Netanyahu at Knesset: Nuclear Iran is still major threat

At opening of Knesset winter session, prime minister stresses need "to build Israel's strength in order to counter challenges that lie ahead."

October 31, 2011 17:08
2 minute read.
Netanyahu addresses a special Knesset session, Mon

netanyahu knesset_311. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)


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Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Monday at the beginning of the Knesset's winter session that Iran continues to seek nuclear weapons and this will threaten the whole world and Israel.

"We must continue building Israel's strength in order to counter the challenges that lie ahead," he told the plenum.

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Netanyahu stressed that he hopes in the future Turkey and Israel will find a way to improve ties.

"Even though divisions exist between us, both states have been there to help each other," the prime minister said."Just as Turkey was there to offer aid during the Carmel Fire, we were there to help in rescue efforts after the devastating earthquake that hit last week."

Netanyahu expressed the need to return to the negotiating table and called on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to stop making unilateral moves, such as requesting statehood at the UN.

Opposition leader Tzipi Livni (Kadima) slammed Netanyahu, saying he needed to stop making excuses and talk to the Palestinian Authority, instead of helping strengthen Hamas.


Livni said that the current government thinks it needs to deal with Hamas and treats the terror group as if it is legitimate army.

President Shimon Peres, during a speech moments earlier, focused on the social justice movement and said that social justice is for all sectors of society. He called on haredim (ultra-Orthodox) to join the workforce.

Peres also spoke about Gilad Schalit and noted the nation's excitement that the captive IDF solider had returned home after being held by Hamas for over five years.

On new governments formed as a result of the Arab Spring, Peres said, "We hope the young people in the Middle East will get free elections and freedom every day of the year after the elections."

"Our vision must bring peace. MKs can and must be the engine for this journey, and look the future in the eyes," he added.

Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin (Likud), who opened the session, said that this summer's social protest movement caught the Knesset off guard.

Rivlin said that the summer will go down in history as time when the people started to fight for their rights and stated the new Israeli is smarter and understands more while feeling responsibility more than pride.

Daphni Leef and members of the social justice movement were present at the Knesset session.

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