Talking about terror, thinking about Iran nukes

“Time has come for all the countries of the world who know the truth – not just Israel – to clearly state the truth,” Netanyahu says.

July 20, 2012 03:32
3 minute read.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu

Netanyahu 370. (photo credit: Moshe Milner/GPO)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

It’s not every day that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu calls the press together to deliver a particular message, in his own voice and not via a written communiqué.

In fact, it is something he seldom does – it has happened maybe only half a dozen times over the more than three years since he came to power in 2009.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

So when his office let it be known Thursday afternoon that Netanyahu would deliver a short statement on the terrorist bombing in Bulgaria, there were some who expected a dramatic statement.

They were disappointed.

Netanyahu’s brief statement was no operative announcement about when, where and how Israel would respond to the attack that the prime minister said – without equivocation – had come from Hezbollah and Iran.

But though the statement was not overly dramatic, it was highly significant. What Netanyahu did was take the horrific attack and hold it up to the world as an example of Iranian behavior. This, he said in so many words, is how Tehran acts now. Imagine how it will act if it gets nuclear weapons.

“There is nothing that reveals the true face of our enemies more than despicable terror attacks against us,” Netanyahu said. “They attacked and killed innocent civilians – families, youth, children, people who went for an innocent vacation, and their only crime was being Israeli and Jewish.”

Click for full JPost coverage

Netanyahu said unequivocally – based on intelligence information – that the attack in Bulgaria was the work of Hezbollah, which he called “the long arm of Iran.” For more than a year, he said, Iran and its client Hezbollah have carried out a terror campaign that has reached five continents. Many of those responsible for some of the more than 20 attacks he was referencing, but did not spell out, have been arrested and interrogated.

Indeed, according to government officials, the man arrested in Cyprus late last month for preparing an attack there has admitted under interrogation to being a Hezbollah operative, and his modus operandi for carrying out the thwarted attack in Cyprus was identical to the modus operandi of the attack in Bulgaria.

“I believe the time has come for all the countries of the world who know the truth – not just Israel – to clearly state the truth,” Netanyahu said.

“Iran is responsible for this wave of terrorism. Iran is the No. 1 exporter of terrorism in the world. It is forbidden for a terrorist state to have nuclear weapons. It is forbidden for the world’s most dangerous country to get the world’s most dangerous weapons.”

The prime minister’s statement was not about terrorism, a scourge Israel has battled for years and will continue to battle in various forms for years to come. No, this statement was about a nuclear Iran, using an act of terror to show the world clearly the dangers of such a nuclear state.

Netanyahu took an incident the world roundly condemned and said, “Look, this is what Iran does, this is what the regime is. This is a country that does not play by the rules or respect international norms of behavior. This is how that country acts now. How will it behave with weapons of mass destruction?” While there was nothing brilliantly new in this message – the reasonable countries of the world know full well the nature of the Iranian regime – it is one thing to know something, and quite another to have it hit you smack in the face. Netanyahu took the horrific attack in Burgas and smacked the world with it, hoping to shake up those who are still showing signs of complacency toward Iran, or those who have forgotten the true pattern of Iranian behavior.

Related Content

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
August 31, 2014
Prime minister to Channel 1: I’ll be running again in next election

By Gil Stern Stern HOFFMAN