The most important piece of information leaked from last night's meeting between US President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House, was Netanyahu's clarification that Israel has not yet made a decision whether or not it will attack Iran. It made headlines in Israeli and US media. But it can be said, following Netanyahu's speeches in Washington, including at the AIPAC conference last night, that he came to the US to prepare the political ground for an Israeli attack on Iranian nuclear facilities.
Netanyahu's speech at this year's AIPAC Policy Conference, was an incisive indictment against the Ayatollahs' regime, and a gloomy forecast of Tehran's global activity if it succeeds in attaining nuclear capability. Netanyahu compared Iran of 2012 with Nazi Germany of the 1940s, and current apologists with the US government that 70 years ago refused to bomb Auschwitz.
In his speech, Netanyahu said, "Some commentators would have you believe that stopping Iran from getting the bomb is more dangerous than letting Iran have the bomb. They say that a military confrontation with Iran would undermine the efforts already underway; that it would be ineffective; and that it would provoke an even more vindictive response by Iran."
He added, "I’ve heard these arguments before. In fact, I've read them before. In my desk, I have copies of an exchange of letters between the World Jewish Congress and the United States War Department.
"Here are the letters: The year was 1944. The World Jewish Congress implored the American government to bomb Auschwitz. The reply came five days later. I want to read it to you. 'Such an operation could be executed only by diverting considerable air support essential to the success of our forces elsewhere…and in any case, it would be of such doubtful efficacy that it would not warrant the use of our resources.'"
Netanyahu continued, "And, my friends, here’s the most remarkable sentence of all, and I quote: 'Such an effort might provoke even more vindictive action by the Germans.' Think about that 'even more vindictive action' - than the Holocaust."
"1944 or 2012"
Netanyahu added, "My Friends, 2012 is not 1944. The American government today is different. You heard it in President Obama's speech yesterday. But here's my point: The Jewish people are also different. Today we have a state of our own. And the purpose of the Jewish state is to defend Jewish lives and to secure the Jewish future. Never again will we not be masters of the fate of our very survival. Never again. That is why Israel must always have the ability to defend itself, by itself, against any threat.
"Responsible leaders should not bet the security of their countries on the belief that the world’s most dangerous regimes won’t use the world’s most dangerous weapons. And I promise you that as Prime Minister, I will never gamble with the security of the State of Israel.
"For the last decade, the international community has tried diplomacy. It hasn't worked. For six years, the international community has applied sanctions. That hasn't worked either. I appreciate President Obama's recent efforts to impose even tougher sanctions against Iran. These sanctions are hurting Iran's economy, but unfortunately, Iran's nuclear program continues to march forward.
"Israel has waited patiently for the international community to resolve this issue. We've waited for diplomacy to work. We've waited for sanctions to work. None of us can afford to wait much longer. As Prime Minister of Israel, I will never let my people live in the shadow of annihilation."
Netanyahu continued, "Every day, I open the newspapers and read about these redlines and these timelines. I read about what Israel has supposedly decided to do, or what Israel might do. Well, I’m not going to talk to you about what Israel will do or will not do, I never talk about that. But I do want to talk to you about the dangers of a nuclear-armed Iran. I want to explain why Iran must never be allowed to develop nuclear weapons. President Obama has reiterated his commitment to prevent that from happening. He stated clearly in his speech that all options are on the table, and that American policy is not containment.
"Well, Israel has exactly the same policy. We are determined to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons; we leave all options on the table; and containment is definitely not an option. The Jewish state will not allow those who seek our destruction to possess the means to achieve that goal. A nuclear armed Iran must be stopped."
Netanyahu continued, "Ladies and Gentlemen, this week, we will read how one woman changed Jewish history. In synagogues throughout the world, the Jewish people will celebrate the festival of Purim. We will read how some 2,500 years ago, a Persian anti-Semite tried to annihilate the Jewish people. And we will read how that plot was foiled by one courageous woman Esther.
"In every generation, there are those who wish to destroy the Jewish people. In this generation, we are blessed to live in an age when there is a Jewish state capable of defending the Jewish people. And we are doubly blessed to have so many friends like you, Jews and non-Jews alike, who love the State of Israel and support its right to defend itself."
At his meeting with Obama, Netanyahu gave him a present a copy of the Book of Esther. Netanyahu's staff declined to say whether the character of the evil Haman was discussed during the meeting at the White House.
Netanyahu continued, "Amazingly, some people refuse to acknowledge that Iran’s goal is to develop nuclear weapons. You see, Iran claims to do everything it's doing, that it’s enriching uranium to develop medical isotopes. Yeah, that's right. A country that builds underground nuclear facilities, develops intercontinental ballistic missiles, manufactures thousands of centrifuges, and that absorbs crippling sanctions, is doing all that in order to advance…medical research. So you see, when that Iranian ICBM is flying through the air to a location near you, you’ve got nothing to worry about. It’s only carrying medical isotopes."
Netanyahu added, "Ladies and Gentlemen, If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then what is it? That’s right, it's a duck. But this duck is a nuclear duck. And it’s time the world started calling a duck a duck."
Netanyahu listed the reasons one after another why letting Iran become a global power would be a global disaster. "From the beginning, the Ayatollah regime has broken every international rule and flouted every norm. It has seized embassies, targeted diplomats. It sends its own children through mine fields; it hangs gays and stones women; it supports Assad's brutal slaughter of the Syrian people; it is the world's foremost sponsor of terrorism: it sponsors Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas in Gaza and terrorists throughout the Middle East, Africa, even South America.
"Iran's proxies have dispatched hundreds of suicide bombers, planted thousands of roadside bombs, and they fired over twenty thousand missiles at civilians. Through terror from the skies and terror on the ground, Iran is responsible for the murder of hundreds, if not thousands, of Americans. In 1983, Iran's proxy Hezbollah blew up the Marine barracks in Lebanon, killing 240 US Marines. In the last decade, it's been responsible for murdering and maiming American soldiers in Afghanistan and in Iraq.
"Just a few months ago, it tried to assassinate the Saudi Ambassador to the United States in a restaurant just a few blocks from here. The assassins didn’t care that several Senators and Congressmen would have been murdered in the process. Now this is real chutzpa: Iran accuses the American government of orchestrating 9/11, and that's as brazen as denying the Holocaust, and they do…"
In his meeting with Obama, Netanyahu made the Israeli stance clear: Iran is intent on destroying the State of Israel. Sources said, though, that Netanyahu did not make any requests that the US set red lines.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on March 6, 2012
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