Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Credit: Cherie Cullen.
(JNS.org) In a major foreign policy speech on Thursday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel fully supports the United States in its counter-terrorism campaign against the Islamic State, but stopped short of elaborating on what steps Israel would take.
Netanyahu said Islamic State has a similar ideology to other radical Islamic groups like Hamas, Hezbollah, al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, and al-Shabab.
“These groups must be fought. They must be rolled back and they must ultimately be defeated. That’s why Israel fully supports President [Barack] Obama’s call for united actions against ISIS,” he said.
Netanyahu cautioned that weakening Sunni terrorists should not result in strengthening Shi’a terrorists and Iran, which he called the “ultimate terror” if it acquires nuclear weapons.
The Israeli leader also said some Arab states have started to re-evaluate their view of Israel in light of the threat posed by Islamic State and other terror groups.
“They understand Israel is not their enemy but their ally in the fight against this common enemy,” said Netanyahu. “I believe that presents an opportunity for cooperation and perhaps an opportunity for peace.”
Meanwhile, 10 Arab countries have come out in support of the U.S. counter-terrorism campaign against Islamic State. These countries include Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, as well as six Persian Gulf states–including rivals Saudi Arabia and Qatar. But Turkey, a U.S. ally and a NATO member, has said it will not allow the U.S. to launch airstrikes from its territory and will not take part in combat missions.
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