Netanyahu: Mideast Instability Could Last for Years

PM stresses the importance of guaranteeing that peace agreements with Egypt, Jordan don’t 'evaporate' like the relations Israel once had with Turkey and Iran.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cautioned that the Middle East is going through a period of instability that may last for many years, during a speech to the Knesset on Wednesday.

"We hope the Arab world and Iran will undergo true democratization, but we must prepare ourselves for every outcome," said Netanyahu while speaking before the Knesset. "We are going through an unstable transitional era that has the potential to continue for many years."

Netanyahu also went on to warn of the consequences that the recent Arab revolutions may have for Israel.

"There may be debate regarding a peace partner today, but there is uncertainty regarding the existence of a partner tomorrow… The best intelligence experts worldwide did not predict and cannot explain how this tumult will end. We do not know what will happen to our west, and we do not know what will happen to our east, and who can determine whether the Palestinian state – in the middle of it all – will hold on?"

Netanyahu-Tomer Appelbaum-Feb. 2, 2011
Tomer Appelbaum

"What is the conclusion of all this? Just as the de-facto peace relations that we had with one country – Iran – evaporated in a moment, just as the more official, more established relationship that even included joint military exercises and 400,000 tourists evaporated overnight when the Turkish prime minister attacked our President Peres in Davos, today we want to guarantee that the peace agreements with Egypt and Jordan will remain solid."

Netanyahu also claimed that "The entire world told us the reason for instability in the Middle East is the Israel-Palestinian conflict. We begged to differ. There is a problem here that we wish to solve, but we must take the Islamic extremists – who are spreading everywhere – into account."