UNITED STATES MISSION TO THE UNITED NATIONS
Office of Press and Public Diplomacy
November 15, 2021
PRIME MINISTER NAFTALI BENNETT: Madam Ambassador, welcome to Israel.
AMBASSADOR LINDA THOMAS-GREENFIELD: Thank you.
PRIME MINISTER BENNETT: It’s such a pleasure to see you again, and I’m especially happy to have this meeting here in Jerusalem. And I hope that during your visit here in our ancient and modern homeland you can see firsthand what Israel and what Israelis are really about.
Israel’s a wonderful country with wonderful people, vibrant democracy, and a remarkable spirit. And I’m sure you’ll feel it; you’ll feel the atmosphere here. And there’s such a stark contrast between the reality on the ground here and what one might hear in the corridors of the United Nations. And I want to thank you for representing a voice of decency and reason in an institution, that I think we can both objectively say, is pretty biased in terms of its treatment with – of Israel.
And I hope that during your visit here you can get a better picture of the unique challenges that we’re facing here, you know, with Iranian backed terror groups across our borders. And I know that you’ve always been standing up for us – you and the United States – throughout the years, standing on Israel’s side and serving as a voice of truth.
Madam Ambassador, you’ve dedicated most of your life to the diplomatic service in pursuit of justice and tolerance and you’ve made it clear that you intend to continue pursuing those in the United Nations. So, I wish you a wonderful visit here in Israel, and we view you as a true friend.
AMBASSADOR THOMAS-GREENFIELD: Wow. Well, thank you, Prime Minister Bennett. This is now our third meeting –
FOREIGN MINISTER BENNET: Yeah.
AMBASSADOR THOMAS-GREENFIELD: As I met you with the President and then met you at the Security Council. And so, I was honored that you welcomed me to Israel, and I’m glad to be here this evening as we strengthen and build again our nations’ 73-year partnership – before either of us was born. President Biden shares Prime Minister Bennett’s commitment to a “new spirit of cooperation” as we address the full range of regional and global challenges together.
Our countries share a strong common agenda at the UN and across the globe – from fighting COVID-19 to expanding democracy to strengthening Israel’s ties with its Arab neighbors, Muslim-majority countries, and other nations. The Abraham Accords and Israel’s other normalization agreements make its partners and the entire region safer and more prosperous.
And I look forward to discussing the United States’ support for both Israeli and Palestinian civil society advocates working to strengthen peace, advance human rights, and build a shared future where every child grows up with hope and with opportunity. We believe Israelis and Palestinians alike deserve equal measures of freedom, prosperity, security, and dignity. This is important in its own right and as a means to advance prospects for a two-state solution.
This Administration is committed to strengthening all aspects of the U.S.-Israel partnership, and I look forward to continuing to further our friendship in the days to come. I particularly want to thank you, Prime Minister Bennett, again for hosting me. I’ve spent about 12 hours – less than 12 hours – on the ground so far, and I have to tell you it’s been an extraordinary visit. And I have so much appreciated all of the hospitality Israel has shown me so far. And I look forward to our meeting and our discussion. Thank you very much.
PRIME MINISTER BENNETT: Thank you very much. Thank you. And I hope you have an opportunity to see Jerusalem and Tel Aviv and not only politicians.
AMBASSADOR THOMAS-GREENFIELD: I actually got a good opportunity to see Jerusalem today. I’m not going to see Tel Aviv on this trip, but it means now –
PRIME MINISTER BENNETT: That’s good. It means you got to come back.
AMBASSADOR THOMAS-GREENFIELD: I have to come back.
PRIME MINISTER BENNETT: There you go. OK. Well, thank you very much.
AMBASSADOR THOMAS-GREENFIELD: Thank you.