President Reuven Rivlin on Sunday slammed the UN Security Council's anti-settlements resolution and US Secretary of State John Kerry's speech on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
"Resolution 2334 and the speech by the Secretary of State put Israel on trial," he told a group of Israeli ambassadors stationed in Europe.
"The adoption of the resolution proves that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict ... is on the world’s stage and we cannot look the other way in the hope it disappears," he added.
"In professional terms, Resolution 2334, which was adopted against Israel, is 'soft power.' Tanks, jets, and missiles were not launched against us and yet the decision harms the legitimacy of the State of Israel," Rivlin elaborated.
"If we will not be sure of our strength and the justness of our path, and in our ability to convince that we act justly, with respect, fairness, and with morality towards all the residents of this land, we will be stuck forever in this war," the president continued.
He went on to explain that "the existence of a clear disagreement between Israel and the international community on the question of the 1967 borders, is sacred to the resolution of the conflict. The international community still sees the 1967 borders as sacred to the solution of the conflict, while within the Israeli Jewish consensus, there are perhaps none who see a return to the 1967 borders as realistic. There are those who would enlarge or narrow, but the majority of the public knows what would not be accepted. This is a genuine, deep, and even sometimes difficult disagreement between Israel and the international community, yet it needs to be clear and open, and we have the duty to address and explain it."
The president told the Israeli diplomats that "military strength and erecting high walls will never suffice in safeguarding our sovereignty and security. The strength of the State of Israel is drawn since its first days from the combination of military and diplomatic strength ... today, perhaps more than ever; professional diplomacy is a central and crucial component to preserving Israel’s national and international resilience."
"The world around us is unsettled and shifting," he continued. "Axes are taking shape; some on a diplomatic level are more comfortable for Israel, like the Sunni axis, and some are hostile and dangerous, like the Syrian-Hezbollah-Iran axis. In the wider sense, these changes are not just regional. The shock-waves occurring in the Middle East impact more than metaphorically, but significantly, on Europe: as waves of refugees, as terror attacks, and Jihadists, which rove from here to there and from there to here."
"The political agenda for the continent in 2017 is certain to be far from boring for us, and certainly not for you," Rivlin added. "None more than you know the significance each of these elements for the State of Israel; on what occurs here, on its relations with the West, with the whole world."
Rivlin also expressed his condolences to the families of the 39 victims of the New Year's Eve terror attack at an Istanbul nightclub, which include Israeli Leann Nasser from Tira.
"Last night, Turkey endured yet another terror attack. I send from here my sympathies and wishes for better days, to the families who have lost their sons and daughters, and to the Turkish people after another disaster which has befallen them," he said.