Israel must focus on ending the occupation before dealing with Iran, Meretz
leader Zehava Gal-On told UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in New York on
“The fear of a nuclear Iran and the enrichment of
uranium that is obviously not only for purposes of peace is understandable, but
instead of threatening a unilateral attack on Iran, Prime Minister [Binyamin]
Netanyahu should commend [the international community] for making diplomatic
efforts to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, while protecting
Israel’s security,” Gal-On told Ban, referring to Netanyahu’s speech at the UN
earlier this week.
She pointed out that “Iran is not only Israel’s
problem; it is the whole world’s problem.”
The Meretz chairwoman also
called for Netanyahu to join international diplomatic efforts. Instead of using
his speech to discuss Iran, he should have explained how he plans to reach a
final-status agreement with the Palestinians because “the continued occupation”
is Israel’s biggest problem, Gal-On added.
“Even though most of
Netanyahu’s government doesn’t want an agreement, 77 MKs support a peace treaty
with the Palestinians on pre- 1967 lines,” she said, asking Ban to help
Netanyahu “cross the Rubicon on the way to a peace treaty.”
Ban said the
international community must take advantage of the window of opportunity for
diplomacy with Iran.