PM Lapid's Remarks at the Joint Statements with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz
Israel - Prime Minister's Office
Following are Prime Minister Yair Lapid's remarks at the joint statements with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, today in Berlin:
"My friend, Chancellor Scholz,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am the son of Tommy Lapid, a Holocaust survivor from the Budapest Ghetto.
I am the grandson of Bela Lampel, who was murdered at the Mauthausen concentration camp.
And now I stand here on German soil as Prime Minister of the Jewish State.
Later today, the Chancellor and I will travel to Wannsee House, where the infamous Wannsee Conference took place.
Where the "Final Solution to the Jewish Problem" was planned.
The result of that conference was that the death camps were built.
We will meet there with Holocaust survivors and their grandchildren who came especially from Israel.
This is a moment of great victory for them.
They survived, they established an independent and strong country.
They return here with their heads held high as free people.
I imagine, sir, that this is a complicated meeting for you.
I truly appreciate your moral courage and your willingness to be a part of this.
The deep ties between our countries, Mr. Chancellor, are proof that humanity always has a choice.
Evil can be replaced by friendship.
Brutality can be replaced by human kindness and the ability to cooperate.
I know Chancellor, that you are deeply committed to the right choice.
Just yesterday, our two countries signed an important MOU on youth exchange.
And this visit aims to conclude the final details of a strategic partnership agreement between Israel and Germany.
It follows the strategic dialogue between our teams in Jerusalem.
This partnership has economic and security benefits.
It is a practical expression of Germany's commitment to Israel's security as a Jewish and democratic state, a commitment you reaffirmed when you took office.
Israel, for its part, will play a role in building Germany's new defense force, mainly in the field of air defense.
Some will certainly say that a military partnership between Germany and Israel is a historical irony...
I consider it to be proof that we have drawn the necessary conclusions from the past:
Talk does not stop evil.
Liberal democracies must be willing and able to defend themselves.
Sometimes, freedom must be defended with force.
Our partnership also requires us to act together against the growing threat of Iran becoming a nuclear state.
Germany is one of the E3 countries, and this is part of the responsibility it has taken upon itself.
I presented the Chancellor sensitive and relevant intelligence information on this subject.
As always, in our close relations with Germany, we were granted full attention and full cooperation.
I welcomed the statement by Germany, France and the UK on the JCPOA. It is time to move past the failed negotiations with Iran. They cannot and will not achieve the goal we all share - to stop Iran getting a nuclear weapon.
We discussed the need for a new strategy to stop Iran's nuclear program.
A nuclear Iran will destabilize the Middle East, and create a nuclear arms race that will endanger the entire world.
Returning to the nuclear agreement, under the current conditions, would be a critical mistake.
Removing sanctions and pouring hundreds of billions of dollars into Iran will bring waves of terrorism, not only to the Middle East, but also across Europe.
There is another way. A better way forward for the Middle East. It is the path of the Abraham Accords and the Negev Forum. A path based on a shared vision for the region. A vision not of war, extremism and terrorism but of peace, tolerance and cooperation.
Our hand is outstretched for peace, with all our neighbors. And it always will be.
Chancellor Scholz, my friend,
Thank you for your warm welcome here in Berlin. As we remember our past, I look forward to continue pursuing our shared vision for the future.
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