PM Binyamin Netanyahu at Cabinet meeting..
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu lashed out at European and Western advocates of a boycott against Israel.
The premier accused them of being "classical anti-Semites in modern garb."
"It's an absolute disgrace that there are people in Europe calling for a boycott of Jews," the prime minister said.
Speaking to a gathering of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations in Jerusalem on Monday, the prime minister accused the West of allowing Iran to "give practically nothing" while "receiving a great deal."
He said that "the goal isn't to prevent Iran from having nuclear weapons, but to deny it the capability to manufacture nuclear weapons."
"If they claim to want it for civilian purposes, they don't need enrichment of uranium," Netanyahu said of Iran. "They don't need a heavy water reactor or ICBMs. But these are precisely the elements that Iran insists on and they need to be denied. In the interim deal, they've been allowed to maintain these things."
Netanyahu scoffed at the notion that the Iranian government has taken a more moderate tack, as evidenced by its human rights record as well as its support for Syrian President Bashar Assad.
"Iran's moderation is a myth," he said. "As we speak, inside Iran, people are being executed in horrific ways. Innocent people are being hoisted up and executed by this regime."
"This regime continues to foster terrorist around the world, participates in massive slaughter in Syria. That would not be possible without Iran. The Assad regime does not exist without Iran's money, weapons, commanders on the site who tell what is left of the Syrian army what to do."
Netanyahu said he was appreciative of US Secretary of State John Kerry's "ceaseless" efforts to forge an agreement.
The Palestinian refusal to renounce the right of return and agree to an end to the conflict "raises serious questions" about Ramallah's sincerity in reaching a genuine peace, Netanyahu said.
"The root of the conflict is the Palestinian refusal in recognizing Israel as a Jewish state," the prime minister said.
Netanyahu said the Palestinians must institute "a culture of change" and end incitement against Israel as a necessary condition for peace.
Israel will also insist on "solid security arrangements" that are needed to "keep the peace," the premier said.
The conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations mission was established almost 60 years ago to provide a central point of contact between the president and the Jewish community, and serves as an umbrella organization for 51 of the historically largest Jewish groups in the United States. It is considered one of the largest Israeli advocacy bodies in the US and works closely with the AIPAC pro-Israeli lobby.
The primary focus of the American Jewish discourse, especially among the federations, has of late been centered around the issues of assimilation and intermarriage as raised by October’s Pew study on American Jewry. This week’s conference is expected to focus on security and economic issues.