Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Jewish Agency Director-General Alan Hoffman attend the Jewish Agency Assembly in Tel Aviv..
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The deal over Iran’s nuclear program currently taking shape in negotiations between the Islamic Republic and the West is a “historic mistake,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Diaspora leaders on Monday during an appeal for world Jewry to raise its voice in protest.
Speaking to the heads of national communities as well as the various religious denominations at the Jewish Agency’s thrice yearly board of governors meeting in Tel Aviv, Netanyahu said Iran, which he termed “the most aggressive power in the world,” will step up its arming of terrorist groups as soon as the deal is signed and Tehran receives a “cash jackpot of $150 billion” in unfrozen assets.
“What do you think will happen with that money?” which is almost half of the country’s GDP, Netanyahu asked. “Will it go to courses and classes on coexistence with Israel and harmony among peoples or do you think it will go to arm the revolution? “The consequences of the Iran deal are not merely a nonconventional threat that will be hanging over our heads, it’s the immediate conventional threat” against Israel, Yemen and other regional countries, as well as more terrorism worldwide, he asserted.
“The number one threat facing Israel and the Jewish people is Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons and we are now at a historic crossroads. The negotiators are discussing a deal that will endanger Israel’s survival.
It will endanger the security of the region it will endanger the peace of the world,” Netanyahu said.
The prime minister appealed directly to his audience to “make your voices hear in your respective countries,” explaining that Jewish history teaches that “when you recognize a clear and present danger, don’t treat it as routine, don’t sit on your hands and for God’s sake don’t keep your mouth shut.”
“Be brave be clear be confident when you speak the simple truth. This is what is required of us,” he said.
Netanyahu also spoke out against the flotilla set to set sail for Gaza within the next week.
In what appeared to be partially a veiled jab at MK Basel Ghattas (Joint List), who said Sunday he would participate in the effort to break Israel’s naval blockade of the Hamas-ruled coastal territory, Netanyahu called supporting the armada “a travesty of justice” and questioned why supporters “aren’t sending flotillas to Syria.”
Netanyahu also expressed concern about increased support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, stating that he “thoroughly rejects the idea that we should not make an issue of these boycotts.”
Netanyahu finished his speech by calling on Israelis and Jews around the world to “stand up” against these movements.
“If you look at successful moments for successful minorities and social movements, [they] were the ones who stood up. That’s what we have to do. Be strong and of good courage... fight back on Iran, fight back on anti-Semitism, stand up and be proud Jews.
“Whatever you are, don’t be politically correct. Just be correct,” he quipped.
Jerusalem Post staff contributed to this report.