Netanyahu tells U.S. Jews he won't allow nukes for Iran

November 10, 2010

NEW ORLEANS (RNS) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told thousands of American Jewish leaders that Israel will not allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon, and stands ready to negotiate a meaningful peace with Palestinians, but only if they guarantee Israeli security.

Appearing before most of the 4,000 delegates at a meeting of the Jewish Federations of North America, Netanyahu launched a broad defense of his administration's policies in the Middle East, with Iran at the center of Israel's threat radar.

He did not touch on Israel's continued settlement building in disputed East Jerusalem, despite U.S. pleas for a halt because the U.S. believes it complicates the peace process.

Netanyahu called a nuclear-armed Iran "the greatest threat to Israel and the world." And while United Nations and U.S. sanctions have exerted pressure on Iran, there is no sign Iran is ending its nuclear program, he said.

"The simple paradox is this: If the international community, led by the United States, hopes to stop Iran's nuclear program without resort to military action, it will have to convince Iran it is prepared to take such action," Netanyahu said.

Netanyahu also expressed a willingness to negotiate with Palestinian authorities, but would not yield territory in return for a mere promise of peace.

He said Israel would not vacate occupied ground, as it left Lebanon in 2006, only to be subjected to rocket attacks from the vacated area.

"If Israel does not maintain a credible military and security presence in the Jordan Valley for the foreseeable future, this is exactly what will happen again," Netanyahu said. "And I will not let that happen."

Netanyahu told the largely sympathetic crowd that Israel depends on the American Jewish community to back its policies. Attendees responded with repeated applause.

His address was interrupted five times by shouts from individuals protesting the Israeli occupation and Israel's domestic security policies. The protesters, from an organization called Jewish Voice for Peace, were shouted down and quickly hustled out of the room by security guards.

Comments

Kennedy tried to prevent Israel from getting nukes, but was assa

The similarities of the situation in Israel in the early 60s and the present situation in Iran are stunning! The concern that Iran’s civilian nuclear power program would be converted to a weapons program is identical to the situation in Israel in the early 60s

In the early 60s, before President Kennedy was tragically assassinated, he was attempting to influence Israeli behavior regarding two principal issues. President Kennedy wanted to prevent Israel from converting its civilian nuclear power program into a weapons program and he wanted Israel to permit the repatriation of Palestinian refugees, something Israel had refused to do since 1948, on the grounds that this would threaten the Jewish character of Israel. Not only had the Arab states called for Israel’s repatriation of Palestinians, but in late 1948, the UN General Assembly had passed Resolution 194 calling on Israel to repatriate all Palestinian refugees who wished to return to their homes in present-day Israel.

To induce the Israelis to make concessions in these areas, Kennedy agreed to sell them advanced antiaircraft guns, Hawk missiles. Kennedy did not establish a formal quid-pro-quo between the arms sale on the one hand and the refugee and nuclear issues on the other. Unfortunately for Kennedy, this lack of formal linkage permitted Israel to pocket the inducement without making significant concessions on the refugee and nuclear issues.

On the nuclear question, Israel appeared to be cooperating with Kennedy, assuring him that the Dimona nuclear reactor was purely for civilian purposes. By evading and thwarting U.S. attempts to conduct meaningful inspections, Israel continued to develop a nuclear weapons capability with the help of France.

America’s attempt to inspect Dimona in the early 60s and the current attempt to inspect Iran’s civilian nuclear power is very similiar.

Kennedy was assassinated in 1963 during which time he was growing very frustrated with Israel. President Johnson was no more successful than Kennedy had been at keeping Israel from developing the bomb. (Jack Ruby, (Jacob Rubenstein) murdered Lee Harvey Oswald who was charged with the murder of President Kennedy.

Amazing the nosense some people will put forth as Comments

If Israel didn't have Nukes they wouldn't be here. They are not the ones threatening to wipe the Arabs off the face of the earth like Iran is threatening to do to them.
And oh yes the Palestinians back in East Jerusalem. Sure so they can launch rockets and kill innocent Israelis

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