Prime Minister Netanyahu delivered a bold and impassioned speech at the United Nations Thursday where he rebuked the organisation for its “utter silence” over the Iran deal.
The Israeli PM also urged nations not to fuel repression within and without Iran, warning the Iranian leaders that their plan to destroy Israel will fail and that Israel “will not permit any force on earth to threaten its future.”
Netanyahu also reiterated that he is ready to enter direct peace negotiations with Palestinians “immediately” and “without preconditions”, despite Mahmoud Abbas declaring on Wednesday that the Palestinian Authority could no longer be bound by the peace agreements .
We take a look at the key points Mr Netanyahu made in his speech.
Iran’s recent activity
- In the last six months, Iran has boosted its supply of weapons to Syria and sent thousands of Afghani and Pakistani Shiite fighters there to prop up President Assad’s regime.
- Iran has shipped weapons to rebels in Yemen, and every week Iran and Hezbollah set up new terrorist cells in various countries, including in the northern hemisphere.
- President Rouhani had begun a “so-called charm offensive” at the United Nations two years ago and now Iran was rapidly expanding its global terrorist network.
“By fueling Iran’s aggressions with billions of dollars in sanctions relief, it makes war more likely.”
The Iran Deal
“Unleashed and un-muzzled, Iran will go on the prowl, devouring more and more prey.”
- “Giving the mullahs more money” would fuel more repression inside and outside Iran.
- “Some well-intentioned people,” he added, believed that the deal would block Iran from getting weapons, but the best intentions would not block terrible outcomes.
- The greatest danger facing our world is the “coupling of militant Islam with nuclear weapons”.
“And I’m gravely concerned that the nuclear deal with Iran will prove to be the marriage certificate of that unholy union.”
The 45-second silence
“Seventy years after the murder of six million Jews, Iran’s rulers promise to destroy my country. Murder my people. And the response from this body, the response from nearly every one of the governments represented here has been absolutely nothing!
“If Iran’s rulers were working to destroy your countries, perhaps you’d be less enthusiastic about the deal.”
Lessons from Jewish history
“The days when the Jewish people remained passive in the face of genocidal enemies –
those days are over.”
- Throughout Israel’s history, the Jewish people have learned the heavy price of silence.
- In every generation, there were those who “rose up to destroy our people”, referring to the ancient empires of Babylon and Rome, the inquisition and expulsion in the Middle Ages, and pogroms and the Holocaust in modern times.
- Another regime has arisen, swearing to destroy Israel.
“Yet the empires of Babylon and Rome are not represented in this hall of nations. Neither is the Thousand Year Reich. Those seemingly invincible empires are long gone.
But Israel lives. The people of Israel live.
The re-birth of Israel is a testament to the indomitable spirit of my people.”
- For a hundred generations, the Jewish people dreamed of returning to the Land of Israel. The establishment of Israel made realizing that dream possible.
- A rising tide of anti-Semitism once again sweeps across Europe and elsewhere, many Jews come to Israel to join in building the Jewish future.
The UN response to Iran
- Referring to the deal with Iran moving ahead, he challenges the Security Council to “Make sure that the inspectors actually inspect; Make sure that the snapback sanctions actually snap back, and make sure that Iran’s violations aren’t swept under the Persian rug.”
- He added that firstly Iran must be made to comply with all its nuclear obligations. Second, they must check Iran’s regional aggression, support and strengthen those fighting Iran’s aggression, beginning with Israel.
- Thirdly, they must use sanctions and all the tools available to tear down Iran’s global terror network.
Israel’s partnerships in the Middle East
- Israel is working closely with its Arab peace partners to address common security challenges from Iran and also the security challenges from ISIS and from others.
- Israel is working with other states in the Middle East as well as countries in Africa, in Asia and beyond.
“And as we work together to thwart those dangers, I hope we’ll build lasting partnerships – lasting partnerships for security, for prosperity and for peace.”
Relationship with the US
“The alliance between Israel and the United States is unshakeable.”
- Israel would never forget that the most important partner it had always had and would always have was the United States.
- He and President Obama agree on the need to keep arms out of the hands of terror proxies.
- He expressed appreciation for President Obama’s willingness to help Israel maintain its qualitative military edge.
Israel, the innovative nation
- Israel is uniquely poised to seize the promise of the 21st century noting that it is a world leader in science and technology, in cyber, software, water, agriculture, medicine, biotechnology and so many other fields that are being revolutionized by Israeli ingenuity and Israeli innovation.
- He expressed pride in the long strides Israel has made in a short time and that “our small country is making such a huge contribution to the entire world”.
“Yet the dreams of our people, enshrined for eternity by the great prophets of the Bible, those dreams will be fully realized only when there is peace.”
Peace with the Palestinians
“Those who know the price of war can best appreciate what the blessings of peace would mean – for ourselves, our children, our grandchildren.”
- As the Middle East descends into chaos, Israel’s peace agreements with Egypt and Jordan are two cornerstones of stability.
- Israel remains committed to achieving peace with the Palestinians as well.
“I am prepared to immediately, immediately, resume direct peace negotiations with the Palestinian Authority without any preconditions whatsoever.”
- Israel was committed to achieving peace with the Palestinians stressing that his country knew the price of war and could appreciate the blessings of peace.
- Unfortunately President Abbas said yesterday that he was not prepared to do that. Israel, however, remained committed to a vision of two States for two people in which a demilitarized Palestinian State recognized a Jewish State.
- Despite the best efforts of six Israeli Prime Ministers, the Palestinians had refused to end the conflict and make a final peace.
“How can Israel make peace with a Palestinian partner who refuses to even sit at the negotiating table?”
UN assistance to advancing peace
- The leaders of the two countries owed it to their people to try for peace and the United Nations should support direct unconditional negotiations instead of imposing solutions or “encouraging Palestinian rejectionism”.
“President Abbas, I know it’s not easy. I know it’s hard. But we owe it to our peoples to try, to continue to try, because together, if we actually negotiate and stop negotiating about the negotiation, if we actually sit down and try to resolve this conflict between us, recognize each other, not use a Palestinian state as a stepping stone for another Islamist dictatorship in the Middle East, but something that will live at peace next to the Jewish state, if we actually do that, we can do remarkable things for our peoples.”
- In four years of horrific violence in Syria, more than a quarter of a million people have lost their lives. That’s more than ten times the number of Israelis and Palestinians combined who have lost their lives in a century of conflict.
- Last year the General Assembly adopted 20 resolutions against Israel and just one resolution about the savage slaughter in Syria.
“When will the UN finally check its anti-Israel fanaticism at the door? When will the UN finally stop slandering Israel as a threat to peace and actually start helping Israel advance peace?”
- President Abbas should stop “spreading lies” about Israel’s intentions with the Temple Mount.
- A thousand years before the birth of Christianity, more than 1,500 years before the birth of Islam, King David made Jerusalem our capital, and King Solomon built the Temple on that mount.
- President Abbas should be speaking out against the actions of militant Islamists who are smuggling explosives into the al-Aqsa mosque and who are trying to prevent Jews and Christians from visiting the holy sites.
“In a region plagued by violence and by unimaginable intolerance, in which Islamic fanatics are destroying the ancient treasures of civilization, Israel stands out as a towering beacon of enlightenment and tolerance.”
Final challenge to the UN
“Instead of continuing the shameful routine of bashing Israel, stand with Israel.
Stand with Israel as we check the fanaticism at our door.
Stand with Israel as we prevent that fanaticism from reaching your door.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Stand with Israel because Israel is not just defending itself.
More than ever, Israel is defending you.”
Christians United for Israel UK