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4 Jan, 2023 22:18

Netanyahu announces foreign policy change

Israel will now defend its interests instead of “bowing” to international demands, the newly re-elected prime minister has declared
Netanyahu announces foreign policy change

Israel will revise its foreign policy to make it more consistent with its national priorities, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who formed a new government last month following snap elections, said on Wednesday. The country will no longer bow its head in response to the world’s demands, he told a conference held by the Betar Zionist movement in Jerusalem.

“Our voice will be heard in the world,” the prime minister said as he announced “a revision of foreign relations” among other policy changes his newly-formed government is planning to introduce. “Instead of … giving in to dictates from the international community, we will proudly uphold our interests in the State of Israel and the Land of Israel,” he added.

Netanyahu did not refer to any specific nations or international organizations that could be affected by this new policy. Neither did he mention the ongoing conflict between Moscow and Kiev. However, the newly-appointed Israeli foreign minister, Eli Cohen, announced his country’s policy shift on Ukraine as well.

Israel would make fewer public statements on the issue, the minister said, while still promising “significant” humanitarian aid to Kiev. He also confirmed that he would be speaking with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, directly this week. Cohen added that there was no replacement for Israel-US relations and called them one of the nation’s top priorities.

Relations between Russia and Israel took a nosedive under Netanyahu’s predecessor, Yair Lapid, who publicly condemned Moscow due to its military operation in Ukraine. Russia responded back then by calling the statements “absolutely unconstructive.”