Iranian leader’s call to destroy Israel not ‘mere words,’ Netanyahu tells Jewish Federations

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses the Jewish Federations of North America General Assembly on Tuesday via a live video feed. Credit: Ron Sachs.

( Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s recent tweeting of a 9-point plan to destroy Israel is more than “mere words,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamina Netanyahu told the 2014 General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America in a live video address on Tuesday.

“These aren’t mere words… the regime of Iran’s wild rhetoric is also back by murderous action,” Netanyahu said, citing Iran’s funding of the terrorist groups Hamas and Hezbollah.

“That’s apparently the Iranian regime’s idea of modernity—tweeting about the annihilation of Israel,” added Netanyahu.

The international community’s goal “must not be merely to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons today, we must also prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons tomorrow,” the prime minister said.

“This is how Iran acts without nuclear weapons,” he said. “Now imagine how Iran will act with a deal that leaves it as a threshold nuclear power.”

Yet instead of “holding firm” in nuclear negotiations with Iran, which have a Nov. 24 deadline for an agreement, world powers are reportedly willing to leave the Iranian nuclear program “largely intact” and rely on inspectors to prevent weaponization, Netanyahu said. He said that instead, the world must “recognize the limitations of our own intelligence-gathering capabilities,” given the previous failure of any country’s intelligence to discover Iran’s nuclear facilities at Natanz and Qom.

Iran should also not be treated as an ally in the fight against the Islamic State terror group in the Middle East, Netanyahu said.

“To defeat ISIS (Islamic State) and allow Iran to be a threshold nuclear power would be to win the battle and lose the war,” he said. Iran “should be treated as an enemy” by America, said Netanyahu, hinting at but not directly referencing the recent report that President Barack Obama wrote a letter to Khamenei in mid-October regarding the Islamic State threat.

Amid the recent surge in Palestinian terrorist attacks against Israelis, particularly in Jerusalem, Netanyahu said he regrets that “the Palestinian Authority (PA), which should also be working to calm tensions, has joined Hamas and radical Islamists in fanning the flames.” PA President Mahmoud Abbas publicly praised the Islamic Jihad terrorist who tried to kill Temple Mount activist Yehudah Glick and accused Jews of “contaminating” the Temple Mount, Netanyahu noted, adding that the Facebook page of Abbas’s Fatah party denies that the Jewish people have any connection to the Temple Mount or that there was ever a Jewish Temple to begin with.

“These distortions and this incitement are so corrosive to the effort to reach a genuine peace,” Netanyahu said.

Posted on November 11, 2014 .