Talking about terror, thinking about Iran nukes

“Time has come for all the countries of the world who know the truth – not just Israel – to clearly state the truth,” Netanyahu says.

Netanyahu 370 (photo credit: Moshe Milner/GPO)
Netanyahu 370
(photo credit: Moshe Milner/GPO)
It’s not every day that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu calls the press together to deliver a particular message, in his own voice and not via a written communiqué.
In fact, it is something he seldom does – it has happened maybe only half a dozen times over the more than three years since he came to power in 2009.
So when his office let it be known Thursday afternoon that Netanyahu would deliver a short statement on the terrorist bombing in Bulgaria, there were some who expected a dramatic statement.
They were disappointed.
Netanyahu’s brief statement was no operative announcement about when, where and how Israel would respond to the attack that the prime minister said – without equivocation – had come from Hezbollah and Iran.
But though the statement was not overly dramatic, it was highly significant. What Netanyahu did was take the horrific attack and hold it up to the world as an example of Iranian behavior. This, he said in so many words, is how Tehran acts now. Imagine how it will act if it gets nuclear weapons.
“There is nothing that reveals the true face of our enemies more than despicable terror attacks against us,” Netanyahu said. “They attacked and killed innocent civilians – families, youth, children, people who went for an innocent vacation, and their only crime was being Israeli and Jewish.”
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Netanyahu said unequivocally – based on intelligence information – that the attack in Bulgaria was the work of Hezbollah, which he called “the long arm of Iran.” For more than a year, he said, Iran and its client Hezbollah have carried out a terror campaign that has reached five continents. Many of those responsible for some of the more than 20 attacks he was referencing, but did not spell out, have been arrested and interrogated.
Indeed, according to government officials, the man arrested in Cyprus late last month for preparing an attack there has admitted under interrogation to being a Hezbollah operative, and his modus operandi for carrying out the thwarted attack in Cyprus was identical to the modus operandi of the attack in Bulgaria.
“I believe the time has come for all the countries of the world who know the truth – not just Israel – to clearly state the truth,” Netanyahu said.
“Iran is responsible for this wave of terrorism. Iran is the No. 1 exporter of terrorism in the world. It is forbidden for a terrorist state to have nuclear weapons. It is forbidden for the world’s most dangerous country to get the world’s most dangerous weapons.”
The prime minister’s statement was not about terrorism, a scourge Israel has battled for years and will continue to battle in various forms for years to come. No, this statement was about a nuclear Iran, using an act of terror to show the world clearly the dangers of such a nuclear state.
Netanyahu took an incident the world roundly condemned and said, “Look, this is what Iran does, this is what the regime is. This is a country that does not play by the rules or respect international norms of behavior. This is how that country acts now. How will it behave with weapons of mass destruction?” While there was nothing brilliantly new in this message – the reasonable countries of the world know full well the nature of the Iranian regime – it is one thing to know something, and quite another to have it hit you smack in the face. Netanyahu took the horrific attack in Burgas and smacked the world with it, hoping to shake up those who are still showing signs of complacency toward Iran, or those who have forgotten the true pattern of Iranian behavior.