will settle accounts with the murderers and those who sent them,” said the premier.

“At the same time,” he noted, “we also have a good opportunity, which is that having achieved the Abraham Accords, we are working—together with our American friends—to expand the circle of peace in a way that will change the face of Israel, the Middle East and, to a large degree, the world.

“We intend to have peace with Saudi Arabia, which will pave the way to turning the entire region into a major corridor of vital infrastructure. Israel is becoming a bridgehead to the world. This is an immense change. Each one of you will feel it,” continued Netanyahu.

“There is a very big future here and if it is realized, it will be realized this year. This is a major blessing—at the start of a year and its blessings, and this is a major blessing. We are working vigorously so that our country should have a bright future, and I also hope that a wonderful year is before us,” concluded the prime minister.

The two-day Rosh Hashanah holiday begins on Friday at sundown.

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