Netanyahu with Sarkozy
Photo: Avi Ohayon, GPO

PM: Don't judge Arabs by Makhoul

After meeting Sarkozy in Paris, Netanyahu warns against discrimination based on espionage case

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is urging Israelis to refrain from judging all Arabs based on espionage charges against two prominent community members, writer Ameer Makhoul and Balad activist Omar Said.


The prime minister made the comments during his visit to Paris Thursday.


"Israel has a legal system and I suggest we leave this case in its hands," he said. "We must not make general assumptions regarding the loyalty of Israeli-Arabs, but examine each case separately."


"I have total faith in the system," he said.


Netanyahu met with French President Nicolas Sarkozy Thursday. The two discussed alternatives to the Iranian fuel swap deal and efforts to revive talks between Israel and the Palestinians.


"We want to progress as quickly as possible to direct talks, because the issues we face with the Palestinians can only be solved if we sit down together," Netanyahu said following the meeting.


He also spoke about Israel's new membership in OECD, which he said signified "international recognition of the State of Israel's progress".


This is not only (the organization's) recognition for what we've achieved so far but also its belief in our ability to continue in the same way in the future." he said. "We cannot escape reforms - especially competition-enabling ones."


The prime minister expressed his hope that Israel would take its place among the world's 15 leading economies within the next 10 years in terms of production.


The Jewish State is currently ranked 22nd among the 31 OECD members.

Netanyahu in Paris (Photo: Reuters)


"Israel has become a technological empire. One of the challenges we face now is developing economic ties with the Palestinians, our neighbors. Cooperation similar to that which we have with Jordan, Egypt, and who knows, maybe one day with Syria and Lebanon, would benefit us all," he said.


Upon departing from Paris, Netanyahu is scheduled to fly to Ottawa, where he will meet with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Next week he is scheduled to meet with US President Barack Obama at the White House.


פרסום ראשון: 05.27.10, 19:49
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