Netanyahu underscored the necessity for a powerful Israel to face the challenges in the region.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met on Tuesday with Israel National Defense College course participants at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem, imparting to them that in “our region, … the chances that the weak will survive are not high. It is the strong who survive.”
Addressing the senior officers who come from various defense arms of the state of Israel, Netanyahu shared with them Israel’s national defense policy as he “see[s] it.”
“It is important to know where you are going, where we are going, what our aspirations are and what our concepts are. These are very important,” Netanyahu said
“In a small country like Israel one thing is certain: We must maintain defensive, offensive and deterrent capabilities, the latter forming the basis of our defensive capability.”
He pointed to “one basic distinction, which is certainly true in the Middle East; I think it already embraces the world. It could be that this distinction was not clear at the outset but I think that today it is shared by almost everyone.”
“The simplest thing, at least in our region, is that the chances that the weak will survive are not high. It is the strong who survive, I would say the wise as well, but the weak will not survive,” he stated, coming to the conclusion that “the basic condition for the existence of a state such as ours, in a place where whole countries and states are simply destroyed very quickly is that one must be strong and not weak.”
“Thus the first thing I say is ‘What are the strengths that define the overall might of the State of Israel?’ I say that there are four such strengths and the first is military strength. Without this one has nothing,” he underscored.
Netanyahu added that Israel “must be capable of defending” itself. Therefore, his policy “is zero trickles. There is no such thing as a trickle or drizzle,” he said, referring to a term used by some to describe sporadic rocket fire launched by Palestinian terrorists out of Gaza into Israel.
“We respond immediately,” he stated. “This has not always been the policy but it is proving itself.”
The 2017 Global Fire Power 2017 Index ranked Israel as the 15th strongest military in the world, out of 133, and the most powerful in the Middle East.