Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses the 72nd United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters in New York, US, September 19, 2017.
(photo credit: REUTERS/LUCAS JACKSON)
NEW YORK – “Fix it or nix it,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, telling the world body that Israel’s policy on the Iranian nuclear deal is simple: “Change it or cancel it.”
Netanyahu’s speech began with enumerating Israel’s diplomatic breakthroughs, and how the country has significantly improved its relations with many countries because of what it has to offer in terms of technology and anti-terrorism expertise, and ended with a warning that it would not tolerate Iran’s efforts to establish permanent bases on Israel’s borders or open new terrorist fronts against Israel in Syria.
“Those that threaten us with annihilation
put themselves in mortal peril,” he said. “Israel will defend itself with the full force of our arms and the full power of our convictions.”
Netanyahu recalled his ardent opposition to the 2015 nuclear deal and those who said it would “somehow moderate Iran.
“I strongly disagree,” he said.
“I warned that when the sanctions will be removed, Iran would behave like a hungry tiger unleashed.
Not join the community of nations, but devouring the nations one after the other.
That is precisely what Iran is doing today.”
He said that unless the “sunset clause” was excised from the agreement, Iran would be on its way to become the next North Korea, another rogue state with nuclear capabilities.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses the UN General Assembly
In a rhetorical parallel to the Iron Curtain, Netanyahu said “an Iranian curtain is descending across the Middle East. It spreads this curtain over Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and elsewhere and pledges to extinguish the light of Israel.”
But, Netanyahu continued, “I have a simple message for Khamenei: The light of Israel will never be extinguished.”
During his address, Netanyahu turned directly to the Iranian people, greeted them in Farsi, and said Israel was not their enemy, and that once the regime is changed, the peoples can resume what was a historic friendship.
The prime minister made a point of praising US President Donald Trump a number of times during the address, both for the speech he gave earlier in the day and for his strong support of Israel at the United Nations.
Netanyahu said that in his 30 years of experience with the UN, he has not heard a bolder or more courageous speech than the one Trump delivered on Tuesday.
While Netanyahu did not pull out any props or gimmicks during his speech, he did make a joke about penguins, saying that while he has visited six continents this year, he has not yet visited Antarctica.
“I want to go there, too, because I have heard penguins are also enthusiastic supporters of Israel
, they have no difficulty recognizing something rare black and white, right and wrong.”
When it comes to Israel, he quipped, this power of recognition is too often absent.