JERUSALEM (JTA) — Ahead of international Human Rights Day, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu burnished Israel’s credentials.
Netanyahu issued a video statement ahead of the annual Dec. 10 commemorations and campaigning set by the U.N. Office of the High Commission for Human Rights.
"The State of Israel stands proud, proud of its record as a vibrant, pluralistic democracy — a democracy that has maintained its values despite security challenges faced by no other nation on earth," he said, citing the country’s liberties for citizens of different religions, genders and sexual orientations.
Alluding to the anti-regime citizen revolts that have rocked the Arab world this year, Netanyahu said, "We’re proud to be a country that is governed by laws, not men, where protests in town squares is a way of life.
"We hope that in the coming year we’ll see the advance of human rights in a region where they’ve long been denied, but I assure you one thing — Israel will continue to proudly raise the torch for freedom and human rights. So anyone seeking to genuinely build democratic societies in the Middle East should know that they will always have a partner and friend in the one and only Jewish state — the democratic State of Israel."