Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu addressed the Knesset Wednesday in honor of visiting Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi, and said that Israel is being accused by the world despite having committed no crime.
"We are not without mistakes, but when we are painted as the source of evil in the world, that is a blatant lie that conjures up clear memories from the past,” Netanyahu said.
"The attitude of the new anti-Semites is a direct continuation of the blood libels and the anti-Semitism throughout the ages. Jews were always falsely tried, throughout history. The Jewish state is on trial in a kangaroo court, and the results are known in advance, in some of the world's nations."
However, the PM emphasized, a key difference today is that with the State of Israel Jews now have the ability to protect themselves against their accusers.
"Now we have the strength to resist those who wish us ill, to disprove the lies that are being told about us and to make pacts with enlightened nations like yours, against the lie and for the truth,” he told his Italian guest.
Regarding renewed pressure on Israel to negotiate with the Palestinian Authority, Netanyahu said: “We want peace with our neighbors, but it must be a real and solid peace, with security arrangements and demilitarization on the ground.
"European countries continue to criticize Israel harshly. They will be able to advance true peace only when they recognize the principles of mutual recognition and security for Israel."
"The same menorah that the exiles from Judea carried on their shoulders, the same menorah that is engraved on the Arch of Titus in Rome, is a symbol of our sovereign state. We seek to kindle a great light on this menorah, a great light against the darkness that is sweeping over wide parts of our region."
Netanyahu also took the opportunity to warn against the deal recently reached with Iran over its nuclear program, saying the agreement would embolden Tehran in its aggressive attempts to export its "Islamic revolution."
"The rise of extremist Islam has made the Middle East violent and dangerous, and from there the fire is spreading to Africa, Europe and Asia – to all parts of the globe," Netanyahu said.
"The region in which we live is overflowing with fire and blood. Islamic fanaticism is washing over cities and countries, bringing acts of vicious slaughter, and horrors that stand in complete contravention of the rules of basic morality.
"Iran, which strives to export the Khomeiniist revolution throughout the world, continues – on a daily basis – to call for Israel's destruction. It is spreading murderous terrorism and undermining stability across the Middle East. I say as clearly as possible: The nuclear agreement signed with Iran last week threatens not only us, but you in Europe, the United States and the entire international community."
Underlining some of the key issues critics have highlighted in the deal, Netanyahu noted that "The agreement leaves Iran with the ability to achieve an arsenal of nuclear bombs in approximately a decade, in fifteen years maximum, because then all the restrictions on Iran's production of advanced and non-advanced centrifuges will be lifted, as well as on its enrichment of uranium to any level it likes.
"Then Iran will be able to break through to many nuclear bombs in zero time, with international legitimacy. The deal also will enrich Iran's coffers, even now, with hundreds of billions of dollars, at least 100 billion in the first year, money that will serve to increase its aggression in the region and to spread terrorism to many countries.
"In Israel and in many countries in the Middle East, there is broad agreement – this is a bad agreement that must be opposed."