Netanyahu to make first-ever visit by Israeli Prime Minister to Fiji

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Prime Minister of Fiji, Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama (Photo: Haim Zach/GPO)

Prime Minister Netanyahu will make an official visit to the Republic of Fiji, the first visit by an Israeli Prime Minister to Fiji. The tour will center on Israel’s efforts to bolster global support, particularly in international bodies.

The Prime Minister made the announcement while giving a live video address to the Jewish Federations of North America’s General Assembly in Washington DC. on Tuesday. He asked “Why am I going to Fiji?” answering “Because 15 countries, 15 islands that each gave a vote in the UN, are coming to that meeting. I’m telling you that it will be no more than a decade, and possibly a lot sooner, that the automatic majority against Israel in the UN will collapse, and Israel will actually find a fair hearing there. It’s not going to happen tomorrow. But it’ll happen, and sooner rather than later.”

Netanyahu echoed his remarks at the United Nations General Assembly in September where he spoke of growing support globally for the State of Israel. He stated then “The UN begun as a moral force, has become a moral farce. So when it comes to Israel at the UN, you’d probably think nothing will ever change, right? Well think again. You see, everything will change and a lot sooner than you think. The change will happen in this hall, because back home, your governments are rapidly changing their attitudes towards Israel. And sooner or later, that’s going to change the way you vote on Israel at the UN.”

He stated, “More and more nations in Asia, in Africa, in Latin America, more and more nations see Israel as a potent partner – a partner in fighting the terrorism of today, a partner in developing the technology of tomorrow. Today Israel has diplomatic relations with over 160 countries. That’s nearly double the number that we had when I served here as Israel’s ambassador some 30 years ago. And those ties are getting broader and deeper every day. World leaders increasingly appreciate that Israel is a powerful country with one of the best intelligence services on earth.”

His announcement comes after a successful visit by Fiji Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama in Jerusalem last week. Bainimarama was visiting the Middle East, specifically as Fiji has one of the highest number of peacekeeping forces as part of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon on the border with Israel. Fiji has deployment its forces to UNIFIL and peacekeeping missions in Syria and Egypt since 1978.

Bainimarama stated during his visit to the region, “We [Fiji] may be a small island nation in the Pacific but we have always been determined to play our part in the global community. And part of that is helping to keep the peace for ordinary men and women in troubled parts of the world. These people are far from our tranquil island homes, but we pride ourselves on coming to do what we can to make their lives better.” He stated that last week “I intend to promise the Israeli Prime Minister that our commitment will continue, just like I will tell other leaders in the Middle East that they can always rely on Fiji.”

This article originally appeared on Behold Israel, November 16, 2016, and reposted with permission.