Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's office in Jerusalem September 5, 2018..
(photo credit: RONEN ZVULUN/REUTERS)
Israel might be among the more disliked countries of the UN’s 193 member states, but its premier is one of its most electric speakers. And when it comes to Iran – a topic on which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is mostly out of the consensus – he has turned the hostile room into his home court.
His annual performances are among the top ‘not to miss moments’ of the event.
Iranian-sponsored terrorism and the nuclear threat it posses has been one of the major topics at the 73rd opening session of the United Nations General Assembly, with US President Donald Trump using its podiums, including at the UN Security Council, to attack the regime in Tehran.
In the US-Tehran showdown, Israel is but a side performer.
But when it comes to oratory, it was Netanyahu, a veteran actor in a well-known play, who brought the house down.
He has come a long way from the moment six years ago, when he held up a diagram of a bomb and drew a red line.
Back then he was alone in his opposition to Iran, with little more than a red magic marker in his arsenal.
He and former president Barack Obama concurred that Iran was dangerous, but they agreed on little else. Back then, Netanyahu needed the United Nations to support his position.
Six years later, with Israel and the Trump administration in lock step, Netanyahu’s confidence was higher, as he unveiled for the room secret evidence
to further prove his point that Iran had a nuclear program and has not abandoned it.
Not to leave any room for doubt, Netanyahu held up a large pasteboard with a photograph that read, “Secret Atomic Warehouse.”
He even allowed himself to joke about how people could find the nuclear hideout on Google Maps, as well as the nearby carpet cleaning store which, he quipped, likely has radioactive rugs.
To the endangered residents of Tehran, he suggested buying a Geiger counter on Amazon.
Rather than begging Europe for support to stop Iran’s threats to annihilate Israel, he reminded them that they were just as much in danger.
But Europe was less his verbal target than Tehran, as he reminded the regime that Israel can use its military to halt any attacks or threats against it.
Moreover, his message for Tehran was that it can’t run, and it can’t hide. The value of the information was less about the specifics and more about Israel’s brazenness to use the world stage at the UN to reveal it.
Israel might be a small country, but its eyes are everywhere.
“Israel knows what you're doing, and where you are doing it,” Netanyahu told Iran’s leaders.
It was the prime minister’s most masterful performance at the United Nations General Assembly.
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