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(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
Likud leader Binyamin Netanyahu warned on Wednesday that an Iran with nuclear weapons capability could become "undeterrable," and urged Israel and and the Jewish world to take immediate measures to prevent it.
"Iran could be the first undeterrable nuclear power," Netanyahu told a dinner in Jerusalem at the Conference on the Future of the Jewish People.
While urging Israel and the world Jewish community to adopt what he called a five-point "Reverse Manhattan Project," Netanyahu said that a nuclear Iran would constitute not only a threat to Israel, but to the international community as well.
"This is a Jewish problem like Hitler was a Jewish problem," he said, referencing the millions of non-Jews killed by the Nazis during World War II. He added, "If Iran goes nuclear, Iraq will be lost."
Insisting that "the future of the Jewish people depends on the future of Israel," Netanyahu laid out the details of his plan to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.
First, Israel and the worldwide Jewish community needed to identify key world leaders and lobby them to act to prevent a nuclear Iran.
Next, he urged the mobilization of public opinion campaigns in the countries where these leaders are located. Third, the international community must continue with a series of strict economic sanctions against the Islamic republic, without eliminating the option of using "other means."
Alluding to tragedies throughout Jewish history, Netanyahu said that anticipating danger "has not been the hallmark of the Jewish people."
Turning back to Israel, he said that the country must prepare its defenses and that this will take "vast expenditures" to meet the threat. He added that aid could be expected to bring a part of these needed funds, but not meet the entire requirements necessary.
Netanyahu said that Israel needs "sustained, rapid economic growth to finance defense and deterrence needs." Netanyahu said that Israel could grow at a rate of 8% a year, and this would double the size of the economy over the next decade, also making Israel one of the 10 wealthiest nations in the world by the end of the decade.