Israel's Prime Minister says the country has been active in Syria, blasts "crazy" EU regulations over hot mic

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's thoughts are expressed over a microphone he didn't know was on

By Matthew Rozsa

Staff Writer

Published July 19, 2017 1:24PM (EDT)

 (Dean Lewins/Pool via AP)
(Dean Lewins/Pool via AP)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made it clear that he has attacked Syria to stop terrorists and he does not approve of the European Union requiring Israel to improve its treatment of the Palestinians before establishing closer ties.

None of this was intention, as he didn't seem to know his microphone was picking up on his admissions.

The prime minister admitted to engaging in military action in Syria, describing how the Israeli armed forces had stopped Iranian arms convoys in that country which were supplying the terrorist group Hezbollah "dozens and dozens of times," according to a report by McClatchy.

When it comes to the European Union, Netanyahu described their criticisms of Israel as "crazy. I think it's actually crazy."

He added, "There is no logic here. Europe is undermining its security by undermining Israel. Europe is undermining its progress by undermining the connection with Israeli innovation because of a crazy attempt to create conditions (for peace with the Palestinians)."

Netanyahu also negatively contrasted the EU, which is Israel's main partner in trade, with other countries that have not demanded it turn around its treatment of Palestinians.

"The European Union is the only association of countries in the world that conditions the relations with Israel — that produces technology in every area — on political conditions. The only ones. Nobody does it," Netanyahu was overheard proclaiming.

It seems that leaders of four Eastern European countries — Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Poland — agree with Netanyahu's view that European security depends on a closer relationship with Israel.

During a press briefing, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said that "the Visegrad Four shares the Israeli view that external border defense is key. Free movement of people without controls raises the risk of terror."

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer at Salon. He received a Master's Degree in History from Rutgers-Newark in 2012 and was awarded a science journalism fellowship from the Metcalf Institute in 2022.

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