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PM Netanyahu addresses the Christian Media Summit

Iran wants to base itself next to Israel in order to destroy Israel. We will not let them do so. We back up these words with actions. We'll continue to do what we need to do to protect ourselves and defend ourselves against those who would destroy us.

Following is an excerpt from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's remarks at the Christian Media Summit in Jerusalem:

"Look at our neighbors. Look at what President Abbas is doing. I mean, he's rewarding terrorists. Pay for slay. The more they kill – the more they get paid. He has on his law books a rule, a law that says that if you sell land to Jews – you'll be executed. Some peace and some coexistence.

People have to say the truth. You are ambassadors of truth. You're not merely the greatest ambassadors that Israel has around the world – you're champions of truth. And if there's one thing that I can ask you to do is to tell the truth. Tell the truth about our history, tell the truth about our present, tell the truth about who wants peace and who doesn’t want peace.

You can also tell the truth about something else: Israel is a robust democracy. It supports and protects the rights of all: the rights of Jews, Christians, Muslims – of all. And we are the only ones who do so in a very broad radius. I think there's something unusual for Christians because Israel is the only country in the Middle East where the Christian community thrives and grows.

That is also applicable to what happened in the Palestinian Authority areas. You know the town of Bethlehem? Yes. You have a connection to it. We all do. And among other things, we have a connection to King David, the history of Ruth as you know, but also the story of Jesus. Now, Bethlehem had when we handed it over to the Palestinian Authority a Christian population of roughly 80%. Now it's about 20%. And that change happened because in the Palestinian Authority areas, as well as throughout the Middle East, Christians are being constricted, they're being pressured, also they're being persecuted.

Israel is the one country that protects the human rights of all. We protect the religious rights of all. We don’t just protect Christian religious sites – we protect Christian people. Christians should enjoy all the freedom to worship as they please in the Middle East and anywhere else and the only place in the Middle East where they can do so is Israel.

We have no better friends in the world than our Christian friends and I take this opportunity to thank you for your steadfast support. You are standing up for Israel and you are standing up for the truth and we stand up for you."

In response to journalists' questions, Prime Minister Netanyahu added:

"Iran wants to base itself right next to Israel in order to destroy Israel. They say so openly. We will not let them do so. We back up these words with actions, including now in these days, as we speak. Nothing has changed. We'll continue to do what we need to do to protect ourselves and defend ourselves against those who would destroy us."

In response to a question about Lara Alqasem, Prime Minister Netanyahu said:

"Every country and every democracy and many democracies have special arrangements where they decide who to let in and who not to let it. If you come in and you are virulently against America and you try to come to the United States, there's a good chance you won’t be let in if people know that in advance. That's also true of many of the European democracies. It's true of the democracy called Israel.

I trust that Minister Erdan has examined that and looked into it. It's under the decision now of the Israeli Supreme Court so I'm not going to get into that. And they'll decide whether they handle it or not. If they handle it – we'll see how it develops. If they don’t handle it – she'll be deported."

In response to a question about B'Tselem, Prime Minister Netanyahu said:

"How do I define B'Tselem? A disgrace. That's how I define them."

PM Netanyahu welcomes US President Trump’s decision regarding Iran

​PM Netanyahu: President Trump has just created an opportunity to fix this bad deal, to roll back Iran's aggression and to confront its criminal support of terrorism.

​PM Netanyahu commented  on President Trump's decision on Iran.

In his statement, PM Netanyahu noted: “If the Iran deal is left unchanged, one thing is absolutely certain: in a few years’ time, the world’s foremost terrorist regime will have an arsenal of nuclear weapons, and that’s a tremendous danger for our collective future.

"President Trump has just created an opportunity to fix this bad deal, to roll back Iran's aggression and to confront its criminal support of terrorism."

How Some Countries Became Friends of the Jewish People, and a Comment about Iran

How Some Countries Became Friends of the Jewish People, and a Comment about Iran
By Arkady Mamaysky

The following are just a few examples of how some countries became friends of Israel and the Jewish people.

Let’s Start with the Catholic Church and Vatican City State

After initiating inquisitions, crusades, blood libels, and brain-washing of the masses against the Jews, at the present time we became the “Older Brother,” in the words of Pope John Paul II, and the church changed its attitude to one of friendship.


After the fires of the Inquisition, forceful conversions, humiliation, and expulsion, at the present time Spain invites the “dear” descendants of Sephardic Jews to apply for Spanish citizenship.


After the bandits of Bohdan Khmelnytsky exterminated and tortured 100,000 Jews during the rebellion against Poland; after the bandits of Symon Petliura exterminated, tortured, wounded, and crippled even larger numbers during the Bolshevik revolution; after the pogroms, rapes, cooperation with the Nazis, and the considerable number of Ukrainians working in extermination camps during World War II, at the present time Ukraine expresses a friendly attitude toward Jews and Israel and allows Jews in parliament and in government. (Why not use talented people to Ukraine’s benefit?)


After subjecting Jews to humiliation and suffering in the Pale of Settlement, the pogroms, Black Hundreds, extermination of Jewish intelligentsia, and anti-Semitism of the Soviet time, at the present time Russian leaders make an effort to show a friendly attitude towards Jews, even to those who left Russia for Israel.

* * *

It would take a large volume to describe similar examples from many other countries – examples containing facts and details about discrimination, crusades, blood libels, pogroms, expulsion, persecution, and killing.

Of course, all of it culminated in Germany’s Holocaust, in which they did not simply kill six million of us, but before killing, humiliated and tortured people who they made guilty without being guilty.

Now after being forced to reject the Nazi ideology, Germany is friendly to the Jewish people and Israel.

(On a side note, the above brings up the question of what makes some Jews so excited about rebuilding Jewish communities in countries were we suffered humiliation and persecution, including Germany? It is important to see that the change of official government policy does not change the anti-Semitism that has been cultivated through centuries of a large part of the population.)

A Note about Iran

Let's make the far reaching assumption that Iran eventually will also become a friend of Israel and the Jews. In Iran’s case, it means returning back to its history of friendly relationships with Jews and Israel.

As we can see above, Iran has plenty of “good examples” of how to become a “friend” of the Jewish people.

Accordingly, we hear constant threatens to destroy Israel, lately “resourcefully" inscribed in Hebrew on Iran’s rockets. We are informed that Israel is a “one bomb country,” we are informed that Israel can be destroyed in eight days (perhaps based on the results of "scientific research"), and so on.

But the above-mentioned ways to “become friends of the Jewish people” were only possible when Jews were expelled from their land, scattered around the world, defenseless, and forced to live in different countries as unwanted guests/scapegoats. Now with a small but strong Israel, and with Jews united around Israel, the notion of a defenseless Jewish People is over.

But being strong as it is, Israel never thinks of such an inhumane and ungodly thing as destroying another country, including Iran. All that Israel is concerned about is self-defense. Even the name of the Israeli army literally translates to: Army of defense of Israel.

Maybe under the condition of “strict secrecy” somebody can inform those in this world who want to destroy Israel (unfortunately there are many) of Israel’s defense abilities.

Presently Iran’s attitude towards Israel is that Israel is an enemy. Iran has many enemies in the region, but Israel is not one of them. Maybe the time will come when the descendants of the ancient, glorious Persia will look back at its rich history and at the favorable treatment of Jews by, for example, Cyrus the Great, Darus the Great, Xerxes the Great, and many others.

The mistaken belief that Israel can sooner or later be destroyed and the Jews can be thrown into the sea, which is also a belief of some of Israel’s Arab neighbors, is the main reason for the lack of a peace treaty with these neighbors and the lack of a resolution to the Palestinian-Arab problem.

Peace will be established and the Palestinian problem will be resolved when it will be understood that this belief is wrong. Egypt and Jordan signed peace with Israel not out of love to the Jews but because Israel was able to convince them on the battlefield that this belief is wrong and Israel cannot be destroyed.

Security Cabinet rejects nuclear deal with Iran

The Cabinet unanimously rejected the agreement and it determined that Israel is not bound by it. PM Netanyahu spoke with US President Barack Obama and expressed Israel's two major concerns regarding this agreement, after having examined it.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

The Security Cabinet unanimously rejected the nuclear agreement with Iran and determined that Israel is not bound by it.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued the following statement after the Security Cabinet meeting:

"I come here from a discussion in the Security Cabinet. The Cabinet unanimously rejected the major powers' nuclear agreement with Iran and it determined that Israel is not bound by it. This evening I also spoke with US President Barack Obama. I expressed Israel's two major concerns regarding this agreement, after having examined it.

One, the agreement allows Iran to develop extensive capabilities that will serve it in arming itself with nuclear weapons whether at the end of the period of the agreement in another 10-15 years, or earlier if it violates the agreement. Two, the agreement channels hundreds of billions of dollars to Iran's terrorism and war machine, a war that is directed against us and against others in the region.

The world's leading powers have gambled on our common future in a deal with the main financer and operator of global terrorism. This is an historic mistake! We were right when we said that the desire to sign an agreement is apparently stronger than anything else; therefore, we did not commit to prevent the agreement. We did commit to prevent Iran from arming itself with nuclear weapons - and this commitment stands.

The claim heard from political elements to the effect that the personal relationship between myself and President Obama affected the nuclear agreement is absurd. Even before I took office as Prime Minister, there was an intention on the part of the American administration to normalize relations with Iran. Afterward, the US began secret negotiations with Iran which then became open. Of course, the desire to make an agreement brought about the result that it did.

On the other hand, over the past two decades, even when I was not Prime Minister and afterwards when I was Prime Minister, I did everything in my ability, everything in Israel's ability, to prevent Iran from arming itself with nuclear weapons. This activity embraced many fields. First of all, together with other elements, we led the imposition of sanctions - and afterwards the biting sanctions - against Iran. At the UN [in 2012], I drew a red line for the high enrichment of uranium and Iran has yet to cross it. My speech to the US Congress put the problem of Iran on an international and domestic American platform in a way that became a subject for discussion and demanded answers. And of course we are making efforts today as well to explain that this agreement is flawed and that it endangers the peace of the world.

The pressure that we applied and the actions that we undertook over the years led to the fact that Iran did not arm itself with nuclear weapons and I can safely say that were it not for Israel's actions, including by governments that I led, Iran would have already armed itself with nuclear weapons. And therefore, at present there is one mission - to ensure that it does not arm itself with nuclear weapons in the future. And at this time, in the face of such a mission, we cannot indulge in petty politics and false accusations.

This is the time to unite and create a united front on a fateful issue for the future of the State of Israel. In any case, we will continue to defend ourselves by ourselves against all who threaten our destruction."

Behind the Headlines: Agreement between Iran and P5+1

​Nuclear capabilities in the hands of Iran are a game changer that will certainly spark a nuclear arms race that will undermine regional security in the Middle East. This is a threat not only to Israel but also to the moderate countries in the Middle East and well beyond.

​The Joint Comprehensive Agreement reached between the P5+1 and Iran on July 14, 2015 impairs Israel's national security.

The agreement enables Iran to continue its significant enrichment of uranium far beyond any practical civilian needs. These capabilities have been acquired by deception, concealment, and above all recurring violations of UN Security Council resolutions.

In placing partial constraints for a limited number of years and areas, the agreement in effect only postpones Iran's achievement of military nuclear capability. When these limitations end, Iran will be able to increase its overall enrichment capacity significantly.

The agreement does not adequately limit Iran's research and development capabilities, particularly with regard to advanced centrifuges. In the case of "breakout" to a nuclear device, Iran could rely on its ability to enrich rapidly and covertly, shortening the time needed to produce a bomb.

Iran already has the enrichment capability to produce a bomb. It also has the suitable means of delivery (ballistic missiles and advanced guided missiles). Without limitations on its weaponization, the way is paved for Iran to assemble a bomb.

The agreement curtails UN Security Council resolutions that imposed an arms embargo on Iran and restrictions on its ballistic missile capabilities. The outcome of such concessions could enable Iran to further develop its missile program and to enhance its conventional military capabilities.

The agreement does not ensure a tight enough monitoring and verification mechanism. Iran has achieved its advanced nuclear capability covertly despite the IAEA's safeguards mechanism, and will be able to continue deceiving, evading and concealing.

The imminent removal of sanctions imposed on Iran eliminates the most efficient leverage that was restricting Iran's actions and that brought it to the negotiating table in the first place. Maintaining the pressure is the only means of ensuring that Iran will uphold its commitments.

As part of the economic benefits of the agreement, Iran will gain access to frozen funds (up to $150 billion). These funds will be used to increase Iran's subversive activities in the region and its support of terror (including Hezbollah) against Israel and its neighbors, as well as to strengthen the rule of the Ayatollahs. Iran's subversive activities in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen will only increase, as it will enjoy international legitimacy deriving from this agreement and an empowered status as a threshold nuclear state.

Nuclear capabilities in the hands of Iran are a game changer and will almost certainly spark a nuclear arms race that will undermine regional security in the Middle East. A nuclear Iran is a threat not only to Israel but also to the moderate countries in the Middle East and well beyond.

PM Netanyahu speaks with President Obama

A deal based on this framework would threaten the survival of Israel. It would legitimize Iran's nuclear program, bolster Iran's economy, and increase Iran's aggression and terror throughout the Middle East and beyond.

Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke to President Obama and expressed Israel's strong opposition to the framework agreement with Iran which poses a grave danger to Israel, the region and the world.

Prime Minister Netanyahu:

"A deal based on this framework would threaten the survival of Israel.

Just two days ago, Iran said that 'The destruction of Israel is non-negotiable,' and in these fateful days Iran is accelerating the arming of its terror proxies to attack Israel.

This deal would legitimize Iran's nuclear program, bolster Iran's economy, and increase Iran's aggression and terror throughout the Middle East and beyond. Such a deal would not block Iran's path to the bomb. It would pave it. It would increase the risks of nuclear proliferation in the region and the risks of a horrific war.

The alternative is standing firm and increasing the pressure on Iran until a better deal is achieved."

Statements by PM Netanyahu on Iran talks

The concessions offered to Iran in Lausanne would ensure a bad deal that would endanger Israel, the Middle East and the peace of the world. Now is the time for the international community to insist on a better deal.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued the following statement:

"The agreement being formulated in Lausanne sends a message that there is no price for aggression and on the contrary - that Iran's aggression is to be rewarded. The moderate and responsible countries in the region, especially Israel and also many other countries, will be the first to be hurt by this agreement.

One cannot understand that when forces supported by Iran continue to conquer more ground in Yemen, in Lausanne they are closing their eyes to this aggression. But we are not closing our eyes and we will continue to act against every threat in every generation, certainly in this generation."

Speaking at the opening session of the 20th Knesset (March 31), Prime Minister Netanyahu said:

"The greatest threat to our security and to our future was and remains Iran's effort to arm itself with nuclear weapons. The agreement being formulated in Lausanne paves the way to this outcome. It seems that it will leave in Iran's possession underground installations, the nuclear reactor at Arak and advanced centrifuges, the same things that only a few months ago we were told - and rightly so - were not essential to a nuclear program designed for peaceful purposes.

Iran's breakout time for achieving fissile material for nuclear bombs will not be measured in years, as was said at the outset; in our assessment the time has been reduced to less than a year, probably much less. And all of this is before taking into account the ballistic missiles that Iran is continuing to manufacture, the ongoing development of advanced centrifuges, Iran's obdurate refusal to reveal to the IAEA its activities to develop nuclear weapons and, I add, Iran's campaign of conquest and terrorism - which is open to all, everyone sees it, before our very eyes - from the Golan Heights to Yemen, from Iraq to Gaza and so many other places."

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued the following statement (Wednesday, 1 April 2015):

"Yesterday an Iranian general brazenly declared and I quote: 'Israel's destruction is non-negotiable', but evidently giving Iran's murderous regime a clear path to the bomb is negotiable. This is unconscionable.

I agree with those who have said that Iran's claim that its nuclear program is only for peaceful purposes doesn't square with Iran's insistence on keeping underground nuclear facilities, advanced centrifuges and a heavy water reactor. Nor does it square with Iran's insistence on developing ICBMs and its refusal to come clean with the IAEA on its past weaponization efforts. At the same time, Iran is accelerating its campaign of terror, subjugation and conquest throughout the region, most recently in Yemen.

The concessions offered to Iran in Lausanne would ensure a bad deal that would endanger Israel, the Middle East and the peace of the world. Now is the time for the international community to insist on a better deal. A better deal would significantly roll back Iran's nuclear infrastructure. A better deal would link the eventual lifting of the restrictions on Iran's nuclear program to a change in Iran's behavior. Iran must stop its aggression in the region, stop its terrorism throughout the world and stop its threats to annihilate Israel. That should be non-negotiable and that's the deal that the world powers must insist upon."

Obama, Netanyahu discuss Iran and Israeli-Palestinian peace process

WJC, At a meeting at the White House on Wednesday, Israel's leader Benjamin Netanyahu urged US President Barack Obama to ensure that any final nuclear deal with Iran does not leave the Islamic republic at the “threshold" of being able to develop nuclear weapons.

Obama urged the Israeli prime minister to help find ways to prevent Palestinian civilian casualties like those inflicted in the recent Gaza war between Israel and Hamas militants, according to the 'Reuters' news agency.

Netanyahu's visit was overshadowed by word of Israel's approval of the planned construction of more than 2,600 settler homes in the overwhelmingly Arab neighborhood of Silwan, in eastern Jerusalem. The White House said the matter had come up in the two leaders' closed-door talks and warned that it would draw international condemnation, "poison the atmosphere" with the Palestinians as well as Arab governments and call into question Israel's commitment to peace. Netanyahu said in an 'ABC News' interview that the issue had not been raised.

Underscoring Israeli misgivings at a critical juncture in nuclear talks between Iran and world powers, Netanyahu made clear that he remains at odds with Obama about the course of international negotiations with Iran. "As you know, Mr. President, Iran seeks a deal that would lift the tough sanctions that you worked so hard to put in place and leave it as a threshold nuclear power," Netanyahu said. "I firmly hope under your leadership that would not happen." Netanyahu wants Tehran completely stripped of its nuclear capability while Obama has suggested he is open to Iran continuing to enrich uranium on a limited basis for civilian purposes.

While Netanyahu put the emphasis on Iran, Obama was quick to focus on the bloody 55-day Gaza conflict in the summer. This followed the collapse of US-sponsored peace talks between Israel and Palestinians in April. “We have to find ways to change the status quo so that both Israeli citizens are safe in their own homes and school children in their schools from the possibility of rocket fire, but also that we don’t have the tragedy of Palestinian children being killed as well,” Obama said. The Obama administration had backed Israel’s right to defend itself against Hamas cross-border rocket fire, but also voiced criticism of Israeli military tactics as Palestinian civilian casualties mounted.

Without going into detail, Netanyahu said he remained “committed to a vision of peace for two states for two peoples." He suggested to “think outside the box” and recruit moderate Arab states to advance peace in the region, though he offered no specifics.

Within hours of the talks, both the White House and State Department blasted Israel's housing decision, reported by the anti-settlement watchdog Peace Now, to move forward on the settler housing project slated for construction since 2012.

PM Netanyahu's address to the Saban Forum: " We share President Obama's preference to see Iran's nuclear weapons program end through diplomacy. But for diplomacy to succeed, it must be coupled with powerful sanctions and a credible military threat"

"I am pleased to be joining you today, even if I'm doing it by remote satellite.

I remember the Willard Hotel when I came to Washington the first time in 1982; 30 years or more have passed and we know how the world has changed, but throughout that I think there's been this strong U.S.-Israel relationship that taken on these complex issues that we face, and Haim, I want to express to you my personal appreciation for the fact that you are sponsoring the forum to address this complexity. And it is legion, because the Middle East is undergoing great turmoil, great violence, great instability. But in this turbulence, the special bond between Israel and the United States is the crucial anchor of stability.

I didn't say just a crucial anchor; I think it is the crucial anchor, and I want to thank President Obama for his commitment to our strong alliance. He has repeatedly said that Israel must have the right to defend itself, by itself against all threats. I think that's a very important statement. It will follow us 360 degrees. And on President Obama's watch, defense, security and intelligence cooperation between the United States and Israel – this cooperation has reached new heights.

I want you to know that we can have different perspectives. I understand that the United States is a global power with global responsibilities. AndPresident Obama understands that the Jewish state is a beleaguered democracy in a hostile region, threatened like no other country on earth. And though we have the different perspectives of a superpower and a regional power, most of the time and on most things, if not the major things, we see eye-to-eye because we share common values, because we're anchored in deeply democratic societies, because there is a special bond between the people of Israel and the people of the United States of America. Sometimes we differ because we have these different perspectives. But we always share our views honestly, sincerely and respectfully. That's what good friends do, and that's what we'll continue to do.

Since President Obama's historic visit to Israel, we have often spoken at length about the pressing issues of our times. I don't know if there are any other two leaders in the world today who speak more frequently and more openly on such crucial matters. This communication serves both our countries well. I also want to take this opportunity to praise Secretary John Kerry for his tireless efforts for peace. John, you have my thanks and the thanks of the people of Israel for your dedication and your commitment to peace.

A moment ago I mentioned that the Middle East is going through unprecedented volatility, violence and instability. Out of all this uncertainty, one thing has become absolutely clear: The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not the source of the region's problems. Today, for all but a few diehards, that reality has finally debunked that myth. The tragedy in Syria, the terrorism in Iraq, the nuclear weapons program in Iran, the instability in North Africa, the Shi'ite-Sunni conflict, the scourge of violent Islamic radicalism – none of these is rooted in our dispute with the Palestinians.

This is not to say that peace with the Palestinians is not important. It's vital – first and foremost for Israel and the Palestinians. Achieving a genuine and enduring peace between us is a strategic goal of the State of Israel and of my government. I've made hard decisions to further peace negotiations. I'm willing to make even harder decisions to achieve peace.

I hope President Abbas also is willing to do so because peace can only be and must be a two-way street. I am ready for a historic compromise that ends the conflict between us once and for all. My willingness to make peace flies in the face of a second persistent myth – that peace has eluded us because Israel is not willing to demonstrate the necessary flexibility. That is not true. Under successive governments, Israel has demonstrated the flexibility and the willingness to make painful concessions. These will require discussing the issues of territory and settlements.

But the core of this conflict has never been borders and settlements. It is about one thing: The persistent refusal to accept the Jewish state in any border. The real key to peace is Palestinian recognition of the right of the Jewish people to national self-determination in this part of the world. This conflict didn't begin because we denied the right of the Palestinian people to a state of their own. We agreed to that in 1937 in the Zionist movement's response to the Peel Commission's partition proposal. The Palestinians refused. We agreed to that again when we accepted the UN partition proposal in 1947 for a Jewish state next to a Palestinian state. The Palestinians again refused.

And in the 20 years since the Oslo accords, every time we've offered a historic peace with a Palestinian state next to a Jewish state, the Palestinians still refused. Six successive Israeli prime ministers, myself included, have been ready for a historic compromise with the Palestinians. But it was never enough. Because all the Israeli proposals, all the Israeli concessions, were based on one premise: That the conflict would be over, that it would end and that there would be no further Palestinian national claims on the Jewish state. No right of return. No irredentist claims. No residual claims of any kind. And that the Palestinians have so far been unwilling to give.

So the question shouldn't be, why does Israel make this demand? The question should be: why do the Palestinians consistently refuse to accept it? After all, we recognize that in peace there will be a nation-state for the Palestinian people. And surely we are entitled to expect them to do the same: to recognize the nation-state of the Jewish people.

And my friends, we've only been around here for 4,000 years – well, a little less, 3,700 years. We have to have the Palestinians come to grips with the fact that there is going to be a Jewish state, a Jewish nation-state here next to their state. It's not too much to ask. It's the minimal requirement for peace.

But it's not the only requirement, because I don't delude myself. I think that any kind of peace we'll have is likely, initially at least, to be a cold peace. And it must withstand the forces of terrorism and the ravaging forces of radicalism and all the forces backed by Iran and others that will try to unravel the peace. And therefore any agreement that we make must enable us to protect the peace or conversely to protect Israel in case the peace unravels. That often happens in our region. Sothere must be iron-clad security arrangements to protect the peace, arrangements that allow Israel to defend itself by itself against any possible threats. And those security arrangements must be based on Israel's own forces. There is no substitute for that.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Our best efforts to reach Palestinian-Israeli peace will come to nothing if Iran succeeds in building atomic bombs. A nuclear-armed Iran would give even greater backing to the radical and terrorist elements in the region. It would undermine the chances of arriving at a negotiated peace. I would say it would undermine those peace agreements that we have already reached with two of our neighbors.

Just three days ago Iran's representative to the U.N. reiterated the regime's refusal to even recognize Israel. This came a fortnight after the ruler of Iran referred to Israel as a "rabid dog" and to us as not worthy of being called human. He said we were doomed to "failure and annihilation". And earlier in November, Khamenei called Israel "an illegitimate and bastard regime". So the Iranian regime's pursuit of nuclear weapons makes these remarks more than a simple matter of "sticks and stones". People tend to discount rhetoric from rogue regimes, from radical regimes. They said, well, it's just talk, but talk has consequences. We've learned that in history, especially when the regime that makes these statements is actually building the capability to carry it out.

This same regime supplies its terrorist proxies, Hezbollah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad, with thousands of rockets, rockets that are aimed at Israeli civilians, rockets that are precision-guided munitions that are increasingly lethal and deadly. This is a regime committed to our destruction. And I believe there must be an unequivocal demand alongside the negotiations in Geneva for a change in Iranian policy. This must be part and parcel of the negotiations. In other words, I'm saying that what is required is not merely a shift and a diminution of Iran's capability and elimination of its capability to produce nuclear weapons, but also a demand to change its genocidal policy. That is the minimal thing that the international community must do when it's negotiating with Iran.

And as you all know, it's not just about Israel. Iran continues to trample the rights of its own people, to participate in the mass slaughter in Syria, to engage in terrorism across five continents and to destabilize regimes throughout the Middle East.

I don't think I can overstate, I don't think any of us can overstate the Iranian danger. So for the peace and security of the world, Iran must not be allowed to maintain the capability to produce nuclear weapons – not today and not tomorrow. The world must not allow Iran to be a threshold nuclear weapons state with the option to cross that threshold at a time of its choosing. Therefore, unlike the recent interim deal, any final deal must bring about the termination of Iran's military nuclear capability.

I have expressed my concern since before Geneva that the sanctions would begin to unravel. I heard today that Iran's president said that in fact the situation in Iran economically is already markedly improved since the accords were announced. They haven't even been put in place yet. So steps must be taken to prevent further erosion of the sanctions. Because ultimately, the sanctions remain an essential element of the international effort to compel Iran to dismantle its nuclear military infrastructure: to take apart the centrifuges; to tear down the heavy water reactor; to eliminate the current stockpiles of enriched uranium; to cease the development of ballistic missiles and the work on weaponization, which by the way the Geneva agreement does not address. None of these things that Iran insists it must have – none of them is necessary for a peaceful nuclear program.

So while Israel is prepared to do what is necessary to defend itself, we share President Obama's preference to see Iran's nuclear weapons program end through diplomacy. But for diplomacy to succeed, it must be coupled with powerful sanctions and a credible military threat.

Now let me repeat that: A diplomatic solution is better than a military option. But a military option is necessary for diplomacy to succeed, as are powerful sanctions.

We all agree that after a couple of years of tough sanctions, Iran finally began to negotiate seriously. Because of the pressure, what seemed impossible yesterday became possible today. We should not assume that more and tougher sanctions won't lead to a better deal. What seems impossible today could become possible tomorrow.

My friends,

Preventing Iran from achieving a nuclear weapons capability is the paramount challenge of our generation because a nuclear-armed Iran would literally change the course of history. It would threaten the peace and security of us all by arming the world's most dangerous regime with the world's most dangerous weapons. I think we've learned from history that regimes with unlimited appetites act out their fantasies and their made ideologies when they think they have the weapons of mass death or at least incalculable power. That's what usually happens.

Such power in the hands of such regimes unleashes the worst ambitions. It's not that they don't have diplomats – they do. They have diplomats, some of them even wear ties. They might speak English and they might make PowerPoint presentations where in the past they just spoke English and they spoke reasonably well. But when the powers behind the throne, the power on the throne is committed to a radical ideology and pursues it and talks about it again and again and again, then I say: Beware.

We've learned in our experience, the experience of the Jewish people, to take seriously those who speak about our annihilation, and we will do and I will do what is necessary to protect the Jewish state and the future of the Jewish people.

Our best efforts, mine and those of President Obama, have yet to achieve the desired results. The jury is still out. Iran is perilously close to crossing the nuclear threshold. History will judge all of us on whether we succeed or not in rising to meet this greatest of all challenges.

President Obama and others have called the United States the "indispensable nation". I agree. I believe though that in meeting this supreme challenge, Israel and the United States form the indispensable alliance. We will continue to work together to strengthen that indispensable alliance for the sake of peace, security and our common future.

Thank you all and good luck."


FM Liberman meets UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon

Israel's concern regarding the agreement signed with Iran is based on real facts. We continue to witness Iranian activity undermining world stability - in Lebanon, Iraq and elsewhere.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman met on with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at the United Nations in New York. During the meeting, they discussed the agreement signed between the P5+1 and Iran, the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, developments in the Middle East, and relations between Israel and the United Nations.

FM Liberman said that Israel's concern regarding the agreement signed with Iran is based on real facts. Just a day before the agreement was signed, the Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei likened Israel and the Jews to an untouchable rabid dog, and said that Israel is destined to vanish. Today, we continue to witness Iranian activity undermining world stability - in Lebanon, Iraq and elsewhere. Several weeks ago, an Iranian operative planning to kill the Israeli ambassador to Azerbaijan was arrested in Baku.

FM Liberman noted that the agreement with Syria included real steps to remove and destroy its chemical weapons, unlike Iran which is not prepared to relinquish its nuclear ambitions.

With regard to the talks with the Palestinians, FM Liberman said that the Palestinian approach is harming the chances to advance negotiations through unilateral action to gain acceptance to 16 UN-related bodies. Moreover, their public statements that they are only waiting for the release of another group of prisoners before withdrawing from the talks are leading the talks to an impasse. FM Liberman asked Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to act to alter the Palestinian approach.

FM Liberman noted that the settlements constitute in total only 1.5% of the land in Judea and Samaria, and do not constitute an obstacle to peace but rather an excuse for those who do not want peace.

FM Liberman noted that Israel has taken a difficult decision to resume cooperation with the UN Human Rights Council, in the hope that its activity will be more balanced, at least with regard to the Western states.

The meeting was cordial, and the Secretary General congratulated Liberman on his return to the position of Foreign Minister.

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