Netanyahu: Israeli-Palestinian Conflict ‘Relatively Marginal Issue’ In Mideast

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu opens the weekly cabinet meeting at his Jerusalem's office on July 3, 2016

The Times of Israel reports: Nearly a week after 14 nations, including four permanent members of the UN Security Council, voted in favor of a resolution demanding Israel stop settlement activity in territory claimed by the Palestinians for a future state, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared Thursday that the Palestinian issue was relatively “marginal.”

Speaking at a graduation ceremony for Israeli Air Force pilots in the Hatzerim air force base a day after US Secretary of State John Kerry warned that Israel’s settlement enterprise was killing any chance of peace, Netanyahu said that “with all due respect to those who talk about the heart of the conflict in the Middle East,” the greatest and most genuine catastrophe affecting the region was “the scope of the destruction of [neighboring] states and cities, the mass slaughter of innocents, the endless flow of refugees to other continents” — a reference to the raging civil war in Syria — and not “our conflict with the Palestinians, which is a relatively marginal issue.”

The real issue, Netanyahu argued, is “the collapse of whole nations, of whole states in civil wars, and in the wars of radical Islam over the future of the Arab and Muslim world.”

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