Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani (L) with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, February 2, 2015.
(photo credit: YONATAN ZINDEL/POOL)
The former mayor of New York City was in Jerusalem on Monday night where he reiterated his support for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's right to speak before the US Congress next month.
Netanyahu is set to speak before a joint Congressional session on March 3 against US President Barack Obama’s push for a negotiated deal with Tehran to halt its nuclear program.
Obama has threatened to veto any sanction legislation on Iran, as long as the possibility of a negotiated deal is on the table.
Speaker of the House John Boehner, who supports increased sanctions against Iran, invited Netanyahu to address Congress on the matter, without informing the White House. In a breach of protocol, Netanyahu agreed. The prime minister was criticized for accepting the invitation which some saw as a snub of Obama as well and as a means to garner support among the Israeli electorate before the March 17 Israeli election.
“I want the people of Israel to know that there is strong support for them in the United States. If there is going to be any agreement with Iran than in must be based upon the fact that Iran not be allowed the possibility of obtaining a nuclear arsenal," Giuliani said, speaking at the Begin Heritage Center in the capital.
"I deeply admire Prime Minister Netanyahu for speaking out on this issue, but he honestly has no choice. If someone threatens to kill you, you simply don’t give them the gun to do it, unless there’s something wrong with you,” the former mayor added.
On the late prime minister Menachem Begin, Giuliani said he was a "personal hero."
"He [Begin] was able to state his goals very clearly, and stick with those goals whether they were popular or not. He always asked not what the popular decision was, but what was good for his country," Giuliani said.
Giuliani, a Republican, is in the country for two days to address a business conference in Herzliya.