by WorldTribune Staff, July 20, 2017
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blasted the European Union for “undermining” Israel and also slammed former U.S. President Barack Obama in audio from a closed-door meeting that was mistakenly released to the press on July 19.
Netanyahu made the comments while meeting in Budapest with leaders of the Visegard Group, which included the prime ministers of Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. The microphone Netanyahu was wearing remained activated and his words could be heard by journalists outside the meeting, according to a report by the Jerusalem Post.
The Israeli leader said the EU should “Stop attacking Israel. Support it. Europe is disengaging itself from the world’s biggest innovation hub. There’s no sense [to that]. Europe is undermining its own security by undermining Israel.”
Netanyahu said that “The European Union is the only organization that stipulates its relations with Israel, which provides technology, on political conditions. ‘No one does that. It’s insane. It’s against Europe’s interests. I suggest that first and foremost you help us and Europe speed up [the formation of] agreements with Israel, and that you pass a message to your colleagues in Europe on how to help Europe. Everything [Israel can offer] is at your disposal, in any field,” he told the European leaders.
The audio connection to the journalists outside the closed-door meeting was immediately cut when it was discovered that the earpiece-clad reporters could hear everything the prime minister was saying.
But before the audio was cut, the prime minister could be heard speaking about U.S.-Israel relations.
“We had a big problem with the United States. It’s different now. There’s a renewed American presence in the region [Syria and the Middle East at large] and more bombings. That’s positive,” he said, implying that he approved of the new tone set at the White House by President Donald Trump.
Netanyahu also discussed the threat posed by Iran, particularly Teheran’s backing of Lebanon-based terror group Hizbullah.
“I told Putin – if we see Iran by our border passing weapons to Hezbollah, we’ll take military action,” Netanyahu said.
“We’ve done this [in the past] a dozen times,” Netanyahu said, referencing Israeli airstrikes on Hizbullah military targets in retaliation for the terror organization’s attempt to build its arsenal of weapons.