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ADL Condemns' 'Absurd' U.N. Special Session on Jerusalem

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ADL Condemns' 'Absurd' U.N. Special Session on Jerusalem

New York, NY, The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today condemned the United Nations General Assembly emergency special session on “Israeli illegal actions” in East Jerusalem as “absurd” and “yet another chapter in the U.N.’s long record of single-minded focus on Israel.” The final vote, rejecting any recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, was 128 in favor, 9 against, with 35 abstentions.

Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO, issued the following statement:

Given the numerous pressing issues confronting the world today it is absurd that the General Assembly called an emergency special session to, yet again, excoriate Israel. No emergency special session has been convened to discuss Syria or Burma or a myriad of other crises. Indeed, of ten such special sessions convened over the history of the U.N., seven have been convened with the sole purpose of criticizing Israel.

While today’s session was held to critique the U.S. government’s recent recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, the session was yet another chapter in the U.N.’s long record of single-minded focus on Israel. It is notable that countries engaged in severe crises – including Yemen, Syria, Iran, Venezuela and Bangladesh, among others – spoke from the podium and declared Israel and Jerusalem the leading issue in the world.

The General Assembly once again has failed to play a constructive and fair-minded role in encouraging peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Instead of helping to promote engagement, it has deepened the divide.
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WJC officials to meet with leaders from 30 nations in New York this week

The World Jewish Congress will be holding talks with top government officials from more than 30 different countries gathered in New York this week for the high-level session of the United Nations General Assembly.

WJC President Ronald S. Lauder, CEO Robert Singer, and other WJC representatives will lead the discussions with presidents, prime ministers, and foreign ministers. The WJC leadership will, amongst others, be meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Polish President Andrzej Duda, Bulgarian President Roman Plevneliev and Foreign Minister Daniel Mitov, Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó, French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, Spanish Foreign Minister José Manuel García-Margallo, and delegations from the Turkish and Ukrainian government.

In addtion, WJC President Ronald S. Lauder will host Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern for a special reception at his Neue Galerie on Tuesday. Lauder will also deliver a tribute to the late Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel, at a UNESCO-sponsored reception honoring the “Heroes of the Global Campaign to Prevent and Overcome Violent Extremism” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Thursday.
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Knesset commemorates historic UN speech denouncing “Zionism is racism” resolution

PM Netanyahu: Resolution 3379 marks an unprecedented moral nadir for the UN, which provided a platform for the libel of racism, turning into an organization that perpetuates the lines of division between states.

The Knesset commemorated the historic speech given by then ambassador to the United Nations Chaim Herzog on November 10, 1975, in which he denounced General Assembly Resolution 3379 that declared Zionism a form of racism.

That day coincided with the 37th anniversary Kristallnacht, or the Night of Shattered Glass, in Germany. The resolution was adopted by a 72-35 vote with 32 abstentions and remained in place until it was revoked in 1991, by which time Herzog was Israel’s sixth president.

Knesset Speaker Yuli-Yoel Edelstein opened the special plenary session by saying that even after all the time that has passed, ”the UN is once again proving its deep detachment from what is happening in our region [and presents] its biased approach to the conflict here.”

”Today, 24 years after the UN annulled the miserable resolution which compared Zionism to racism, the UN is leading, in practice, a clear anti-Israel approach, which at times is no less severe than that decision regarding Zionism. In many ways, nothing has changed after 40 years. Israel is still slandered and boycotted all across the world, and nonsense and incitement indirectly or directly encourage the hatred and the attacks against [Israel],” Edelstein told the plenum.

”Today, as in the past, we do not plan on remaining silent about the dissemination of lies which slander the Jewish nation and the State of Israel. If we are destined to remain in the minority position, we will never stop fighting for our justice, our rights and our morality, in the spirit of the determination and courage that were displayed by Chaim Herzog on the UN stage.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in his speech that Resolution 3379 marked an ”unprecedented moral nadir” for the UN, which ”provided a platform for the libel of racism, turning into an organization that perpetuates the lines of division between states.”

”Not only does it not help in finding solutions, it has deepened the conflicts and stood on the side of tyranny against democracy,” he said.

The prime minister said the Zionism is racism resolution was a ”watershed moment” in the history of anti-Semitism, in that previously, hatred of Jews arose in one country or another, but this was the first time an international body was used to that end.”

In the 40 years since Herzog’s speech, Netanyahu stated, ”the impression of deep polarity that was inherent in that day has not been dulled” The PM argued that, though the resolution was canceled in 1991, ”the trend of hostility to Israel in UN institutions continues to this day. The pattern of automatic votes against Israel continues. There are factors in the UN who seek to condemn us at every opportunity.”

Opposition leader Isaac Herzog (Zionist Camp) told the plenum that his father’s speech defended Israel’s values as a democracy.

”Forty years later,” he said, ”the State of Israel is fighting for its existence and international standing. To this day, there are still some around the world who seek to destroy us and our spectacular project…To this day, our enemies doubt the justice of our existence and our natural and historic right to self-determination.”

”They didn’t know what BDS was then, but it was the same,” Herzog remarked. ”Israel is dealing with terrorism and orchestrated international delegitimization.”

He stated that the efforts to fight terrorism cannot allow Israel to change its character and its Jewish and democratic values.

”There are values that cannot be disputed, no matter what attack we are under. We must remember each day what are the values on which the State of Israel was established and by which it acts,” Herzog said, and read from the Declaration of Independence, calling it ”not only our founding document, but our defensive shield.”

Herzog spoke out against a populist and violent discourse, saying it is ”making us sometimes forget that left and right, religious and secular, we are all Israelis. We all love this country the same amount, we all defend it together and are willing to give our lives for it.

”As my father, may he rest in peace, said in that speech 40 years ago, words that are reinforced today: ‘We will stand as a united front against those who seek to destroy us, and remind all those who seek to boycott us, isolate us and destroy us, that we will not stand idly by in the face of those heinous attempts`.”

At the end of his speech, Chaim Herzog tore up the resolution on the podium before the UN General Assembly.

”For us, the Jewish people, this is no more than a piece of paper and we shall treat it as such,” he said.

The decision, he told the gathering, was ”conceived in the desire to deflect the Middle East from its moves toward peace and born of a deep pervading feeling of anti-Semitism”

”It is sobering to consider to what level this body has been dragged down if we are obliged today to contemplate an attack on Zionism. For this attack constitutes not only an anti-Israeli attack of the foulest type, but also an assault in the United Nations on Judaism,” Herzog stated.

”The resolution against Zionism was originally one condemning racism and colonialism, a subject on which we could have achieved consensus,” he added. ”However, instead of permitting this to happen, a group of countries, drunk with the feeling of power inherent in the automatic majority and without regard to the importance of achieving a consensus on this issue, railroaded the UN in a contemptuous maneuver by the use of the automatic majority into bracketing Zionism with the subject under discussion.”
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Israel Ambassador Prosor to UN: Condemn terror attacks

Since the beginning of Ramadan, as Israel took steps to facilitate holiday celebrations, there has been a dramatic increase in attacks against Israelis - part of a global surge of terrorism. I expect you to condemn the terrorist attacks in Israel in an equally decisive manner.

Following the fatal shooting of Malachi Rosenfeld on June 29 near Shilo on the Alon road, Israel Ambassador Ron Prosor sent the following letter to the UN Secretary General and the Security Council:

"I write to you for the second time in less than two weeks to​ inform you that yet another citizen of Israel has been brutally murdered by Palestinian terrorists. Malachi Moshe Rosenfeld, age 26, was shot and killed while driving home from playing basketball with his friends, who were also severely injured in the attack, and remain hospitalized. Malachi had taken responsibility for taking care of his family after his older brother died in a tragic accident 13 years ago. This cruel murder is an unbearable tragedy for his family and his community.

In the two weeks since the beginning of Ramadan, even as Israel has taken steps to facilitate holiday celebrations, there has been a dramatic increase in attacks against Israelis. Each day seems to bring with it news of a shooting attack, or a stabbing. Just yesterday, a terrorist stabbed a 19-year old female soldier next to Rachel’s Tomb, causing severe injuries. These attacks are a direct result of incitement by the Palestinian Authority in the media and in its education system. Even after this latest incident, the leadership of the PA remains silent, failing to condemn the murder of innocent people.

These attacks are part of a global surge of terrorism. We have all been witness to the horrific terror attacks of last week in France, Tunisia, and Kuwait, which you condemned "in the strongest terms". We join in your call that "those responsible for these appalling acts of violence must be swiftly brought to justice" and that "these heinous attacks will only strengthen the commitment of the United Nations to help defeat those bent on murder, destruction and the annihilation of human development and culture".

I expect you to condemn the terrorist attacks in Israel in an equally decisive manner. Terror is terror, no matter where it takes place, or who is harmed. The people of Israel deserve the same level of concern and empathy as any other people in the world."
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Behind the Headlines: Palestinian UN Security Council draft resolution

This resolution lacks the components that would advance a future agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. An agreement between Israel and the Palestinians will only be achieved through bilateral negotiations.

The Palestinian Authority (PA) draft resolution was submitted by Jordan to the UN Security Council on Monday, 29 December.

Israel strongly opposes unilateral measures in the Security Council. This resolution is completely one-sided and lacks the components that would advance a future agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. It will harm chances for peace and undermine hopes for a better future for both Palestinians and Israelis.

An agreement between Israel and the Palestinians will only be achieved through bilateral negotiations and not through one side dictating terms. Israel remains committed to the negotiating process and will reject any attempt to unilaterally impose conditions on it.

The PA resolution can only harm chances for peace as it:

Reduces any incentive for the Palestinians to negotiate and compromise while encouraging Palestinian rejectionism. The resolution is part of the PA's strategy to bypass direct negotiations by forcing its positions on Israel through third-party pressure.
Allows the Palestinians to ignore Israel's legitimate interests, especially in regards to the necessary security arrangements and recognition of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people.
Promotes further Palestinian unilateral actions that violate the agreements signed - with the backing of the international community - between Israel and the PA, as well as all internationally accepted frameworks for peace, including UNSC Resolutions 242, 338 and 1850.
Rewards the PA - at a time of heightened terrorism and official incitement - for choosing Hamas as its partner in government at a time when radical Islamist terrorism is raging throughout the region.


The PA's insistence on presenting the resolution despite the lack of support (and in the middle of Israel's election season) shows that the Palestinians are not engaging in a measure to advance the negotiating process but in a provocation to heighten tensions. The Palestinian Authority (PA) is attempting to dictate terms that will undermine the security of Israel. Israel expects that the international community will unequivocally reject this effort.
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Israel Joins JUSCANZ

Ambassador Prosor: Israel's admission into JUSCANZ highlights the international community's recognition of our democracy. We are a beacon of human rights, equality, and freedom in the Middle East.


For the first time, Israel participated in one of the core coordinating groups focused on human rights and social policy at the United Nations. Israel joins the “JUSCANZ” caucus in the United Nation’s Third Committee along with the world's most advanced democracies including the U.S., Canada, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Norway, and Switzerland.
Israel's Ambassador to the United Nations Ron Prosor hailed Israel's admission into JUSCANZ and said: "An historical injustice has been corrected. Anyone who champions human rights must celebrate this announcement. Israel's admission into JUSCANZ highlights the international community's recognition of our democracy. In the Middle East, a region where women are stoned to death and minorities executed, we are a beacon of human rights, equality, and freedom."
The Israeli Mission to the UN is leading in promoting women's empowerment, gender equality and the rights of person with disabilities.

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Ambassador Prosor addresses UN Security Council on the Situation in the Middle East

President Abbas could learn a great deal from King Hussein of Jordan about demonstrating his commitment to making peace.

Israel's Ambassador to the United Nations, Ron Prosor addressed the Security Council on the Situation in the Middle East. Ambassador Prosor attacked the Palestinian leadership's continuous incitement against Israel and discussed the violence and instability afflicting the Middle East.

Ambassador Prosor said: "President Abbas could learn a great deal from King Hussein of Jordan about demonstrating his commitment to making peace. I and most Israelis will never forget the sight of King Hussein consoling the Israeli families whose children had been killed in a terrorist attack.

Contrast this picture, with a picture from just a few weeks ago when released terrorists were given a heroes’ welcome by the Palestinians and embraced by President Abbas. Murderers were met with fireworks and festivities and showered with candies and congratulations. The Palestinian Authority is rewarding terrorists with tens of thousands of dollars. The motto of the PA’s pension plan seems to be ‘the more you slay, the more we pay.'

From cradles to kindergartens and from schools to soccer stadiums, Palestinian children are besieged by messages of hate. They are born in hospitals named after violent Palestinian groups, attend schools named after terrorists, and are taught from textbooks that describe Zionism as racism."

Referring to the ongoing peace talks, Ambassador Prosor said: "The Palestinian leadership has yet to learn that real peace requires real commitment. You cannot condemn terrorism to international media and congratulate terrorists on Palestinian media. You cannot victimize others and then insist you are the victim. And you cannot use this forum to spread destructive messages and expect constructive results. "

Ambassador Prosor also referred to the new Iranian president and emphasized that since his election, Iran is still persecuting minorities, imprisoning journalists and targeting political adversaries.

He said: "Rather than cleaning house, the new president believes he can sweep Iran’s atrocities under the Persian rug. Behind Iran’s smiling façade, President Rouhani and Ayatollah Khamenei continue to preach hatred and provoke hostility. The ink is barely dry on the interim nuclear agreement and Iran is already showing its true colors. This is a regime that crosses red lines, produces yellow cake, and beats its citizens black and blue.

It doesn’t take a crime scene investigator to see Iran’s fingerprints on the violence erupting in parts of the Middle East."

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UN, Iran Reach Nuclear Cooperation Deal

VOA News, The United Nations and Iran have announced an agreement to cooperate on resolving outstanding issues regarding the country's nuclear program. Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said critics of a separate bid to limit Iran's nuclear activity need to let negotiations take their course.

Talks Monday between the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Yukiya Amano, and the Iranian nuclear chief, Ali Akbar Salehi, yielded a roadmap that will allow for wider U.N. inspections, including at a heavy water reactor site and a uranium mine.

The IAEA has been focused for two years on reaching a deal with Iran to gain greater access to documents regarding the country’s nuclear program, in addition to related personnel and sites.

Meanwhile, Kerry said on Monday during a visit to Abu Dhabi that critics, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, must recognize that world powers have not yet reached any agreement in their talks with Iran.

He said the United States, Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany were united on the plan they presented to Iranian negotiators Saturday in Geneva, but that Iran could not accept it at that time.

The powers are seeking to persuade Iran to suspend work that could allow it to build nuclear weapons in exchange for the easing of some sanctions against Iran. Those negotiations are due to resume next week.

Israel, which calls Iran's nuclear drive a mortal threat, has warned against any deal that would leave some of Iran's nuclear fuel-making capacity intact while giving Tehran respite from sanctions.

Kerry said on Monday that it would not be responsible to ignore an opportunity to come to a verifiable agreement with Iran that would prevent it from developing nuclear weapons.

There has been hope that the election of new moderate Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in June will lead to progress in both the talks with the IAEA and the group of six world powers.

Rouhani told his parliament on Sunday that Iran will not give up what it considers its nuclear rights, including the right to enrich uranium on Iranian soil, in any deal with international negotiators.
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PM Netanyahu addresses UN General Assembly

"I wish I could believe Rouhani, but I don't because facts are stubborn things, and the facts are that Iran's savage record flatly contradicts Rouhani's soothing rhetoric."

I feel deeply honored and privileged to stand here before you today representing the citizens of the state of Israel. We are an ancient people. We date back nearly 4,000 years to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. We have journeyed through time. We've overcome the greatest of adversities.
And we re-established our sovereign state in our ancestral homeland, the land of Israel.
The Jewish people's odyssey through time has taught us two things: Never give up hope, always remain vigilant. Hope charts the future. Vigilance protects it.
Today, our hope for the future is challenged by a nuclear-armed Iran that seeks our destruction. But I want you to know: that wasn't always the case. Some 2500 years ago, the great Persian King Cyrus ended the Babylonian exile of the Jewish people. He issued a famous edict in which he proclaimed the right of the Jews to return to the Land of Israel and rebuild the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. That's a Persian decree, and thus began an historic friendship between the Jews and the Persians that lasted until modern times.
But in 1979, a radical regime in Tehran tried to stamp out that friendship. As it was busy crushing the Iranian people's hopes for democracy, it also led wild chants of "Death to the Jews!" Now, since that time, Presidents of Iran have come and gone. Some presidents were considered moderates, others hardliners. But they've all served that same unforgiving creed, that same unforgetting regime – that creed that is espoused and enforced by the real power in Iran, the dictator known in Iran as the Supreme Leader, first Ayatollah Khomeini and now Ayatollah Khamenei. President Rouhani, like the presidents who came before him is a loyal servant of the regime. He was one of only six candidates the regime permitted to run for office. Nearly 700 other candidateswere rejected.
So what made him acceptable? Well, Rouhani headed Iran's Supreme National Security Council from 1989 through 2003. During that time, Iran's henchmen gunned down opposition leaders in a Berlin restaurant. They murdered 85 people at the Jewish Community Center in Buenos Aires. They killed 19 American soldiers by blowing up the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia.
Are we to believe that Rouhani, the National Security Advisor of Iran at the time, knew nothing about these attacks?
Of course he did.
Just as 30 years ago, Iran's security chiefs knew about the bombings in Beirut that killed 241 American Marines and 58 French Paratroopers.
Rouhani was also Iran's chief nuclear negotiator between 2003 and 2005. He masterminded the strategy which enabled Iran to advance its nuclear weapons program behind a smokescreen of diplomatic engagement and very soothing rhetoric. Now I know Rouhani does not sound like Ahmadinejad. But when it comes to Iran's nuclear weapons program, the only difference between them is this: Ahmadinejad was a wolf in wolf's clothing and Rouhani is a wolf in sheep's clothing – a wolf who thinks he can pull the wool over the eyes of the international community.
Like everyone else, I wish we could believe Rouhani's words. But we must focus on Iran's actions.
And it’s the brazen contrast, this extraordinary contradiction between Rouhani's words and Iran's actions that is so startling. Rouhani stood at this very podium last week and praised Iranian democracy. Iranian democracy, he said.
But the regime that he represents executes political dissidents by the hundreds and jails them by the thousands. Rouhani spoke of "the human tragedy in Syria." Yet Iran directly participates in Assad’s murder and massacre of tens of thousands of innocent men, women, and children in Syria, and that regime is propping up a Syrian regime that just used chemical weapons against its own people.
Rouhani condemned the "violent scourge of terrorism." Yet in the last three years alone Iran has ordered, planned or perpetrated terrorist attacks in 25 cities on five continents.
Rouhani denounces "attempts to change the regional balance through proxies." Yet Iran is actively destabilizing Lebanon, Yemen, Bahrain, and many other Middle Eastern countries.
Rouhani promises "constructive engagement with other countries." Yet two years ago, Iranian agents tried to assassinate Saudi Arabia's ambassador in Washington, DC.
And just three weeks ago, an Iranian agent was arrested trying to collect information for possible attacks against the American Embassy in Tel Aviv. Some constructive engagement!
I wish I could be moved by Rouhani's invitation to join his "WAVE" –a world against violence and extremism. Yet the only waves Iran has generated in the last 30 years are waves of violence and terrorism that it has unleashed on the region and across the world.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I wish I could believe Rouhani, but I don't because facts are stubborn things. And the facts are that Iran's savage record flatly contradicts Rouhani's soothing rhetoric.
Last Friday, Rouhani assured us that in pursuit of its nuclear program, Iran has "never chosen deceit… and secrecy." Never chosen deceit and secrecy?!
Well, in2002, Iran was caught red-handed secretly building an underground centrifuge facility at Natanz. Then in 2009, Iran was again caught red-handed secretly building a huge underground nuclear facility for uranium enrichment in a mountain near Qom. Rouhani tells us not to worry; he assures us that all this is not intended for nuclear weapons. Do any of you believe that? If you believe that, here's a few questions that you might want to ask:
Why would a country that claims to only want peaceful nuclear energy, why would such a country build hidden underground enrichment facilities?
Why would a country with vast natural energy reserves invest billions in developing nuclear energy?
Why would a country intent on merely civilian nuclear programs continue to defy multiple Security Council resolutions and incur the costs of crippling sanctions on its economy?
And why would a country with a peaceful nuclear program develop intercontinental ballistic missiles whose sole purpose is to deliver nuclear warheads? You don't build ICBM's to carry TNT thousands of miles away. You build them for one purpose – to carry nuclear warheads. And Iran is now building ICBM's that the United States says can reach this city in three or four years.
Why would they do all this? The answer is simple. Iran is not building a peaceful nuclear program. Iran is developing nuclear weapons.
Last year alone, Iran enriched three tons of uranium to 3.5%, doubled its stockpile of 20% enriched uranium, and added thousands of new centrifuges, including advanced centrifuges. It also continued work on the heavy water reactor in Arak. That's in order to have another route to the bomb – a plutonium path.
And since Rouhani's election – and I stress this – this vast and feverish effort has continued unabated.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Underground nuclear facilities? Heavy water reactors? Advanced centrifuges? ICBM's?
It's not that it's hard to find evidence that Iran has a nuclear weapons program. It's hard to find evidence that Iran doesn’t have a nuclear weapons program.
Last year when I spoke here at the UN, I drew a red line. Iran has been very careful not to cross that line. But Iran is positioning itself to race across that line in the future at a time of its choosing. Iran wants to be in a position to rush forward to build nuclear bombs before the international community can detect it, much less prevent it.
Yet Iran faces one big problem, and that problem is summed up in one word: Sanctions.
I have argued for many years, including on this podium, that the only way to peacefully prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons is to combine tough sanctions with a credible military threat. And that policy is today bearing fruit. Thanks to the effort of many countries, many represented here, and under the leadership of the United States, tough sanctions have taken a big bite out of Iran's economy. Oil revenues have fallen. The currency has plummeted. Banks are hard pressed to transfer money.
So as a result, the regime is under intense pressure from the Iranian people to get the sanctions removed. That's why Rouhani got elected in the first place. That's why he launched his charm offensive.
He definitely wants to get the sanctions lifted, I guarantee you that, but he doesn't want to give up Iran's nuclear weapons program in return.
Now, here's the strategy to achieve this:
First, smile a lot. Smiling never hurts. Second, pay lip service to peace, democracy and tolerance. Third, offer meaningless concessions in exchange for lifting sanctions. And fourth, and the most important, ensure that Iran retains sufficient nuclear material and sufficient nuclear infrastructure to race to the bomb at a time that it chooses to do so. You know why Rouhani thinks he can get away with this? I mean, this is a ruse; it's a ploy. Why does Rouhani think he can get away with it? Because he's gotten away with it before. Because his strategy of talking a lot and doing little has worked for him in the past. He even bragged about it. Here's what he said in his 2011 book about his time as Iran's chief nuclear negotiator: "While we were talking to the Europeans in Tehran, we were installing equipment in Isfahan…"
For those who you who don't know, the Isfahan facility is an indispensable part of Iran's nuclear weapons program. That's where uranium ore called yellowcake is converted into an enrichable form. Rouhani boasted, and I quote: "By creating a calm environment, we were able to complete the work in Isfahan."
He fooled the world once. Now he thinks he can fool it again. You see, Rouhani thinks he can have his yellowcake and eat it too.
And he has another reason to believe that he can get away with this, and that reason is called North Korea.
Like Iran, North Korea also said its nuclear program was for peaceful purposes. Like Iran, North Korea also offered meaningless concessions and empty promises in return for sanctions relief. In 2005, North Korea agreed to a deal that was celebrated the world over by many well-meaning people. Here is what the New York Times editorial had to say about it: "For years now, foreign policy insiders have pointed to North Korea as the ultimate nightmare... a closed, hostile and paranoid dictatorship with an aggressive nuclear weapons program.
Very few could envision a successful outcome.
And yet North Korea agreed in principle this week to dismantle its nuclear weapons program, return to the NPT, abide by the treaty's safeguards and admit international inspectors….
Diplomacy, it seems, does work after all."
End quote.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
A year later, North Korea exploded its first nuclear weapons device.
Yet as dangerous as a nuclear-armed North Korea is, it pales in comparison to the danger of a nuclear-armed Iran. A nuclear-armed Iran would have a chokehold on the world's main energy supplies. It would trigger nuclear proliferation throughout the Middle East, turning the most unstable part of the planet into a nuclear tinderbox. And for the first time in history, it would make the specter of nuclear terrorism a clear and present danger.
A nuclear-armed Iran in the Middle East wouldn't be another North Korea. It would be another 50 North Koreas!
I know that some in the international community think I'm exaggerating this threat. Sure, they know that Iran's regime leads these chants, "Death to America!", "Death to Israel!", then it pledges to wipe Israel off the map. But they think this wild rhetoric is just bluster for domestic consumption. Have these people learned nothing from history?
The last century has taught us that when a radical regime with global ambitions gets awesome power, sooner or later, its appetite for aggression knows no bounds. That's the central lesson of the 20th century. Now, we cannot forget it.
The world may have forgotten this lesson. The Jewish people have not.
Iran's fanaticism is not bluster. It's real. This fanatic regime must never be allowed to arm itself with nuclear weapons.
I know that the world is weary of war. We in Israel, we know all too well the cost of war. But history has taught us that to prevent war tomorrow, we must be firm today.
This raises the question: Can diplomacy stop this threat?
Well, the only diplomatic solution that would work is one that fully dismantles Iran's nuclear weapons program and prevents it from having one in the future. President Obama rightly said that Iran's conciliatory words must be matched by transparent, verifiable and meaningful action, and to be meaningful, a diplomatic solution would require Iran to do four things. First, cease all uranium enrichment. This is called for by several Security Council resolutions. Second, remove from its territory the stockpiles of enriched uranium. Third, dismantle the infrastructure for a nuclear breakout capability, including the underground facility near Qom and the advanced centrifuges in Natanz. And four, stop all work at the heavy water reactor in Arak aimed at the production of plutonium.
These steps would put an end to Iran's nuclear weapons program and eliminate its breakout capability. There are those who would readily agree to leave Iran with a residual capability to enrich uranium. I advise them to pay close attention to what Rouhani said in a speech to Iran's Supreme Cultural Revolutionary Council. This was published in 2005: "A country that can enrich uranium to about 3.5% will also have the capability to enrich it to about 90%. Having fuel cycle capability virtually means that a country that possesses this capability is able to produce nuclear weapons.
Precisely. This is precisely why Iran's nuclear weapons program must be fully and verifiably dismantled. And this is why the pressure on Iran must continue.
So here's what the international community must do. First, keep up the sanctions. If Iran advances its nuclear weapons program during negotiations, strengthen the sanctions.
Second, don't agree to a partial deal. A partial deal would lift international sanctions that have taken years to put in place in exchange for cosmetic concessions that will take only weeks for Iran to reverse. Third, lift the sanctions only when Iran fully dismantles its nuclear weapons program.
My friends,
The international community has Iran on the ropes. If you want to knockout Iran's nuclear weapons program peacefully, don't let up the pressure. Keep it up.
We all want to give diplomacy with Iran a chance to succeed. But when it comes to Iran, the greater the pressure, the greater the chance.
Three decades ago, President Ronald Reagan famously advised: Trust but verify. When it comes to Iran's nuclear weapons program, here's my advice: Distrust, Dismantle, and Verify.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Israel will never acquiesce to nuclear arms in the hands of a rogue regime that repeatedly promises to wipe us off the map. Against such a threat, Israel will have no choice but to defend itself. I want there to be no confusion on this point: Israel will not allow Iran to get nuclear weapons. If Israel is forced to stand alone, Israel will stand alone. Yet in standing alone, Israel will know that we will be defending many, many others. The dangers of a nuclear-armed Iran and the emergence of other threats in our region have led many of our Arab neighbors to finally recognize that Israel is not their enemy. This affords us the opportunity to overcome historic animosities and build new relationships, new friendships, new hopes. Israel welcomes engagement with the wider Arab world. We hope that our common interests and common challenges will help us forge a more peaceful future.
And Israel continues to seek an historic peace with our Palestinian neighbors, one that ends our conflict once and for all. We want a peace based on security and mutual recognition in which a demilitarized Palestinian state recognizes the Jewish state of Israel. I remain committed to achieving an historic conciliation and building a better future for Israelis and Palestinians alike.
Now, I have no illusions about how difficult this will be to achieve. Twenty years ago, the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians began. Six Israeli Prime Ministers, myself included, have not succeeded in achieving peace with the Palestinians. My predecessors were prepared to make painful concessions. So am I.
But so far, Palestinian leaders haven't been prepared to offer the painful concessions they must make to end the conflict. For peace to be achieved, the Palestinians must finally recognize the Jewish state and Israel's security needs must be met. I am prepared to make an historic compromise for a genuine and enduring peace. But I will never compromise on the security of my people and of my country of the one and only Jewish state.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
One cold day in the late 19th century, my grandfather Nathan and his younger brother Judah were standing in a railway station in the heart of Europe. They were seen by a group of anti-Semitic hoodlums who ran towards them waving clubs, screaming, "Death to the Jews!"
My grandfather shouted to his younger brother to flee and save himself. And he then stood alone against the raging mob to slow it down. They beat him senseless. They left him for dead. Before he passed out, covered in his own blood, he said to himself: "What a disgrace! What a disgrace! The descendants of the Maccabees lie in the mud, powerless to defend themselves."
He promised himself then that if he lived, he would take his family to the Jewish homeland to help build a future for the Jewish people. I stand here today as Israel's Prime Minister because my grandfather kept that promise.
So many other Israelis have a similar story: a parent or a grandparent who fled every conceivable oppression, and came to Israel to start a new life in our ancient homeland.
Together, we've transformed a bludgeoned Jewish people left for dead into a vibrant, thriving nation, defending itself with the courage of modern Maccabees, developing limitless possibilities for the future.
In our time the Biblical prophecies are being realized. As the prophet Amos said,
They shall rebuild ruined cities and inhabit them.
They shall plant vineyards and drink their wine.
They shall till gardens and eat their fruit.
And I will plant them upon their soil never to be uprooted again.
,ושבתי את שבות עמי ישראל
,ובנו ערים נשמות ויישבו
,ונטעו כרמים ושתו את יינם
,ועשו גינות ואכלו את פרים
.ונטעתים על אדמתם ולא ינטשו עוד
Ladies and gentlemen, the people of Israel have come home never to be uprooted again.

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PM Netanyahu departs for US and UN General Assembly

"I will represent the citizens of Israel, our national interests, our rights as a people, our determination to defend ourselves and our hope for peace."


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the following remarks upon boarding his flight:

"This evening I am leaving for New York and Washington to meet with President Obama and afterwards address the UN General Assembly.

I will represent the citizens of Israel, our national interests, our rights as a people, our determination to defend ourselves and our hope for peace. I will tell the truth in the face of the sweet-talk and the onslaught of smiles. One must talk facts and one must tell the truth. Telling the truth today is vital for the security and peace of the world and, of course, it is vital for the security of the State of Israel."

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