PM Netanyahu's Remarks at the Start of the Weekly Cabinet Meeting 15.10.1715 October, 2017
I would like to begin this Cabinet meeting by commending US President Donald Trump for his important decision on Iran.
It is completely clear, if one examines this agreement, if nothing changes, that Iran will have an arsenal of nuclear weapons within a few years. This agreement does not block this. It creates a sure path to the production of an enrichment system that could quickly bring Iran to dozens of atomic bombs and even more; therefore, the decision is very important.
President Trump's decision creates an opportunity to fix the nuclear agreement and stop Iran's increasing aggression in our region. I believe that any responsible government, and whoever seeks to promote peace and security in the world, needs to take advantage of the opportunity that President Trump's decision has created in order to improve the agreement or abrogate it and, of course, stop Iran's aggression. It is self-evident that the President's decision to impose sanctions on the Revolutionary Guards needs to be supported. The Revolutionary Guards are Iran's main arm in spreading terror around the world and, of course, in spreading its aggression throughout the Middle East.
Last week I instructed the Foreign Ministry to prepare for Israel's withdrawal from UNESCO, which has become a platform for delusional, anti-Israeli and – in effect – anti-Semitic decisions. We hope that the organization will change its ways but we are not pinning hopes on this; therefore, my directive to leave the organization stands and we will move forward to carry it out.
This week we will mark 100 years since the tragic death of Sarah Aaronsohn, a member of the NILI underground, and the fall of NILI, [an acronym for] the Eternal One of Israel will not lie. [See I Samuel 15:29]
NILI and its founder, Aaron Aaronsohn, have an honored place in the revival of Israel in the new era. Aaronsohn was multi-faceted, an internationally known scientist who identified wild wheat that has since fed hundreds of millions of people. It was he who renewed scientific agriculture in the State of Israel, and in California, because they invited him there. Aaronsohn was also a great statesman. He and his friends founded the underground that provided the British army with high-value, vital intelligence that greatly assisted in bringing about the end of Ottoman rule in the Land of Israel.
After the war, the British defined him – in official documents – as their most important agent in World War I. Aaronsohn personally had very great influence, I would even say decisive, on several British personalities who later advanced and even worded the Balfour Declaration. Therefore, Israeli children and citizens should know more about the activities of Aaron Aaronsohn and his splendid and heroic family for their important work in liberating the Land of Israel. To this end, I have decided, along with my fellow ministers, to submit to the Cabinet a decision, which will be presented today, that the government will, over the next two years, allocate a sum of NIS 10 million to maintain the Beit Aaronsohn NILI Museum in Zichron Yaakov, from which the underground operated.
I would like to thank my colleague Minister Zeev Elkin, who is also responsible for heritage affairs, Housing Minister Yoav Galant and Tourism Minister Yariv Levin, who also contributed to this important project from their ministries' budgets. I think that it is an important milestone and I hope that in the coming years all Israeli children will be able to tell me about NILI and the Aaronsohn family instead of me telling them.