The current wave of Islamic terrorism terrorizing Western liberal democracies is not a clash of civilizations, but a “clash against civilization,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.

Addressing the German leaders directly, he continued, “We’re merely a gateway to you, we’re just closer to them. If we weren’t here they would move faster,” he said about Islamist terrorists. “If we weren’t here, they would probably disrupt our Arab neighbors who are fighting against this same extremism and increasingly see Israel not as their enemy but as their ally.”

Prime Minister of Israel said that while he places Israel firmly in the camp of modern states, he does not want to marginalize the Jewish people’s Biblical attachment to this land. “We were here not a long time ago, only 4,000 years,” he said dryly, dismissing the notion of Israel as an unrooted colonial intruder. “We’re not Belgians in the Congo. Nor are we the French in Algeria or for that matter the Spaniards in Mexico. We’ve been around here a long time. And we recognize that there is another people here, even though they came thousands of years later. They still live here and we have to coexist.”