Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused the majority of UN member states on Thursday of doing “absolutely nothing” to counter Iran’s threat to “destroy” Israel.
He called on world powers to do everything possible to ensure that Iran sticks to the recently-agreed deal limiting its nuclear programme.
He also said he was willing to meet Palestinian negotiators at any time, without pre-conditions, for fresh peace talks.
Matthew Wells reports:
Prime Minister Netanyahu spent the majority of his speech reiterating and building on his criticism of Iran and what he called its expanding “global terror network”, which he said would only grow stronger following the nuclear deal.
The deal amounted to rewarding Iran’s bad behaviour, which would only get worse, he said. History, he said, showed that the best intentions often produce the worst outcomes, and Iran’s anti-Israel rhetoric to destroy the Jewish state, had not been tempered by the nuclear deal. He accused countries of using the UN General Assembly to repeatedly bash Israel, while staying silent on anti-Semitism:
“70 years after the murder of 6 million Jews, Iran’s rulers promise to destroy my country, murder my people, and the response from this body, the response of nearly every one of the governments represented here, has been absolutely nothing. Utter silence – deafening silence.”
To make his point, he paused for nearly a minute, and said Israel would do whatever was necessary to defend itself from Iranian aggression. Moving on to the stalled peace-talks with Palestinian negotiators, he said he was prepared to meet anytime without preconditions:
“Unfortunately, President Abbas said yesterday, that he is not prepared to do this. Well I hope he changes his mind, because I remain committed to a vision of two states for two peoples in which a demilitarized Palestinian state, recognizes the Jewish state.”
On Wednesday, President Abbas told the General Assembly that his government would no longer abide by the Oslo peace accords with Israel, which paved the way for the “two state solution,” due to what he said were continual failures on the part of Israel to fulfill its obligations.
In a change of tone from his criticism of the White House and its pursuit of the Iran deal, Prime Minister Netanyahu listed areas where he and President Obama agreed on security policy, and described Israel’s alliance with the US as “unshakeable.”
Matthew Wells, United Nations.