PM Netanyahu: Mr. President, it's a pleasure to welcome you to Jerusalem. You're a great friend of Israel, and it's a pleasure to welcome you and your delegation.
First, let me express the condolences of the people of Israel for the passing of Prime Minister Mazowiecki. He was one of the founders of modern, democratic Poland. We understand this as a people, the role of formative leaders in formative transitions.
You know, Mr. President, I have had the opportunity to make about half a dozen trips to Poland, and on each visit, I was impressed by the great achievements of the Polish people. Poland can be justly proud of its economic success. You have achieved tremendous growth and a tremendous increase in your standard of living. And you can also be proud of your strong democracy. And you personally have played an important role in establishing that democracy, building it. I know that you paid a personal price, and people have a way of repaying people, leaders who have paid their dues.
Mr. President, our two peoples share a long history together. It's a history that contains periods of both great mutual achievement and incomparable suffering. The murder of millions of Polish Jews by the Nazis on Polish soil is the most unparalleled strategy in the history of mankind. My wife's father's family was wiped out and this is mirrored in the stories of many, many other Israelis and Jews around the world who personally experienced, directly or through their family members this calamity and this catastrophe.
We will never forget the victims of the Holocaust; we will never forget this ultimate crime against humanity, the crime of genocide; and we will never forget and never lessen our commitment to make sure this never happens again.
I also know the tremendous suffering that the Nazi occupation brought to the people of Poland, and to the people of Warsaw, and to the extraordinary struggle of heroism and courage that accompanied this suffering.
So both our peoples have struggled against tremendous adversity. We have both fought for our independence and freedom. In our case, I'd say, we fought for our actual survival. And we both triumphed. So that means we don't take anything for granted. Today, we see a strong, free Poland, a strong, free Israel – two confident, prosperous, proud democracies. And I know that in Poland, we have a true friend. We cooperate in so many fields: in trade and science and technology, in culture and education. In my recent visit to Poland with Prime Minister Tusk, we strengthened that cooperation even more, and I was impressed in all these fields how we can help one another strengthen our relationship, strengthen our economies. And we're doing it. And your visit is an opportunity to strengthen it even further, especially in another field in which we cooperate, which is international affairs and the field of security.
Mr. President, while we are meeting here in Jerusalem, tens of thousands of people are chanting "death to America" in the streets of Tehran. They're commemorating, even celebrating the 1979 seizure of the US Embassy. If you want to see the true face of this regime, see it there – chants of "death to America". Because there's a debate now in the West: what is the true face of Iran?
Here's what I want to say… There's a debate in the West today. People are saying: what is the true face of the Iranian regime, because they have obviously changed their style. They speak now in English and they smile. Yeah, they smile in the talks in Europe, but that regime, which is controlled by Khamenei, has tens of thousands of people on the streets of Tehran today chanting "death to America", celebrating the seizure of the US Embassy in 1979, 34 years ago. They're celebrating, and Khamenei, who is the real ruler of Iran, yesterday says: America is the most hated country in the world.
You can't believe a word of what they say. And he fuels that hatred. That's the real Iran. That's the boss of Iran. That's what Iran wants to do, this country that sends terrorists around the world, including to Washington, DC to kill the Saudi ambassador; this country that participates in the mass murder of tens of thousands of men, women and children in Damascus; this country that continuously defies UN Security Council resolutions telling it to stop developing nuclear weapons. This country is saying, chanting "death to America".
Do we want this country to have nuclear weapons? And the answer is: absolutely not and they shouldn't be given a free pass. They shouldn't be given a partial deal that allows them to keep most or all of their nuclear weapons capability for the exchange of reducing sanctions. America and the P5+1 should listen to the chants of "death to America" in Tehran, give no discounts to Tehran.
Mr. President, Poland and Israel recognize a tyrannical regime when they see one. And the tyrants of Tehran should not have centrifuges or plutonium to build nuclear weapons. This is the interest of Israel and the Arab world and Europe and America and Russia and China – anybody in the world who wants to see peace has that same interest.
And we have many other interests, which I look forward to discuss with you. This is not your first visit to Israel, but it's your first visit to Israel as the President of Poland. I welcome you warmly in the name of the Government of Israel and the people of Israel. Welcome to Jerusalem.
President Komorowski: Prime Minister, Polish-Israel or actually Polish-Jewish relations have really very long and very rich history. From that history, we can take handfuls of good measures, good incentives and what ideas with which we can contribute to the development of good relations between our states and our nations today.
I want to tell you openly that it is always a great pleasure for me to find when I speak with other people, with my interlocutors, that they are able to find in their own history and their own family the traditions that have their roots in the many centuries of the presence of Jewish communities in the territory of Poland. It is always a very nice feeling and really it gives me this soft soft that I can hear the family histories that are uttered by the President of the State of Israel, Prime Minister, the head of the National Security Council. It is important because it also illustrates very friendly relations between Poland and Israel and our two nations.
And I would like to thank you very much, Prime Minister, for reminding here the name of a person who is very important for all of us here, Prime Minister Tadeusz Mazowiecki, who was the first non-Communist prime minister of the government in the pre-independent and democratic Poland. And I also want to say that it is really good to note that it was during the government of Tadeusz Mazowiecki, the turn of the systems in Poland – '89-'90 – when a decision was made to establish diplomatic relations between Poland and the State of Israel. That decision was executed in 1990. And I wish to stress that the newly regained freedom and democracy in Poland signified the new relations between Poland and Israel, Poland and Jewish people.
So I'm really glad that the relations between our two countries today, Poland and Israel, are not only focusing on the reflecting on the past together, the tragic past, the past that was especially difficult and tragic in the period of the Nazi occupation and the Jewish Holocaust. But it is really a possibility for us now to develop direct relations, human relations, between our young people in Israel and in Poland, representatives of our military, our business community, our trade, our culture. An element of this process is also the intensification of political and diplomatic relations.
To tell you openly, I believe that we can use this possibility of cooperation and strengthening our relations not only to pursue our economy or our economic goals, but also to share our experiences. And our experiences have roots in the fact that both of our nations used to live, or have been living in the area that is not always very friendly.
As you know, Prime Minister, Poland happens to be located for thousands of years between Germany and Russia, two mighty powers. That is why we understand perfectly well the determination of the State of Israel and the pride of the State of Israel to build a state to defend against their adversaries. And that is also the Polish experience, that you have to be determined in order to avoid taking once again the lesson of difficult loss of our independence. One of the Polish experiences of the last 25 years is also the ability to be able to overcome the barriers of history and historic resentments, and try to build reconciliation and understanding and cooperation with those who have been believed to be our eternal enemies.
And I would like to stress once again that we in Poland understand very well the strong position and the strong policy of Israel to defend your security, and we in Poland, we hope that the security of this region will be rooted in the peace talks and the attempts to seek security for the State of Israel and for the whole region. And as friends of Israel, we are keeping fingers crossed for all the processes that go in the direction of increasing the security of the State of Israel and the development of the better statehood of Israel and the betterhood [sic] of the whole region.
PM Netanyahu: I would say that we seek a secure and genuine peace with the Palestinians, and we will never allow Iran to have nuclear weapons or nuclear weapon capability. That sums up our commitment for peace and security.
President Komorowski: It is an extremely important element to provide for the security of Israel and the whole of the region, and we understand it.
PM Netanyahu: Well, I'm sure you do, and I'd like to invite you to lunch.
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