Full Text Israel Political Brief September 27, 2018: PM Netanyahu’s Speech at the United Nations General Assembly on Iran’s Secret Atomic Weapon Sites Transcript

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

PM Netanyahu’s Speech at the United Nations General Assembly on Iran’s Secret Atomic Weapon Sites

Source: PMO, 9-27-18

“Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen,

When I spoke here, three years ago, Israel stood alone among the nations. Of the nearly 200 countries that sit in this hall, only Israel openly opposed the nuclear deal with Iran. We oppose it because it threatens our future, even our very survival. We oppose it because the deal paved Iran’s path to a nuclear arsenal. And by lifting the sanctions, it’s fueled Iran’s campaign of carnage and conquest throughout the Middle East.

We oppose it, we oppose it because the deal was based on a fundamental lie—that Iran is not seeking to develop nuclear weapons.

Now, Israel exposed that lie earlier this year. Last February, Israeli conducted a daring raid on Iran’s secret atomic archive. We obtained over 100,000 documents and videos that had been stashed in vaults in an innocent looking building in the heart of Tehran.

In May, I presented a short summary of what we obtained to the international media. I provided hard evidence of Iran’s plans to build nuclear weapons and its plans to deceive the international community. Israel shared this information and even more damning evidence that we found with members of the P5+1, and with the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Months have passed. The IAEA has still not taken any action. It has not posed a single question to Iran. It has not demanded to inspect a single new site discovered in that secret archive.

So, given this inaction, I decided to reveal today something else that we have shared with the IAEA and with a few intelligence agencies.

What I’m about to say has not been shared publically before.

Today, I am disclosing for the first time that Iran has another secret facility in Tehran—a secret atomic warehouse for storing massive amounts of equipment and materiel from Iran’s secret nuclear weapons program.

In May, we exposed the site of Iran’s secret atomic archive, right here, in the Shor-abad District of Tehran. Today I’m revealing the site of a second facility— Iran’s secret atomic warehouse. It’s right here, in the Turquz-abad District of Tehran, just there miles away.

Let me show you exactly what the secret atomic warehouse looks like.

Here it is. You see, like the atomic archive, it’s another innocent looking compound. Now for those of you at home using Google Earth, this no-longer-secret atomic warehouse is on Maher Alley, Maher Street. You have the coordinates, you can try to get there. And for those of you who try to get there, it’s 100 meters from the Kalishoi, the rug cleaning operation. By the way, I hear they do a fantastic job cleaning rugs there. But by now they may be radioactive rugs.

This is the second secret site.

Now, countries with satellite capabilities may notice some increased activity on Maher Alley in the days and weeks ahead. The people they’ll see scurrying back and forth are Iranian officials desperately trying to finish the job of cleaning up that site. Because, you see, since we raided the atomic archive, they’ve been busy cleaning out the atomic warehouse.

Just last month, they removed 15 kilograms of radioactive material. You know what they did with it? They had 15 kilograms of radioactive material, they had to get it out of the site, so they took it out and they spread it around Tehran in an effort to hide the evidence. The endangered residents of Tehran may want to know that they can get a Geiger counter on Amazon for only $29.99. As of today that’s just 4 million Iranian rials, but we’ll get to that later. I’ll talk about the Iranian economy in a minute. They took this radioactive material and spread it around Tehran.

Now, the Iranian officials cleaning out that site still have a lot of work to do because they’ve had at least, at least 15 ship containers, they’re gigantic, 15 ship containers full of nuclear related equipment and material stored there. Now, since each of those containers can hold 20 tons of material, this means that this site contains as much as 300 tons, 300 tons of nuclear related equipment and material.

Right here.

So, Distinguished Delegates,

You have to ask yourself a question. Why did Iran keep a secret atomic archive and a secret atomic warehouse? Because, after all, when South Africa and Libya, when they gave up their nuclear programs, the first thing they did was to destroy both the archives and the material and equipment.

And the answer to the question is simple. The reason Iran didn’t destroy its atomic archive and its atomic warehouse is because it hasn’t abandoned its goal to develop nuclear weapons. In fact, it planned to use both of these sites in a few years when the time would be right to break out to the atom bomb.

But, Ladies and Gentlemen, rest assured, that won’t happen. It won’t happen because what Iran hides, Israel will find.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I have a message to the head of the IAEA, Mr. Yukiya Amano.

I believe he’s a good man. I believe he wants to do the right thing.

Well, Mr. Amano, do the right thing. Go inspect this atomic warehouse, immediately, before the Iranians finish clearing it out.

Distinguished Delegates,

Do you remember when we were promised that inspections could take place anytime, anywhere? Remember that? Anytime, anywhere?

Well, how about inspections right here, right now.

And Mr. Amano, while you’re at it, inspect the other secret sites we told you about. Once and for all, tell the world the truth about Iran.

Now, I also have a message today for the Tyrants of Tehran:

Israel knows what you’re doing, and Israel knows where you’re doing it. Israel will never let a regime that calls for our destruction to develop nuclear weapons. Not now, not in ten years, not ever.

And Israel will do whatever it must do to defend itself against Iran’s aggression. We will continue to act against you in Syria. We will act against you in Lebanon. We will act against you in Iraq. We will act against you whenever and wherever we must act to defend our state and defend our people.

Distinguished Delegates,

Three years ago, a few weeks after the nuclear deal was completed, I asked this question from this very podium: Does anyone seriously believe that flooding Iran’s radical theocracy with weapons and cash will curb its appetite for aggression? But many of the deal’s supporters believed just that. They believed that Iran’s regime would become more moderate, more peaceful. They believed that Iran would use the billions of dollars it received in sanctions relief to improve the lives of its people—to solve the water problem, to solve the trucking problem, to solve the electricity problem, hospitals, schools… That’s what they believed, and perhaps many of you also believed that.

Well, this didn’t happen.

Instead, Iran used the money to fuel its vast war machine.

Just this past year, Iran has attacked Kurds in Iraq, slaughtered Sunnis in Syria, armed Hezbollah in Lebanon, financed Hamas in Gaza, fired missiles into Saudi Arabia, and threatened freedom of navigation in the Straits of Hormouz and the Strait of Bab al Mandeb.

Some peace. Some moderation.

And if you think, if you think that Iran’s aggression has been confined to the Middle East, think again. Last month, two Iranian agents were arrested for plotting terror attacks right here in the United States. And several weeks ago, Iranian agents were arrested for plotting terror attacks in the heart of Europe.

Yet while the United States is confronting Iran with new sanctions, Europe and others are appeasing Iran by trying to help it bypass those sanctions.

Now I just used a word, a tough word, a very strong word—appeasement, and I use it reluctantly, but unfortunately, that’s exactly what we are seeing again in Europe.

Think about this: The same week Iran was caught red-handed trying to murder European citizens, European leaders were rolling out the red carpet for President Rouhani, promising to give Iran even more money.

I’m an historian’s son, I have to ask. I ask not merely as an historian’s son, I ask it as a Jew, as a citizen of the world, as someone who’s lived through the 20th century: Have these European leaders learned nothing from history? Will they ever wake up?

Well, we in Israel, we don’t need a wakeup call, because Iran threatens us every day. Because despite the best of hope, and there were many hopes around the nuclear deal, this deal did not push war further away. It brought war ever closer to our borders.

In Syria, Iran is trying to establish permanent military bases against us and has already launched missiles and drones into our territory. In Gaza, Iran is arming terror groups to launch rocket attacks into our cities and terror attacks against our civilians. In Lebanon, in Lebanon Iran is directing Hezbollah to build secret sites to convert inaccurate projectiles into precision guided missiles, missiles that can target deep inside Israel within an accuracy of ten meters.

Hezbollah, listen to this, Hezbollah is deliberately using the innocent people of Beirut as human shields. They have placed three of these missile conversion sites alongside Beirut’s international airport.

Here’s a picture that’s worth a thousand missiles.

Here’s Beirut’s international airport.

Here’s the first missile site. It’s in the Ouzai neighborhood on the water’s edge, a few blocks away from the runway.

Here’s the second site. It’s underneath a soccer stadium, that’s the soccer stadium, two blocks way.

And here’s the third site. It’s adjacent to the airport itself, right next to it.

So I also have a message for Hezbollah today: Israel knows, Israel also knows what you’re doing. Israel knows where you’re doing it. And Israel will not let you get away with it.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Just as the nuclear deal supporters were wrong about what would happen when sanctions would be removed, they were wrong, dead wrong, about what would happen when sanctions would be restored.

They argued that US sanctions alone would have little impact, little economic impact on Iran. That’s what they said. Really?

Well, let’s see what happened to Iran’s economy now that President Trump has forced companies to choose between doing business with Iran and doing business with the United States, whose GDP is 50 times the size of Iran’s GDP.

A year ago, Iran’s economy was booming. Now it’s collapsing. Iran’s currency is plummeting. Inflation and unemployment are soaring. British airlines, German banks, French oil companies, Japanese oil importers and many others are scrambling to get out.

If that’s little economic impact, imagine what will happen with the next batch of US sanctions imposed in November.

The deal’s supporters were also wrong when they argued, you have to believe that they argue this. We’re going to have many arguments with them. They also argued that restoring sanctions would rally the Iranian people around the regime.

Well, they’re definitely rallying, but not around the regime. They’re rallying against the regime.

They’re not chanting Death to America. They’re chanting Death to the Dictator.

They’re not chanting Export the Islamic Revolution. They’re chanting Leave Syria! Leave Lebanon! Leave Gaza! Take care of us in Iran!

I listen to these protests. I talk to the Iranian people. I issue these videos and I get so many responses from Iranians. At first I thought these are Iranian exiles in the safety of London or Paris or Los Angeles. No. Iranians, from Iran embracing Israel, criticizing the regime. That’s an understatement. With their names. And I ask my intelligence people, what’s going on. And shortly after the protests broke out, not because of what I said, but it was an indicator of something extraordinary that was taking place there. Because in these protests, the Iranian people are showing unbelievable courage.

From the urban centers to the outlying villages—and it’s embracing now the whole of Iran—from the striking bazaar merchants to the young women uncovering their hair,
the people of Iran are bravely standing up to a regime that has brutally repressed them for four decades and that has squandered their money, still squanders their money in bloody wars across the Middle East.

So here’s what I say to Europe’s leaders and to others: Instead of coddling Iran’s dictators, join the US, and Israel, and most of the Arab world in supporting new sanctions against a regime that endangers all of us and all of the world.

Israel is deeply grateful to President Trump for his bold decision to withdraw from the disastrous nuclear deal with Iran. Many, many of our Arab neighbors are also grateful. And everyone who cares about the peace and security of the world should also be grateful.

But, Ladies and Gentlemen, I have an important confession to make.

This may surprise you, but I have to admit that the Iran deal has had one positive consequence, an unintended one, but a positive consequence. By empowering Iran, it brought Israel and many Arab states closer together than ever before, closer together than ever before, in an intimacy and friendship that I’ve not seen in my lifetime and would have been unimaginable a few years ago.

And you know, when you form friendships around a threat, around a challenge, you quickly see opportunities, not only for security, but how to bring a better life for our people which Israel can help and wants to help do.

Israel deeply values these new friendships, and I hope the day will soon arrive when Israel will be able to expand peace, a formal peace, beyond Egypt and Jordan to other Arab neighbors, including the Palestinians. I look forward to working with President Trump and his peace team to achieve that goal.

I also want to use this opportunity, we’re here at the UN—it’s a place I know because I served here as ambassador many years ago for many years, so I know something about the UN. So I want to use this opportunity to express Israel’s appreciation to President Trump and Ambassador Haley for the unwavering support they have provided Israel at the United Nations. They have unequivocally backed Israel’s right to defend itself. They rightly pulled out of a history-denying UNESCO and a morally bankrupt UN Human Rights Council. They have more resolutions about Israel than the rest of the world combined, I think. And tenfold compared to, I don’t know, Iran, Syria, you name it. Not even tenfold, because you can’t multiply zero by any number.

They stopped funding, President Trump and Ambassador Haley, they stopped funding an unreformed UNRWA, an organization that instead of solving the Palestinian refugee problem, perpetuates it.

Day after day, the Trump administration has stood up to what has long been a specialty here at the UN—slandering Israel. Even though the shameful resolution comparing Zionism to racism was repealed 25 years ago, I’m sorry to say that its foul stench still clings to these halls.

Israel airlifted Ethiopian Jews to freedom and a new life in Israel, in the Jewish state. Yet here at the UN, here at the UN, Israel is absurdly accused of racism.

Israel’s Arab citizens vote in our elections, serve in our parliament, preside over our courts, and have exactly the same individual rights as all other Israeli citizens. Yet here at the UN, Israel is shamefully accused of apartheid.

Today, there are at least five times as many Palestinians as there were in 1948, the year of Israel’s founding. Yet here at the UN, Israel is outrageously accused of ethnic cleansing.

Ladies and Gentlemen, you know what this is?

It’s the same old antisemitism with a brand new face. That’s all it is.

Once, it was the Jewish people that were slandered and held to a different standard.

Today, it’s the Jewish state that is slandered and held to a different standard.

Here’s an example: Take the outlandish attacks that have been leveled against Israel after our Knesset, our parliament, recently adopted a law declaring Israel the nation state of the Jewish people.

Mind you, Israel is a free country. You can oppose a law, and people did. You can call for different wording in this or that clause, or you can call to add or subtract a clause. You can do that.

But when Israel is called racist, Israel is called racist for making Hebrew its official language and the Star of David its national flag, when Israel is labeled an apartheid state for declaring itself the nation state of the Jewish people, this is downright preposterous. And you know why?

Because represented in this hall today are more than 100 countries that have only one official language, even though many other languages are commonly spoken within those countries. There are more than 50 countries here that have crosses or crescents on their flags, even though they have many non-Muslims and non-Christians, many of them, living in their midst. And there are dozens of countries that define themselves as nation states of a particular people, even though there are many ethnic and national minorities within their borders.

None of those countries are denigrated or libeled for celebrating their unique national identity. Only Israel is denigrated. Only Israel is libeled.

What is unique about the Jewish people is not that we have a nation state. What is unique is that many still oppose us having a nation state.

Moments ago, President Abbas outrageously said that Israel’s Nation State Law proves that Israel is a racist, apartheid state.

President Abbas, you should know better. You wrote a dissertation denying the Holocaust. Your Palestinian Authority imposes death sentences on Palestinians for selling land to Jews. Did you hear that? If a Jew buys an apartment, a piece of land anywhere in the Palestinian territories, the Palestinian who sold him that land is executed. That’s what the law says.

President Abbas, you proudly pay Palestinian terrorists who murder Jews. In fact, the more they slay, the more you pay. That’s in their law too. And you condemn Israel’s morality? You call Israel racist?

This is not the way to peace.  This is not the way to achieve the peace we all want and need and to which Israel remain committed. This body should not be applauding the head of a regime that pays terrorists. The UN should condemn such a despicable policy.

And the UN, the UN which brokered a ceasefire in 2014, should demand that Hamas release our fallen soldiers Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin, who was kidnapped when Hamas violated that very ceasefire.

Hamas should also release the two Israeli citizens it holds captive, Abera Mengistu and Hisham al Sayed.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Every time I stand here, I feel as I do today. I am privileged to stand here as the Prime Minister of the Jewish and democratic state of Israel.

Some believe that Israel cannot be both Jewish and democratic. This is false. Israel is both, and Israel will always remain both.

Ever since Abraham and Sarah made their journey to the promised land nearly 4,000 years ago, the Land of Israel has been our homeland. It’s the place where Isaac and Rebecca, Jacob, Leah and Rachel carried on their eternal covenant with God.

It is where Joshua made us a sovereign nation, where David ruled and Isaiah preached, where the Maccabees fought and where Masada fell. It is the place from which we were exiled and to which we returned, rebuilding our ancient and eternal capital Jerusalem.

The nation state of Israel is the only place where the Jewish people proudly exercise our collective right of self-determination. That right was recognized nearly a century ago by the League of Nations and over 70 years ago by the United Nations, when it voted to support the establishment of a Jewish state. That’s what it said, that resolution—a Jewish state.

At the same time, Israel is a vibrant democracy, where all its citizens—Jews and non-Jews alike—enjoy equal individual rights, and these rights are guaranteed by law.

In Israel, whether you are a Jew or an Arab, a Christian or a Muslim, a Druze or a Beduin, or anything else, your individual rights are exactly the same, and they will always remain the same.

In the Middle East, that’s not obvious, now that’s an understatement, In the Middle East, where women are often treated as property, minorities are persecuted, gays are hanged, Israel stands out as a shining example of freedom and progress.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I could not be more proud to represent my country Israel.

I am proud that we’ve made Israel a global technological power of breathtaking creativity, in information technology, in precision agriculture, you know what that is? We target the fertilizer and the water down to the individual plant, not field, not part of a field, down to the plant. I’m proud of these geniuses, that bring these unbelievable developments, in water management, in cyber security, in autonomous vehicles, in digital health, in medical devices and in so many other fields that are improving the lives of billions of people around the world.

I am proud of Israel’s brilliant scholars, innovative entrepreneurs and talented artists. I am proud of Israel’s devoted teachers, compassionate doctors, and our search-and-rescue teams who save lives from Haiti to Mexico, from Nepal to the Philippines. I am proud, I am so proud of Israel’s courageous soldiers, the men and women who bravely defend our homeland while upholding the highest values.

And most of all, Ladies and Gentlemen, Most of all I am proud of the people of Israel, who draw extraordinary strength from the deep wellsprings of our heritage, who possess an unbreakable spirit and who are determined as ever to build a secure and magnificent future for the one and only Jewish state.

Thank you”.

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Full Text Israel Political Brief September 22, 2016: PM Netanyahu’s Speech at the United Nations General Assembly Transcript

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

PM Netanyahu’s Speech at the United Nations General Assembly

Source: PMO, 9-22-16


PM Netanyahu’s Speech at the United Nations General Assembly
Photo by Kobi Gideon, GPO

Mr. President,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

What I’m about to say is going to shock you: Israel has a bright future at the UN.

Now I know that hearing that from me must surely come as a surprise, because year after year I’ve stood at this very podium and slammed the UN for its obsessive bias against Israel. And the UN deserved every scathing word – for the disgrace of the General Assembly that last year passed 20 resolutions against the democratic State of Israel and a grand total of three resolutions against all the other countries on the planet.

Israel – twenty; rest of the world – three.

And what about the joke called the UN Human Rights Council, which each year condemns Israel more than all the countries of the world combined. As women are being systematically raped, murdered, sold into slavery across the world, which is the only country that the UN’s Commission on Women chose to condemn this year? Yep, you guessed it – Israel. Israel. Israel where women fly fighter jets, lead major corporations, head universities, preside – twice – over the Supreme Court, and have served as Speaker of the Knesset and Prime Minister.

And this circus continues at UNESCO. UNESCO, the UN body charged with preserving world heritage. Now, this is hard to believe but UNESCO just denied the 4,000 year connection between the Jewish people and its holiest site, the Temple Mount. That’s just as absurd as denying the connection between the Great Wall of China and China.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The UN, begun as a moral force, has become a moral farce. So when it comes to Israel at the UN, you’d probably think nothing will ever change, right? Well think again. You see, everything will change and a lot sooner than you think. The change will happen in this hall, because back home, your governments are rapidly changing their attitudes towards Israel. And sooner or later, that’s going to change the way you vote on Israel at the UN.

More and more nations in Asia, in Africa, in Latin America, more and more nations see Israel as a potent partner – a partner in fighting the terrorism of today, a partner in developing the technology of tomorrow.

Today Israel has diplomatic relations with over 160 countries. That’s nearly double the number that we had when I served here as Israel’s ambassador some 30 years ago. And those ties are getting broader and deeper every day. World leaders increasingly appreciate that Israel is a powerful country with one of the best intelligence services on earth. Because of our unmatched experience and proven capabilities in fighting terrorism, many of your governments seek our help in keeping your countries safe.

Many also seek to benefit from Israel’s ingenuity in agriculture, in health, in water, in cyber and in the fusion of big data, connectivity and artificial intelligence – that fusion that is changing our world in every way.

You might consider this: Israel leads the world in recycling wastewater. We recycle about 90% of our wastewater. Now, how remarkable is that? Well, given that the next country on the list only recycles about 20% of its wastewater, Israel is a global water power. So if you have a thirsty world, and we do, there’s no better ally than Israel.

How about cybersecurity? That’s an issue that affects everyone. Israel accounts for one-tenth of one percent of the world’s population, yet last year we attracted some 20% of the global private investment in cybersecurity. I want you to digest that number. In cyber, Israel is punching a whopping 200 times above its weight. So Israel is also a global cyber power. If hackers are targeting your banks, your planes, your power grids and just about everything else, Israel can offer indispensable help.

Governments are changing their attitudes towards Israel because they know that Israel can help them protect their peoples, can help them feed them, can help them better their lives.

This summer I had an unbelievable opportunity to see this change so vividly during an unforgettable visit to four African countries. This is the first visit to Africa by an Israeli prime minister in decades. Later today, I’ll be meeting with leaders from 17 African countries. We’ll discuss how Israeli technology can help them in their efforts to transform their countries.

In Africa, things are changing. In China, India, Russia, Japan, attitudes towards Israel have changed as well. These powerful nations know that, despite Israel’s small size, it can make a big difference in many, many areas that are important to them.

But now I’m going to surprise you even more. You see, the biggest change in attitudes towards Israel is taking place elsewhere. It’s taking place in the Arab world. Our peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan continue to be anchors of stability in the volatile Middle East. But I have to tell you this: For the first time in my lifetime, many other states in the region recognize that Israel is not their enemy. They recognize that Israel is their ally. Our common enemies are Iran and ISIS. Our common goals are security, prosperity and peace. I believe that in the years ahead we will work together to achieve these goals, work together openly.

So Israel’s diplomatic relations are undergoing nothing less than a revolution. But in this revolution, we never forget that our most cherished alliance, our deepest friendship is with the United States of America, the most powerful and the most generous nation on earth. Our unbreakable bond with the United States of America transcends parties and politics. It reflects, above all else, the overwhelming support for Israel among the American people, support which is at record highs and for which we are deeply grateful.

The United Nations denounces Israel; the United States supports Israel. And a central pillar of that defense has been America’s consistent support for Israel at the UN. I appreciate President Obama’s commitment to that longstanding US policy. In fact, the only time that the United States cast a UN Security Council veto during the Obama presidency was against an anti-Israel resolution in 2011. As President Obama rightly declared at this podium, peace will not come from statements and resolutions at the United Nations.

I believe the day is not far off when Israel will be able to rely on many, many countries to stand with us at the UN. Slowly but surely, the days when UN ambassadors reflexively condemn Israel, those days are coming to an end.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Today’s automatic majority against Israel at the UN reminds me of the story, the incredible story of Hiroo Onada. Hiroo was a Japanese soldier who was sent to the Philippines in 1944. He lived in the jungle. He scavenged for food. He evaded capture. Eventually he surrendered, but that didn’t happen until 1974, some 30 years after World War II ended. For decades, Hiroo refused to believe the war was over. As Hiroo was hiding in the jungle, Japanese tourists were swimming in pools in American luxury hotels in nearby Manila. Finally, mercifully, Hiroo’s former commanding officer was sent to persuade him to come out of hiding. Only then did Hiroo lay down his arms.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Distinguished delegates from so many lands,

I have one message for you today: Lay down your arms. The war against Israel at the UN is over. Perhaps some of you don’t know it yet, but I am confident that one day in the not too distant future you will also get the message from your president or from your prime minister informing you that the war against Israel at the United Nations has ended. Yes, I know, there might be a storm before the calm. I know there is talk about ganging up on Israel at the UN later this year. Given its history of hostility towards Israel, does anyone really believe that Israel will let the UN determine our security and our vital national interests?

We will not accept any attempt by the UN to dictate terms to Israel. The road to peace runs through Jerusalem and Ramallah, not through New York.

But regardless of what happens in the months ahead, I have total confidence that in the years ahead the revolution in Israel’s standing among the nations will finally penetrate this hall of nations. I have so much confidence, in fact, that I predict that a decade from now an Israeli prime minister will stand right here where I am standing and actually applaud the UN. But I want to ask you: Why do we have to wait a decade? Why keep vilifying Israel? Perhaps because some of you don’t appreciate that the obsessive bias against Israel is not just a problem for my country, it’s a problem for your countries too. Because if the UN spends so much time condemning the only liberal democracy in the Middle East, it has far less time to address war, disease, poverty, climate change and all the other serious problems that plague the planet.

Are the half million slaughtered Syrians helped by your condemnation of Israel? The same Israel that has treated thousands of injured Syrians in our hospitals, including a field hospital that I built right along the Golan Heights border with Syria. Are the gays hanging from cranes in Iran helped by your denigration of Israel? That same Israel where gays march proudly in our streets and serve in our parliament, including I’m proud to say in my own Likud party. Are the starving children in North Korea’s brutal tyranny, are they helped by your demonization of Israel? Israel, whose agricultural knowhow is feeding the hungry throughout the developing world?

The sooner the UN’s obsession with Israel ends, the better. The better for Israel, the better for your countries, the better for the UN itself.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

If UN habits die hard, Palestinian habits die even harder. President Abbas just attacked from this podium the Balfour Declaration. He’s preparing a lawsuit against Britain for that declaration from 1917. That’s almost 100 years ago – talk about being stuck in the past. The Palestinians may just as well sue Iran for the Cyrus Declaration, which enabled the Jews to rebuild our Temple in Jerusalem 2,500 years ago. Come to think of it, why not a Palestinian class action suit against Abraham for buying that plot of land in Hebron where the fathers and mothers of the Jewish people were buried 4,000 years ago? You’re not laughing. It’s as absurd as that. To sue the British government for the Balfour Declaration? Is he kidding? And this is taken seriously here?

President Abbas attacked the Balfour Declaration because it recognized the right of the Jewish people to a national home in the land of Israel. When the United Nations supported the establishment of a Jewish state in 1947, it recognized our historical and our moral rights in our homeland and to our homeland. Yet today, nearly 70 years later, the Palestinians still refuse to recognize those rights – not our right to a homeland, not our right to a state, not our right to anything. And this remains the true core of the conflict, the persistent Palestinian refusal to recognize the Jewish state in any boundary. You see, this conflict is not about the settlements. It never was.

The conflict raged for decades before there was a single settlement, when Judea Samaria and Gaza were all in Arab hands. The West Bank and Gaza were in Arab hands and they attacked us again and again and again. And when we uprooted all 21 settlements in Gaza and withdrew from every last inch of Gaza, we didn’t get peace from Gaza – we got thousands of rockets fired at us from Gaza.

This conflict rages because for the Palestinians, the real settlements they’re after are Haifa, Jaffa and Tel Aviv.

Now mind you, the issue of settlements is a real one and it can and must be resolved in final status negotiations. But this conflict has never been about the settlements or about establishing a Palestinian state. It’s always been about the existence of a Jewish state, a Jewish state in any boundary.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Israel is ready, I am ready to negotiate all final status issues but one thing I will never negotiate: Our right to the one and only Jewish state.

Wow, sustained applause for the Prime Minister of Israel in the General Assembly? The change may be coming sooner than I thought.

Had the Palestinians said yes to a Jewish state in 1947, there would have been no war, no refugees and no conflict. And when the Palestinians finally say yes to a Jewish state, we will be able to end this conflict once and for all.

Now here’s the tragedy, because, see, the Palestinians are not only trapped in the past, their leaders are poisoning the future.

I want you to imagine a day in the life of a 13-year-old Palestinian boy, I’ll call him Ali. Ali wakes up before school, he goes to practice with a soccer team named after Dalal Mughrabi, a Palestinian terrorist responsible for the murder of a busload of 37 Israelis. At school, Ali attends an event sponsored by the Palestinian Ministry of Education honoring Baha Alyan, who last year murdered three Israeli civilians. On his walk home, Ali looks up at a towering statue erected just a few weeks ago by the Palestinian Authority to honor Abu Sukar, who detonated a bomb in the center of Jerusalem, killing 15 Israelis.

When Ali gets home, he turns on the TV and sees an interview with a senior Palestinian official, Jibril Rajoub, who says that if he had a nuclear bomb, he’d detonate it over Israel that very day. Ali then turns on the radio and he hears President Abbas’s adviser, Sultan Abu al-Einein, urging Palestinians, here’s a quote, “to slit the throats of Israelis wherever you find them.” Ali checks his Facebook and he sees a recent post by President Abbas’s Fatah Party calling the massacre of 11 Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics a “heroic act”. On YouTube, Ali watches a clip of President Abbas himself saying, “We welcome every drop of blood spilled in Jerusalem.” Direct quote.

Over dinner, Ali asks his mother what would happen if he killed a Jew and went to an Israeli prison? Here’s what she tells him. She tells him he’d be paid thousands of dollars each month by the Palestinian Authority. In fact, she tells him, the more Jews he would kill, the more money he’d get. Oh, and when he gets out of prison, Ali would be guaranteed a job with the Palestinian Authority.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

All this is real. It happens every day, all the time. Sadly, Ali represents hundreds of thousands of Palestinian children who are indoctrinated with hate every moment, every hour.

This is child abuse.

Imagine your child undergoing this brainwashing. Imagine what it takes for a young boy or girl to break free out of this culture of hate. Some do but far too many don’t. How can any of us expect young Palestinians to support peace when their leaders poison their minds against peace?

We in Israel don’t do this. We educate our children for peace. In fact, we recently launched a pilot program, my government did, to make the study of Arabic mandatory for Jewish children so that we can better understand each other, so that we can live together side-by-side in peace.

Of course, like all societies Israel has fringe elements. But it’s our response to those fringe elements, it’s our response to those fringe elements that makes all the difference.

Take the tragic case of Ahmed Dawabsha. I’ll never forget visiting Ahmed in the hospital just hours after he was attacked. A little boy, really a baby, he was badly burned. Ahmed was the victim of a horrible terrorist act perpetrated by Jews. He lay bandaged and unconscious as Israeli doctors worked around the clock to save him.

No words can bring comfort to this boy or to his family. Still, as I stood by his bedside I told his uncle, “This is not our people. This is not our way.” I then ordered extraordinary measures to bring Ahmed’s assailants to justice and today the Jewish citizens of Israel accused of attacking the Dawabsha family are in jail awaiting trial.

Now, for some, this story shows that both sides have their extremists and both sides are equally responsible for this seemingly endless conflict.

But what Ahmed’s story actually proves is the very opposite. It illustrates the profound difference between our two societies, because while Israeli leaders condemn terrorists, all terrorists, Arabs and Jews alike, Palestinian leaders celebrate terrorists. While Israel jails the handful of Jewish terrorists among us, the Palestinians pay thousands of terrorists among them.

So I call on President Abbas: you have a choice to make. You can continue to stoke hatred as you did today or you can finally confront hatred and work with me to establish peace between our two peoples.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I hear the buzz. I know that many of you have given up on peace. But I want you to know – I have not given up on peace. I remain committed to a vision of peace based on two states for two peoples. I believe as never before that changes taking place in the Arab world today offer a unique opportunity to advance that peace.

I commend President el-Sisi of Egypt for his efforts to advance peace and stability in our region. Israel welcomes the spirit of the Arab peace initiative and welcomes a dialogue with Arab states to advance a broader peace. I believe that for that broader peace to be fully achieved the Palestinians have to be part of it. I’m ready to begin negotiations to achieve this today – not tomorrow, not next week, today.

President Abbas spoke here an hour ago. Wouldn’t it be better if instead of speaking past each other we were speaking to one another? President Abbas, instead of railing against Israel at the United Nations in New York, I invite you to speak to the Israeli people at the Knesset in Jerusalem. And I would gladly come to speak to the Palestinian parliament in Ramallah.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

While Israel seeks peace with all our neighbors, we also know that peace has no greater enemy than the forces of militant Islam. The bloody trail of this fanaticism runs through all the continents represented here. It runs through Paris and Nice, Brussels and Baghdad, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, Minnesota and New York, from Sydney to San Bernardino. So many have suffered its savagery: Christian and Jews, women and gays, Yazidis and Kurds and many, many others.

Yet the heaviest price, the heaviest price of all has been paid by innocent Muslims. Hundreds of thousands unmercifully slaughtered. Millions turned into desperate refugees, tens of millions brutally subjugated. The defeat of militant Islam will thus be a victory for all humanity, but it would especially be a victory for those many Muslims who seek a life without fear, a life of peace, a life of hope.

But to defeat the forces of militant Islam, we must fight them relentlessly. We must fight them in the real world. We must fight them in the virtual world. We must dismantle their networks, disrupt their funding, discredit their ideology. We can defeat them and we will defeat them. Medievalism is no match for modernity. Hope is stronger than hate, freedom mightier than fear.

We can do this.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Israel fights this fateful battle against the forces of militant Islam every day. We keep our borders safe from ISIS, we prevent the smuggling of game-changing weapons to Hezbollah in Lebanon, we thwart Palestinian terror attacks in Judea and Samaria, the West Bank, and we deter missile attacks from Hamas-controlled Gaza.

That’s the same Hamas terror organization that cruelly, unbelievably cruelly refuses to return three of our citizens and the bodies of our fallen soldiers, Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin. Hadar Goldin’s parents, Leah and Simcha Goldin, are here with us today. They have one request – to bury their beloved son in Israel. All they ask for is one simple thing – to be able to visit the grave of their fallen son Hadar in Israel. Hamas refuses. They couldn’t care less.

I implore you to stand with them, with us, with all that’s decent in our world against the inhumanity of Hamas – all that is indecent and barbaric. Hamas breaks every humanitarian rule in the book, throw the book at them.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The greatest threat to my country, to our region, and ultimately to our world remains the militant Islamic regime of Iran. Iran openly seeks Israel’s annihilation. It threatens countries across the Middle East, it sponsors terror worldwide.

This year, Iran has fired ballistic missiles in direct defiance of Security Council Resolutions. It has expended its aggression in Iraq, in Syria, in Yemen. Iran, the world’s foremost sponsor of terrorism continued to build its global terror network. That terror network now spans five continents.

So my point to you is this: The threat Iran poses to all of us is not behind us, it’s before us. In the coming years, there must be a sustained and united effort to push back against Iran’s aggression and Iran’s terror. With the nuclear constraints on Iran one year closer to being removed, let me be clear: Israel will not allow the terrorist regime in Iran to develop nuclear weapons – not now, not in a decade, not ever.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I stand before you today at a time when Israel’s former president, Shimon Peres, is fighting for his life. Shimon is one of Israel’s founding fathers, one of its boldest statesmen, one of its most respected leaders. I know you will all join me and join all the people of Israel in wishing him refuah shlemah Shimon, a speedy recovery.

I’ve always admired Shimon’s boundless optimism, and like him, I too am filled with hope. I am filled with hope because Israel is capable of defending itself by itself against any threat. I am filled with hope because the valor of our fighting men and women is second to none. I am filled with hope because I know the forces of civilization will ultimately triumph over the forces of terror. I am filled with hope because in the age of innovation, Israel – the innovation nation – is thriving as never before. I am filled with hope because Israel works tirelessly to advance equality and opportunity for all its citizens: Jews, Muslims, Christians, Druze, everyone. And I am filled with hope because despite all the naysayers, I believe that in the years ahead, Israel will forge a lasting peace with all our neighbors.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am hopeful about what Israel can accomplish because I’ve seen what Israel has accomplished. In 1948, the year of Israel’s independence, our population was 800,000. Our main export was oranges. People said then we were too small, too weak, too isolated, too demographically outnumbered to survive, let alone thrive. The skeptics were wrong about Israel then; the skeptics are wrong about Israel now.

Israel’s population has grown tenfold, our economy fortyfold. Today our biggest export is technology – Israeli technology, which powers the world’s computers, cellphones, cars and so much more.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The future belongs to those who innovate and this is why the future belongs to countries like Israel. Israel wants to be your partner in seizing that future, so I call on all of you: Cooperate with Israel, embrace Israel, dream with Israel. Dream of the future that we can build together, a future of breathtaking progress, a future of security, prosperity and peace, a future of hope for all humanity, a future where even at the UN, even in this hall, Israel will finally, inevitably, take its rightful place among the nations.

Thank you.

Israel Musings September 29, 2013: Netanyahu condemns Iranian President’s UN speech

ISRAEL MUSINGS

ISRAEL MUSINGS: OP-EDS & ARTICLES

Netanyahu condemns Iranian President’s UN speech (Video)

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned the West against a rapprochement with Iran and denounced Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s speech at the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013 called it “a cynical speech full…Continue

Israel Political Brief August 23, 2013: PM Benjamin Netanyahu to address UN in September

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

Source: JTA, 8-23-13

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced he will address the United Nations General Assembly next month in New York….READ MORE

Full Text Israel Political Brief September 26, 2012: PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s Statement on Yom Kippur & United Nations General Assembly

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

Statement from PM Netanyahu

Source: PMO, 9-26-12

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu released the following statement this evening :

“Citizens of Israel,

Tonight, I am leaving for New York to represent the State of Israel at the United Nations.

On the issue of Iran, we are all in agreement on the goal of preventing Iran from achieving nuclear weapons.

On the day when we pray to be inscribed in the Book of Life, a platform was given to a dictatorial regime that strives, at every opportunity, to sentence us to death.

On the eve of Yom Kippur, which is sacred to the Jewish People, the Iranian tyrant – before the whole world – chose to publicly call for our disappearance.

This is a black day for those who chose to stay in the hall and listen to such slander.

In my remarks to the UN General Assembly, they will hear my response.

As the Prime Minister of Israel, the state of the Jewish People, I am working in every way so that Iran will not have nuclear weapons.

History has proven that those who have wanted to wipe us off the map have failed, as the Jewish People have overcome all obstacles.

We have set up a magnificent state, among the most advanced in the world.

Israel is a modern and strong state thanks to the strength and talents of its citizens and to our faith in the justice of our cause.

I wish you all gmar hatima tova!”

Full Text Israel Political Brief September 23, 2012: PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s Remarks at the Start of the Weekly Cabinet Meeting

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

PM Netanyahu’s Remarks at the Start of the Weekly Cabinet Meeting

Source: PMO, 9-23-12

Following are Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s and Minister Yossi Peled’s remarks at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting today:

“Good morning.

Last Friday there was a terrorist attack on our border with Egypt in which IDF soldier Netanel Yahalomi fell. Netanel had a non-combat [medical] profile but insisted on serving as a combat soldier so he could defend the homeland. We send our condolences to his family. In the same incident, the men and women soldiers of the Caracal unit stormed the terrorists’ position and killed three of them. An IDF soldier was wounded; we wish him a rapid recovery.

I would like to praise the action of our fighters in preventing a terrorist attack that could have been much deadlier, and I think that this underscores the importance of the Government’s decision to build a security fence on the border with Sinai. Without a Government decision to build a security fence on our border with Sinai, Israel would be flooded with illegal work infiltrators, as well as terrorist cells on the ground. This has been prevented due to this decision and due to the action of the IDF’s fighters. This was done of course, we made our decision, after the issue had not [previously] been dealt with.

Today, I would also like to focus on another thing that the Government did after many years in which the issues were not dealt with – I mean in the health field. We will hear a briefing by Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman on the Government’s impressive activity in this area. We are now adding hospital beds after a decade in which not a single bed was added. In the decade before the Government was established, not one hospital bed was added – we are adding 1,000 hospital beds. We recently dedicated a medical school in Safed, after almost 40 years in which no new medical school was opened in Israel.  We all know that there is always a shortage of doctors – we are trying to close this gap, inter alia, by this measure.

We are also taking a series of steps to lower the cost of medical treatments. We enacted free dental care up to age 12 – as of now there have been approximately two million free treatments. We also canceled the fee for infant care clinics; it had risen by hundreds of shekels. We are subsidizing things such as hearing aids. We have strengthened medicine in the Galilee and the Negev by opening forwar5d emergency rooms, emergency rooms in 12 communities. We have added MRI machines to the hospitals there; this had been a continuing complaint for years and this was also dealt with.

I would like to say that this investment has had results. Recently, Israel was ranked 6th in the global health index of 143 countries. One item that was checked was life expectancy. For men, we ranked second among OECD member states; the life expectancy of women is higher, and it is increasing. This, of course, is good news. I would like to thank you, Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman, and the people at your ministry for this important work in strengthening the health of Israeli citizens.

After Yom Kippur, I will take off for the US in order to speak there before the UN General Assembly on behalf of the citizens of Israel. After the speech, I will meet with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who recently made a moral and brave decision against Iran, and with US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton. I will reiterate that the most dangerous country in the world must not be allowed to arm itself with the most dangerous weapon in the world.

In conclusion, this is the last Cabinet meeting for our friend, Minister Yossi Peled. Yossi, yours is the story of the State of Israel. You survived the holocaust and came to contribute to the revival of our nation: You were an IDF soldier and then commander, and afterwards GOC Northern Command, and afterwards you entered public life and became a Government minister.

We attended several ceremonies together. Perhaps the most moving of these was at the Wansee Villa in Germany, where the Final Solution, was decided upon, and I remember that we stood together and were moved to the depths of our souls by the story encapsulated in your life’s work. I was repeatedly impressed by this there, in the many conversations that we had, and I know that you will yet continue in public life, but I would like to thank you on behalf of the Cabinet, your friends, and on behalf of all Israelis, for your contribution to the revival of Israel. Good luck Yossi and I think that you would like to say a few words.”

Following is an excerpt from Minister Peled’s remarks:

“…I want to tell you, to you [Mr. Prime Minister] and to everyone – this Government, in one area, did something that no government has done since 1953, in caring for Holocaust survivors…And do you know what, Mr. Prime Minister? Just for this it was worth it for me to be in the Government…”

Israel Political Brief September 18, 2011: President Obama, PM Netanyahu to meet in New York About Palestinian UN Statehood Bid

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

Obama, Netanyahu to meet in New York

Source: JTA, 9-18-11

President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are set to meet on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.

Netanyahu is scheduled to arrive Wednesday in New York for the General Assembly. He told his Cabinet on Sunday that he will meet with Obama, as well as other world leaders, during the annual U.N. confab.

White House National Security Council spokesman Ben Rhodes confirmed the scheduled meeting to reporters over the weekend. Obama is not scheduled to meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, according to the White House.

Netanyahu and Abbas are both scheduled to address the General Assembly on Friday, after which Abbas said he will submit a bid for full membership for the state of Palestine to the U.N. Security Council.

“The U.N. is not a place where Israel wins praise, but I think that it is important that I go there in order to represent both the State of Israel and the truth — and the truth is that Israel wants peace and the truth is that the Palestinians are doing everything to torpedo direct peace negotiations,” Netanyahu said Sunday.

Netanyahu reiterated that the only way for Israel and the Palestinians to achieve a peace agreement is through direct negotiations. He said that Abbas a year ago had declared that the Palestinians’ goal was to be accepted as a U.N. member and its attempt will fail.

“It will fail because it must go through the U.N. Security Council. Decisions that are binding on U.N. members pass through the Security Council,” the Israeli leader said. “I am convinced that the activity of the U.S., which is deeply cooperating with us, as well as the activity of other governments with which we are also cooperating will result in the failure of this attempt.”

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