US Energy Secretary Rick Perry, left, shakes hands with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
(Haim Zach / GPO)

“Without Israel, the entire Middle East would collapse to the forces of Islamic radicalism,” Netanyahu told US Energy Secretary Rick Perry.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has declared that Israel is an “irreplaceable power.”

Meeting in Jerusalem with the visiting U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry, the Israeli prime minister explained that “there is no other power within the region without whose presence and activity here, I would say, the region would collapse.”

“Without Israel, without the things that we do and the things that we stand for and the things that we protect, I think the entire Middle East would collapse to the forces of Islamic radicalism.”

The prime minister stated that he had just met with a visiting delegation of journalists from Arab countries, who talked about “how so many in the Arab world want to have peace with Israel, normalization with Israel, want to come to Israel. They’re not always free to express it, and there’s always opposition from those who want to take us back, but they expressed that desire.”

On the matter of the U.S. energy secretary’s visit, a joint statement released by Perry and his Israeli counterpart, Yuval Steinitz, said that they are “committed to continuing the positive energy partnership between our two countries” such as gas projects in the Mediterranean Sea and “advancing energy security through cybersecurity collaboration, information sharing, and training in cybersecurity,”

They spoke of “utilizing clean energy technologies and resources to enhance our security, peace, and prosperity, and that of our partners,” according to the joint statement.

“The special bond between the United States and Israel is stronger than ever under the leadership of @realDonaldTrump and @IsraeliPM @Netanyahu,” Perry tweeted.

He also wrote that he had “a productive meeting…with Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs @Israel_katz on cybersecurity cooperation and regional challenges and opportunities” and toured the historic City of David in Jerusalem, saying that the “excavation and preservation of this historic place is awe-inspiring.”