Netanyahu: International Community Must Demand a Change in Iran's Policy toward Israel

(Prime Minister's Office) Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the Saban Forum of the Brookings Institution on Sunday via video: "The Middle East is undergoing great turmoil, great violence, great instability. But in this turbulence, the special bond between Israel and the United States is the crucial anchor of stability....I want to thank President Obama for his commitment to our strong alliance. He has repeatedly said that Israel must have the right to defend itself, by itself against all threats....On President Obama's watch, defense, security and intelligence cooperation between the United States and Israel has reached new heights." "We can have different perspectives. I understand that the United States is a global power with global responsibilities. And President Obama understands that the Jewish state is a beleaguered democracy in a hostile region, threatened like no other country on earth." "The core of this conflict has never been borders and settlements. It is about one thing: The persistent refusal to accept the Jewish state in any border. The real key to peace is Palestinian recognition of the right of the Jewish people to national self-determination in this part of the world. This conflict didn't begin because we denied the right of the Palestinian people to a state of their own. We agreed to that in 1937....And in the 20 years since the Oslo accords, every time we've offered a historic peace with a Palestinian state next to a Jewish state, the Palestinians still refused." "Any kind of peace...must withstand the forces of terrorism and the ravaging forces of radicalism and all the forces backed by Iran and others that will try to unravel the peace....So there must be iron-clad security arrangements to protect the peace, arrangements that allow Israel to defend itself by itself against any possible threats. And those security arrangements must be based on Israel's own forces. There is no substitute for that." "Our best efforts to reach Palestinian-Israeli peace will come to nothing if Iran succeeds in building atomic bombs. A nuclear-armed Iran would give even greater backing to the radical and terrorist elements in the region....This same regime supplies its terrorist proxies, Hizbullah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad, with thousands of rockets, rockets that are aimed at Israeli civilians, rockets that are precision-guided munitions that are increasingly lethal and deadly. This is a regime committed to our destruction. And I believe there must be an unequivocal demand alongside the negotiations in Geneva for a change in Iranian policy." "We share President Obama's preference to see Iran's nuclear weapons program end through diplomacy. But for diplomacy to succeed, it must be coupled with powerful sanctions and a credible military threat....We should not assume that more and tougher sanctions won't lead to a better deal."

2013-12-09 00:00:00

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