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Netanyahu Launches Unprecedented Attack Against EU | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban (R) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attend a news conference in Budapest, Hungary, July 18, 2017. REUTERS/Bernadett Szabo

Tel Aviv– Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has launched an unprecedented attack against the European Union due to its policy with regards to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Speaking during a closed-door meeting of eastern European leaders in Budapest, the Israeli premier said the EU would wither and die if it did not change its policy towards Israel.

Netanyahu’s remarks were made in a meeting with the leaders of Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic and Poland, whom Netanyahu urged to close their doors to refugees from Africa and the Middle East.

“The European Union is the only association of countries in the world that conditions the relations with Israel, which produces technology in every area, on political conditions. The only ones! Nobody does it,” Netanyahu said before officials realized reporters were overhearing the meeting and cut the feed.

“It’s crazy. It’s actually crazy,” he added.

Netanyahu went even further when he said in an educational tone that was not free of arrogance: “I think Europe has to decide if it wants to live and thrive or if it wants to shrivel and disappear.”

“I am not very politically correct. I know that’s a shock to some of you. It’s a joke. But the truth is the truth – both about Europe’s security and Europe’s economic future. Both of these concerns mandate a different policy toward Israel,” he added.

Responding to the Israeli premier’s remarks, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said the EU was imposing conditions even on EU countries, but Netanyahu interrupted him saying: “Here is a culture issue. They should not do so. We, in Israel, are establishing relations with Arab countries. Even Arabs talk to Israel. They talk about technology, about everything we’re talking about here.”

Netanyahu continued his aggressive attack and spoke in a hostile manner about the US administration policy in the Middle East under former President Barack Obama.

“Israel had a big problem with the United States during his time,” he said.

“Now it’s different. There’s a tough attitude toward Iran, a renewed American presence in the region, and more US bombing. That’s positive,” he added.