NEW YORK — Veteran Israeli politician and diplomat Moshe Arens says Arab states will not "get whatever they want" under the leadership of Benjamin Netanyahu.
"The Arabs are going to have to learn that the time has come [when] they're not going to get whatever they want from the Israeli government," Arens, a mentor to the new prime minister, said in New York this week.
Arens was addressing supporters of the College of Judea and Samaria, which is located in the West Bank city of Ariel.
"Under [former Prime Minister Shimon] Peres, whatever [Arab states] asked for, they got," said Arens, who is also being touted as a serious contender to become the next Israeli ambassador to the United States.
The gathering was organized by the National Council of Young Israel and held at Mendy's, a kosher deli in midtown Manhattan.
Arens served as U.S. ambassador under then-Prime Minister Menachem Begin during the active phase of the war in Lebanon. He also served as Israel's minister of defense, most recently under the government of Yitzhak Shamir during the Gulf War.
He was born in Lithuania but spent part of his youth and young adulthood in the United States, where he served in the army. He emigrated to Israel in 1948.
Arens, like Netanyahu, speaks a fluent American-accented English and has written a book about his years in government.
Of the extremely narrow margin by which Netanyahu beat Peres, he said, "We were just saved from the abyss."
Under Netanyahu, Arens added, "We will have a government that will lead us in the right direction."