newsIsrael at War

Iranian opposition member to Knesset: ‘Do not fear to strike Iran’

"Try to imagine what the Middle East would look like without the Iranian government," said Vahid Beheshti.

Iranian dissident Vahid Beheshti (left) and Israeli lawmaker Evgeny Sova, co-chairman of the Knesset Israel Victory Caucus, at the parliament in Jerusalem, Jan. 2, 2024. Photo by Michael Katz.
Iranian dissident Vahid Beheshti (left) and Israeli lawmaker Evgeny Sova, co-chairman of the Knesset Israel Victory Caucus, at the parliament in Jerusalem, Jan. 2, 2024. Photo by Michael Katz.

Iranian opposition leader Vahid Beheshti told the Knesset Israel Victory Caucus on Tuesday that Israel shouldn’t be afraid to attack the Islamic Republic, saying “this is the only language they understand.”

“Soon you will have to deal with the elephant in the room, which is the Iranian government,” Beheshti told the caucus, made up of Knesset members and security, diplomatic and political leaders.

“The good news is that you have an army of 80 million Iranians who are thirsty for freedom and democracy, who since 2009 have been trying to overthrow the government but have not yet succeeded because of the barbaric violence of the Iranian regime,” he said.

“If you support the Iranian people, you will see how they will lower the head of the octopus and we will all experience peace,” he added. “Help us overthrow the government. Try to imagine what the Middle East would look like without the Iranian government.”

Beheshti, who is based in London, rose to prominence after a 72-day hunger strike followed by a sit-in last month, calling on the British government to proscribe Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps as a terror organization.

“The Iranian government is at its greatest weakness in 44 years. They were aware of the attack on the 7th of October in advance. They thought that after the terrible attack they would achieve a total ceasefire within two months, but it did not happen,” he said.

Also addressing the forum was Israeli Intelligence Minister Gila Gamliel of the Likud Party. She presented the main points of her plan for the voluntary resettlement of those Gaza Strip residents that wish to emigrate.

“The mobilization of the international community is required to create a pool of countries that will take in refugees while receiving an aid package for them,” said Gamliel.

“With proper diplomatic work, the international system can be harnessed for this. The implementation of an outline of voluntary humanitarian resettlement will allow Gaza refugees who wish to have the opportunity to rebuild their lives without the tyranny and oppression of Hamas-ISIS,” she added.

Voluntary emigration has been floated as an option in recent weeks by both by Israeli and U.S. politicians as a way to help Palestinian Arabs escape the battle-torn region.

Guests of the caucus were Yisrael and Naomi Weiser, whose son, Staff Sgt. Roey Weiser, was killed on Oct. 7 while defending his fellow soldiers at the Erez Crossing. “This war must continue until the IDF’s complete victory over all the enemies that surround us, without respite to allow the enemy to rearm themselves,” said Yisrael.

“Anything less than that will not achieve the goal for which my son was killed, which was the defense of the State of Israel. We have no desire for more parents to go through what we are going through now. This must also be the last war. We must learn from our failures to be a deterrent for the future,” he added.

Caucus co-chairman MK Ohad Tal of the Religious Zionism Party said, “It’s time we stop setting ourselves as a goal more and more tactical victories. Hamas taught us that the time has come for a real and strategic victory. The goal of the war should be that the State of Israel controls the entire Gaza Strip, not temporarily, but permanently. Gaza is part of the State of Israel and should once again be in Israel’s hands.”

The Knesset Israel Victory Caucus was created in 2017 and has Knesset members from both the coalition and opposition and is assisted by the Middle East Forum’s Israel Victory Project.

The Israel Victory Project, created in 2015, seeks to steer Israeli policy toward support for a victory over violent Palestinian rejectionism.

This paradigm seeks to resolve the more than 100-year-old conflict by convincing Palestinians that the Jewish state is permanent, drawing on Israel’s earlier and successful strategy of deterrence.

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