Monthly Archives: February 2015

Israel, Jordan Sign Agreement To Save Dead Sea

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NATIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE, Energy, and Water Minister Silvan Shalom (left) and his Jordanian counterpart, Water and Irrigation Minister Hazim el-Naser, display the agreement yesterday after signing on the eastern side of the Dead Sea. (photo credit:HAIM ZACH/GPO)

By Israel News Agency Staff

Jerusalem, Israel — February 27, 2015 … Part of the following was communicated by the Regional Cooperation Ministry to the Israel News Agency.

Regional Cooperation Minister Silvan Shalom signed the ‘Seas Canal’ agreement with Jordanian Water and Irrigation Minister Hazim El-Naser at a ceremony attended by dignitaries from both sides as well as representatives from the World Bank and the US embassies in Israel and Jordan.

The agreement sets relations between Israel and Jordan regarding implementation of the first stage of the ‘Seas Canal’ project, including the construction of a desalination plant north of Aqaba that would supply water to the Aravah region in Israel and to Aqaba in Jordan. Residual saline brines will be piped to the Dead Sea via an approximately 200-km pipeline from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea in order to stabilize and save the latter.

In the framework of the agreement, water from northern Israel will be piped to Amman. The effect of the process on the Dead Sea, as well as other environmental affects, will be monitored and studied.

Jordanian Minister El-Naser said that Jordan welcomed the cooperation that would lead to the strengthening of bilateral links and facilitate joint dealing with the water problem in the region.

Minister Shalom said: “I stand here very moved by this historic signing of an agreement on a joint project to build a canal between the seas. Today we are realizing the vision of Binyamin Zeev Herzl, the father of the state, who in the late 19th century saw the need to revive the Dead Sea. This is the most important and significant agreement since the peace treaty with Jordan. This is the peak of fruitful and very good cooperation between Israel and Jordan and will assist in rehabilitating the Dead Sea and in resolving water issues in Jordan and the Aravah.”

Iran Fires At Mock US Targets As Obama Attacks Israel

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By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency

Jerusalem, Israel — February 26, 2015 … When people ask why is Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu coming to Washington to discuss Iranian nuclear weapons, all they need to do is Google Iran.

The first news item to appear is an Iranian military attack on mock US warships.

An attack on mock US warships as Obama negotiates a nuclear weapons agreement with Iran?
Let’s make this vividly clear, as US Secretary of State Kerry sits in Geneva in peace talks with Iranian leaders, Iran hangs Obama in effigy at a huge Tehran-sponsored rally marking the Islamic Revolution’s 36thanniversary, an event that underscores the absurdity of the ongoing diplomatic effort.

As Obama and Kerry beg for a deal with Iran, Iran displays on their state TV attacks against mock US targets. And so that there is no misunderstanding, a camera from Iranian state TV panned across a banner which reads: “If the Americans are ready to be buried at the bottom of the waters of the Persian Gulf – so be it”, a quote from Iran’s first Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

Is Israel going to trust it’s very survival with a US President who begs Iran for any nuclear agreement while being spit on by Iran?
A US President who will not share the details of Iranian nuclear talks with Israel?
A US President who ignores Israel’s leaders and instructs his Vice President and Secretary of State and every democratic member of Congress to ignore Israel’s Prime Minister?

But perhaps of even greater concern is Kerry’s recent remarks before Congress.

Kerry testified: “Despite ISIL, despite the visible killings that you see and how horrific they are, we are actually living in a period of less daily threat to Americans and to people in the world than normally; less deaths, less violent deaths today, than through the last century.” 

Retired US Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn , former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, responded saying that Kerry is “out of touch with reality, he clearly is not listening to the entire U.S. intelligence community.” 

The top U.S. intelligence official today gave a drastically different assessment than Secretary of State John Kerry of the terror threat – declaring 2014 the deadliest year for global terrorism ever recorded.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, testifying on Capitol Hill, catalogued the growing terror-fueled violence in stark terms.

“When the final accounting is done, 2014 will have been the most lethal year for global terrorism in the 45 years such data has been compiled,” Clapper told the Senate Armed Services Committee.

And Israel is supposed to “trust” Obama, Kerry and Rice with it’s survival?

Iran is threatening to annihilate Israel.

It is building the nuclear bombs to make that possible. It has lied to the world for more than a decade about its nuclear program. Iran is an oil superpower and energy exporter that has no need for nuclear energy.

America is about to sign a bad deal with Iran that will leave them something in the range of 5000 spinning centrifuges enriching Uranium. Israel is not party to the talks. It has been cast in the same position of Czechoslovakia in the Munich agreement of 1938 where Britain and France negotiated away Czech security (and much of the country) without the Czechs even allowed to be present.

And while Israel faces the possibility of genocide, the Obama administration shows gross insensitivity to an Israeli leader for simply speaking out.

Netanyahu does not come to the US to get elected in Israel. The average voter in Israel could care less about seeing Netanyahu meeting with Obama. They only care for maintaining a stable economy, having a pay check to pay for their food and for their national security which needs to defend against Islamic terror and missile attacks.

Israel and the US enjoy the best relations. This love affair between two, modern democracies is not in any danger. Their shared values are on the same page, same paragraph, same word.
One would only suspect that Iran and other Islamic nations would want to play divide and conquer but there is no need too as long as Barack Obama keeps acting hostile to it’s closet, most trusted ally in the Middle East.

With Kerry, at Congress calling into question Netanyahu’s judgement, using Netanyahu’s support for an Iraqi invasion, something that Kerry voted for and Susan Rice, declaring that Netanyahu was destroying the fabric between the US and Israel, it is not hard to understand why Fox News asked today: “Is President Obama anti-semitic?”

Susan Rice – Israel, Lies and Genocide

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Susan Rice – attacking Israel, 
minimizing the Iranian nuclear threat.

By Rabbi Shmuley Boteach

Jerusalem, Israel — February 25, 2015 … Is there any dirty job for the Obama Administration that Susan Rice is not prepared to do?

Need someone to fraudulently blame the murder of an American Ambassador in Libya on a stupid film? Send Susan to the Sunday talk shows.

Need someone to savage the leader of the only democracy in the Middle East as damaging the “fabric” of Israel’s relationship with the United States? Put Susan in the makeup chair of Charlie Rose.

Yes, it seems there is nothing Susan isn’t prepared to do.

And why should that surprise us?

This is the same Susan Rice who forbade Israel from criticizing John Kerry in her infamous tweet: “Personal attacks in Israel directed at Sec Kerry totally unfounded and unacceptable.” Yes, Israel’s freedom of expression is circumscribed by none other than Susan Rice.

But there is another reason Susan Rice’s attack on the Prime Minister of Israel on Charlie Rose merits special opprobrium and that is the unique insensitivity she is famous for when it comes to genocide.

Iran is threatening to annihilate Israel.

It is building the bombs to make that possible. It has lied to the world for more than a decade about its nuclear program. Iran is an oil superpower and energy exporter that needs nuclear energy about as much as I need a pork sandwich.

America is about to do a bad deal with Iran that will leave them something in the range of 5000 spinning centrifuges enriching Uranium. Israel is not party to the talks. It has been cast in the same position of Czechoslovakia in the Munich agreement of 1938 where Britain and France negotiated away Czech security (and much of the country) without the Czechs even allowed to be present.

And while Israel faces the possibility of genocide, Susan Rice shows gross insensitivity to an Israeli leader for simply speaking out.

But why shouldn’t Netanyahu entrust Israeli security to Susan Rice?

Perhaps its because of her record of trivializing genocide.

In 1994 Susan Rice was part of Bill Clinton’s National Security Team which took no action whatsoever during the Rwandan genocide, leaving more than 800,000 men, women, and children to be hacked to death by machete in the fastest slaughter of human beings ever recorded.

Not content to insist on American non-involvement, the Clinton administration went a step further by obstructing the efforts of other nations to stop the slaughter. On April 21, 1994, the Canadian UN commander in Rwanda, General Romeo Dallaire, declared that he required only 5000 troops to bring the genocide to a rapid halt. In addition, a single bombing run against the RTLM Hutu Power radio transmitting antenna would have made it impossible for the Hutus to coordinate their genocide.

But on the very same day, as Phillip Gourevitch details in his definitive account of the Rwandan genocide We Wish to Inform You that Tomorrow We will Be Killed With Our Families, the Security Council, with the Clinton Administration’s blessing, ordered the UN force under Dallaire reduced by ninety percent to a skeleton staff of 270 troops who would powerlessly witness the slaughter to come. This, in turn, was influenced by Presidential Decision Directive 25, which “amounted to a checklist of reasons to avoid American involvement in UN peacekeeping missions,” even though Dallaire did not seek American troops and the mission was not peacekeeping but genocide prevention.

Indeed, Madeleine Albright, then the American Ambassador to the UN, opposed leaving even this tiny UN force. She also pressured other countries “to duck, as the death toll leapt from thousands to tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands … the absolute low point in her career as a stateswoman.”

In a 2001 article published in The Atlantic, Samantha Power, author of the Pulitzer-Prize winning A Problem from Hell who is now Rice’s successor as American Ambassador to the United Nations, referred to Rice and her colleagues in the Clinton Administration as Bystanders to Genocide. She quotes Rice in her 2002 book as saying, “If we use the word ‘genocide’ and are seen as doing nothing, what will be the effect on the November congressional election?”

This is an astonishing statement. Here you have Susan Rice hearing about the murder of 330 people every hour for 3 months and her response is: “How will this affect us politically?”

That Rice would have brought up the midterm elections as a more important consideration than stopping the mass murder of so many men, women, and children that their bodies were damming the rivers of Rwanda is one of the most heartbreaking pronouncements ever uttered by American official.

But she did not stop there.

Rice then joined Madeline Albright, Anthony Lake, and Warren Christopher as part of a coordinated effort not only to impede UN action to stop the Rwandan genocide but to minimize public opposition to American inaction by removing words like “genocide” and “ethnic cleansing” from government communications on the subject.

In the end, eight African nations, fed up with American inaction, agreed to send in an intervention force to stop the slaughter provided that the U.S. would lend them fifty armored personal carriers.

The Clinton Administration decided it would lease rather than lend the armor for a price of $15 million. The carriers sat on a runway in Germany while the UN pleaded for a $5 million reduction as the genocidal inferno raged.

The story only gets worse from there, with the Clinton State Department refusing to label the Rwanda horrors a genocide because of the 1948 Genocide Convention that would have obligated the United States to intervene, an effort in grotesque ambiguity that Susan Rice participated in.

It was painful enough to watch Kofi Anan elevated to Secretary General even though as head of UN peace-keeping forces worldwide he sent two now infamous cables to Dallaire forbidding him from any efforts to stop the genocide (the cables are on display in the Kigali Genocide Memorial).

It’s nearly as painful watching Rice now attack the Jewish state, which lost one third of its entire people in a genocide of four short years, about how its elected leader is destroying its relationship with the world’s greatest superpower simply because a weaker nation insists on standing up for itself and speaking truth to power.

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach is a Jewish hero. Never afraid to speak up when other Jewish leaders remain silent. A man whom Newsweek and The Washington Post call “the most famous Rabbi in America,” is the international best-selling author of 30 books and has recently published The Fed-up Man of Faith: Challenging G-d in the Face of Tragedy and Suffering. His website is www.shmuley.com. Follow him on Twitter @RabbiShmuley.

Israeli-American Council, ADL: Both Parties Should Attend Netanyahu Speech on Iran Nuclear Weapons

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Israel will not allow Iran to have nuclear weapons.

By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency

New York — February 23, 2015 … Shawn Evenhaim, National Chairman of the Israeli-American Council (IAC), a respected Israeli-American organization which reaches over 150,000 Israeli-Americans in the US, says that members of Congress should attend Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech before a joint session of Congress next week.

“As Israeli-Americans who see it as our mission to strengthen the relationship between the United States and Israel, we believe that members of Congress need to hear the elected leader of the United States’ strongest Mideast ally about the serious challenge we face together – preventing a nuclear Iran,” said Evenhaim.

“Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East and is the United States’ closest friend. When a prime minister of Israel accepts an invitation to address Congress, especially about this critical shared goal, we believe legislators need to hear him. Not listening is unhelpful.”

Evenhaim also emphasized that the IAC is a non-political organization.

“We are not taking any side in any political arena, but we believe Congress should hear the elected leader of Israel – the only free democracy in the Middle East. The threat of a nuclear Iran is a threat to world peace, transcending domestic, political and partisan agendas. The IAC believes that members of Congress should hear any Israeli prime minister, of any party, on topics of mutual concern.”

Yesterday, two senior U.S. Senate Democrats invited Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to a closed-door meeting with Democratic senators during his upcoming visit to Washington, warning that making U.S. – Israeli relations a partisan political issue could have “lasting repercussions.”

Senators Richard Durbin and Dianne Feinstein extended the invitation “to maintain Israel’s dialogue with both political parties in Congress.”

The Anti-Defamation League issued a statement today urging American lawmakers to support the upcoming speech by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on March 3.

ADL Director Abraham H. Foxman, who the organization said plans to attend Netanyahu’s speech, said: “the speech deserves support from both sides of the aisle.”

“This is a time for Members to transcend the political controversy and come together to underscore the broad support for Israel’s security and understanding of its unique concerns about the threat of a nuclear Iran,” said Foxman.

 

Does ICC Know US Court Ruled Palestinian Authority As Terror Organization?

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The faces of innocent, Jewish civilians
murdered
by the Palestinian Authority / PLO.

By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency

New York — February 24, 2015 … A U.S. federal court has decided that the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority are liable for six terrorist attacks in Israel that murdered and wounded Americans more than a decade ago.

A jury in Manhattan on Monday awarded $218.5 million in damages for the attacks, which occurred from 2002 to 2004. Several Americans were among the more than 30 people murdered and hundreds wounded. Lawyers said the judgment would probably triple to $655 million under the provisions of the U.S. Anti-Terrorism Act.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs hailed the decision as “historic.” Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman called it “a moral victory for victims of terror.”

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded: “The US federal court decision determines the responsibility of the Palestinian Authority for the murderous terrorist attacks of the previous decade.”

Netanyahu added: “Instead of drawing the requisite lesson, the Palestinian Authority is advancing steps that endanger regional stability such as the hypocritical application to the International Criminal Court even as it is allied with the Hamas terrorist organization. We expect the responsible elements in the international community to continue to punish those who support terrorism just as the US federal court has done and to back the countries that are fighting terrorism. Today as well we remember the families that lost their loved ones; our heart is with them and there is no justice that can console them.”

US Shopping Malls Under Severe Terror Threat

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Israeli malls are well defended from terror attacks.

By Rebecca McCann
Israel News Agency

Washington, D.C. — February 23, 2015 … Perhaps the true achilles heel of America’s war on Islamic terrorism are the soft targets that everybody ignores. Among them are US shopping malls. They have been placed in a dark closet with the American government and public in denial that they are under threat – until yesterday.

Somalia’s al-Qaida-linked rebel group al-Shabab released a video over the weekend urging Muslims to attack shopping malls in the U.S., Canada, Britain and other Western countries.

The threat came in the final minutes of a more than hour-long video in which the Islamic terrorists also warned Kenya of more attacks like the September 2013 assault on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi in which 67 people were murdered.

U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson called the video “the new phase” of the global terrorist threat and warned the public to be cautious.

“These groups are relying more and more on independent actors to become inspired, drawn to the cause and they’ll attack on their own,” Johnson said, speaking on CNN.

When asked about the threat against the Mall of America in particular, Johnson said: “Any time a terrorist organization calls for an attack on a specific place we’ve got to take that seriously. What we’re telling the public is you’ve got to be vigilant. There will be enhanced security there that will be apparent, but public vigilance, public awareness and public caution in situations like this is particularly important.”

The US has been very lucky that no shopping malls have been attacked. If just two or three malls were attacked it would have a devastating effect on the US economy.

Israel stands as a highly effective example in neutralizing this threat.

Outside every mall in Israel are uniformed, armed security guards who use metal detectors and profiling to eliminate any threat. The success rate of keeping Islamic terrorists out of malls in Israel is 100 percent.

The FBI and Department of Homeland Security provided local law enforcement agencies and private sector partners with “relevant information regarding the recent al-Shabab propaganda video,” DHS press secretary Marsha Catron said in a statement.

“However, we are not aware of any specific, credible plot against the Mall of America or any other domestic commercial shopping center,” Catron said.

Following the threat, the NYPD issued a statement saying it is aware of the video and has taken steps to ensure the safety of New Yorkers.

To say that there is no specific, credible threat does not negate that a lone wolf terror attack could take place today or tomorrow in New York, Chicago, Hartford, LA or Miami.

“Americans must wake up,” said a highly respected security analyst from Israel.

“It is not so much the loss of life that could be limited to the death of a dozen people but the massive, devastating economic affect that just a few terror attacks would generate. We are talking about collapsing the US economy – that is referred to as economic Jihad – and these Jihadists have the tools to make this happen.”

 

Copyright © 2015 Israel News Agency ™ All rights reserved.

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat Takes Down Terrorist

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Security video of the terror attack shows Barkat (in white shirt)
grabbing the terrorist after he stabbed a Jewish man.

By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency

Jerusalem, Israel — February 22, 2015 … The Mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat, upon seeing a terror attack take place on the streets of Jerusalem rushed the terrorist and wrestled him down to the ground.

The Islamic terrorist attacked an Orthodox Jewish man, stabbing him in the stomach. The Mayor, who was not armed, subdued the terrorist, a 18-year-old Arab teen, with the help of his bodyguard.

Barkat told reporters that he was walking to his office when his guards spotted the attack.
“We saw a terrorist with a knife standing and looking for the next thing to do,” he said.
Jerusalem Mayor Barkat can be seen in white shirt.

The Mayor described how a guard cocked his weapon, causing the attacker to drop his knife and allowing Barkat and his guards to overpower him. “It’s clear to me that if the terrorist had continued stabbing, he would not be alive right now. But because he dropped the knife we overpowered the terrorist, and I hope he is punished appropriately.”

Asaf Na’amani, the bodyguard who drew his gun, said: “From the moment we jumped out of the car, I noticed a terrorist armed with a knife trying to cross the street. I told him to drop the knife; he froze in place and then dropped it. The Mayor and I jumped on him and wrestled him to the ground. In our world, there’s no such thing as hesitation – there’s only yes or no.”

Mayor Barkat, 55, served as an officer in the paratroopers’ brigade. A former high-tech entrepreneur, he was elected as Israel’s mayor of Jerusalem in 2008.

Abraham Goldstein (Photo: Eli Mendelbaum)Abraham Goldstein (Photo: Eli Mendelbaum)

Abraham Goldstein, the victim, recalled the attack: “I felt a sharp blow in my stomach. I began shouting that there was a stabbing and that they should move away, then he came to stab me again and I blocked him with my tefilin.”

This is our Israel.

Under constant attack on our Northern and Southern borders, threatened by Iranian nuclear weapons but defended by an alert, intelligent, brave and dedicated leadership.
There is much that the US Congress can learn next week in terms of how to detect and respond to Islamic terrorism. First we call it what it is – Islamic terrorism – then we attack it with every asset we have. That’s how we neutralize terror threats and protect our children. That’s how we survive. From the Prime Minister of Israel to the Mayors of our cities to the soldiers and police who stand guard 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

 

Copyright © 2015 Israel News Agency ™ All rights reserved.

Israel: IAEA Declares Iran Hiding Dangerous Activity, Why Does Obama Pursue Talks?

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By Israel News Agency Staff

Jerusalem, Israel — February 22, 2015 … Part of the following was communicated by the Prime Minister’s Office to the Israel News Agency.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today made the following remarks at the start of the Cabinet meeting: “Today the Cabinet will be briefed on the security challenges developing around us, first and foremost Iran’s attempt to increase its foothold on Israel’s borders even as it works to arm itself with nuclear weapons.

Alongside Iran’s direct guidance of Hezbollah’s actions in the north and Hamas’ in the south, Iran is trying to also to develop a third front on the Golan Heights via the thousands of Hezbollah fighters who are in southern Syria and over which Iran holds direct command.

The fact that Iran is continuing its murderous terrorism that knows no borders and which embraces the region and the world has, to our regret, not prevented the international community from continuing to talk with Iran about a nuclear agreement that will allow it to build the industrial capacity to develop nuclear weapons.

It is astonishing that even after the recent IAEA report determined that Iran is continuing to hide the military components of its nuclear program, the nuclear talks are with it are proceeding.”

Netanyahu said: “Not only are they continuing, there is an increased effort to reach a nuclear agreement in the coming days and weeks. Therefore, the coming month is critical for the nuclear talks between Iran and the major powers because a framework agreement is liable to be signed that will allow Iran to develop the nuclear capabilities that threaten our existence. The agreement that is being formulated between Iran and the major powers is dangerous for Israel and therefore I will go to the US next week in order to explain to the American Congress, which could influence the fate of the agreement, why this agreement is dangerous for Israel, the region and the entire world.”

A senior Iranian official responded sharply to warnings that Washington is ready to quit nuclear talks unless Tehran agrees to a deal that demonstrates it does not want atomic arms.

Ali Akbar Velayati says staying or leaving “depends on the Americans.”

Velayati was responding today to US Secretary of State John Kerry. Kerry said President Barack Obama was “fully ready” to pull the US out before agreeing to a deal leaving Tehran with potent nuclear arms-making ability.

Obama recently said that he is keeping some specifics from Israel. Many Western security analysts have a hard time believing that the US would hold back information from a close ally.

“This does not enhance global security, it alienates and places distrust between allies who face the same nuclear threat. Obama should be meeting with Netanyahu, not hiding from him,” a well respected security analyst stated.

Netanyahu says Israel knows the details of the nuclear deal being worked on by Iran and it biggest ally, the United States.

“We know that Tehran knows the details of the talks. Now I tell you that Israel also knows the details of the proposed agreement,” Netanyahu said.

“I think this is a bad agreement that is dangerous for the state of Israel, and not just for it. If anyone thinks otherwise what is there to hide here?”

 

 

Does It Snow In Israel?

By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency

Jerusalem, Israel — February 21, 2015 … There are brief moments in a magical, mystical Israel where the color white will softly, quietly blanket the ancient tan and brown earth tones.  The last few days had these moments where over 10 inches of holy snow flakes danced upon the grounds of Jerusalem, Neve Ativ, Beer Sheva, Dimona and Mount Hermon.

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Photo: Enon Landenberg

snow_cars

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Photo: IDF Spox

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Photo: Yehezkel Blumenstien

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snow_israel_cars

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In Jerusalem, a 25-year-old gave birth in an ambulance after it became clear
the baby would not wait to arrive at the hospital.

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Photo: Uriel Sinai

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Neve Ativ, Israeli ski village. Photo: Enon Landenberg

Netanyahu: Israel Will Never Outsource Its Security

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By Israel News Agency Staff

Jerusalem, Israel — February 16, 2015 … Part of the following was communicated by the Prime Minister’s Office to the Israel News Agency.

Following are Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s remarks today in Jerusalem, to the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations:

“Richard, thank you for those stirring words. They place an even greater burden on my shoulder. And it’s very good to be with you and Malcolm and all of you.

Today we lost a minister in my government and a dear friend. Uri Orbach loved the Jewish people. He loved the Land of Israel. He was taken from us when he still had much more to give. He will be sorely missed.

My Friends,

Tonight I want to address some important questions that have undoubtedly been on your minds. First, why am I going to Washington?

I’m going to Washington because as Prime Minister of Israel, it’s my obligation to do everything in my power to prevent the conclusion of a bad deal that could threaten the survival of the State of Israel. The current proposal to Iran would endanger Israel. It would enable Iran to breakout to its first nuclear device within an unacceptably short time. And it would allow Iran to build an industrial capability to enrich uranium that could provide the fuel for many bombs in the coming years.

A regime that openly calls for Israel’s destruction would thus have finally the means to realize its genocidal aims. Now mind you, I’m not opposed to any deal with Iran. I’m opposed to a bad deal with Iran. And I believe this is a very bad deal.

I’m certainly not opposed to negotiations. On the contrary – no country has a greater interest, a greater stake, in the peaceful resolution of the Iranian nuclear question than does Israel. But the current proposal will not solve the problem. It will perpetuate and aggravate the problem. It would provide a path for Iran to become a nuclear power. And therefore it’s very important that I speak about this in Washington.

Second question: Why am I going to Congress?

Because Israel has been offered the opportunity to make its case on this crucial issue before the world’s most important parliament; because a speech before Congress allows Israel to present its position to the elected representatives of the American people and to a worldwide audience; because Congress has played a critical role in applying pressure to the Iranian regime – the very pressure that has brought the ayatollahs to the negotiating table in the first place; and because Congress may very well have a say on the parameters of any final deal with Iran. That’s why I’m going to Congress.

I think the real question that should be asked is how could any responsible Israeli prime minister refuse to speak to Congress on a matter so important to Israel’s survival? How could anyone refuse an invitation to speak on a matter that could affect our very existence when such an invitation is offered?

Why go now?

The deadline for reaching an agreement with Iran is March 24th. That’s the date that drives the speech. Now is the time for Israel to make its case – now before it’s too late. Would it be better to complain about a deal that threatens the security of Israel after it’s signed? I believe it’s more responsible to speak out now to try to influence the negotiations while they’re still ongoing.

I think the whole point of Zionism is that the Jewish people would no longer be spectators to the decision-making that determines our fate. Remember, we were once powerless. We were once voiceless. We couldn’t even speak on our own behalf. Well, we can and we do now.

The answer to all three questions is the same. Why Congress? Why Washington? Why now? Because of the grave dangers posed by the deal that is on the table right now.

I don’t see this issue in partisan terms.

The survival of Israel is not a partisan issue. It concerns everyone, all the supporters of Israel from every political stripe. The fight against militant Islamic terrorism is not a partisan issue.

The battle against the Islamic State, which just beheaded 21 Christians, is not a partisan issue. And the effort to prevent the Islamic Republic from building nuclear weapons, that’s not a partisan issue either. I think the pursuit of nuclear weapons by Iran is the most urgent security challenge facing the world. I think the greatest danger facing humanity is the possibility that any movement or any regime of militant Islam will arm itself with the weapons of mass destruction. Everything that we see in our region now will pale by comparison. Everything that we see in Europe will pale by comparison.

When a militant Islamic regime that is rampaging through the region right now – that’s what Iran is doing, it’s conducting a rampage through the region – when such a regime has nuclear weapons, the whole world will be in peril. Look at what Iran is doing now without nuclear weapons. States are collapsing. And Iran is plunging forward. It’s already controlling four capitals. It’s controlling now through its Houthi proxies the Bab-el-Mandeb Straits.

It’s trying to envelope Israel with three terrorist tentacles – Lebanon, Hezbollah, Hamas in Gaza and now it’s trying to build with its Hezbollah proxies a third front in the Golan. Such a regime with nuclear weapons would be infinitely more dangerous to everyone, not only to Israel.

Now can I guarantee that my speech in Congress will prevent a dangerous deal with Iran from being signed? Honestly, I don’t know. No one knows.

But I do know this – it’s my sacred duty as Prime Minister of Israel to make Israel’s case. OnMarch 3rd, I’ll fulfil that duty, representing all the citizens of Israel before the two houses of Congress. And I will make the best case for Israel that I can, knowing that our case is just, that our case is sound, and that our case offers the best hope to resolve this issue peacefully.

Thank you.”