Netanyahu addressed American Jewry in a webcast, explaining why he believes it imperative to rally against the Iran nuclear deal, which he sees as an existential threat to Israel and the world.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is continuing his campaign to persuade the public to reject the accord signed between the Islamic Republic and six world powers regarding its nuclear program. The latest stage in this battle was a live webcast on Tuesday aimed at Americans Jews, arranged by the Jewish Federations of North America and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.
During the session, which was attended by more than 10,000 people who fielded roughly 2,000 questions on the issue, Netanyahu reiterated Israel’s stance that the deal endangers the safety of Israel and the world, calling it a “bad deal” that enables Tehran to develop a nuclear bomb.
“The nuclear deal with Iran doesn’t block Iran’s path to the bomb. It actually paves Iran’s path to the bomb,” Netanyahu declared.” Iran can get to the bomb by keeping the deal or Iran could get to the bomb by violating the deal.”
Netanyahu, one of the fiercest critics of the nuclear accord, also disputed Obama’s claim that opponents of the diplomatic deal favor war. He called that claim “utterly false,” stating, “I oppose this deal because I want to prevent war, and this deal will bring war.”
Netanyahu outlined “fatal flaws” in the deal in an effort to dispel “some of the misinformation” and “disinformation” about Israel’s position.
“The deal that was supposed to end nuclear proliferation will actually trigger nuclear proliferation,” he insisted. “It will trigger an arms race, a nuclear arms race in the Middle East, the most volatile part of the planet. That’s a real nightmare.”
“But the deal’s dangers don’t end there,” he warned. “The deal gives Iran also a massive infusion of cash and Iran will use this cash to fund its aggression in the region and its terrorism around the world. As a result of this deal, there’ll be more terrorism. There will be more attacks. And more people will die.”
Even if Iran invests only 10 percent of the money for terrorism, “that’s 10 percent of nearly half a trillion dollars that Iran is expected to receive over the next 10 to 15 years,” the Israeli leader affirmed. “That’s a staggering amount of money.”
“Israelis are going to be the ones who pay the highest price if there’s war and if Iran gets the bomb,” he continued.
In Israel, opposition to the deal is not a partisan issue, the premier said. “Isaac Herzog, the Leader of the Labor Opposition, the man who ran against me in this year’s election and who works every day in the Knesset to bring down my government, Herzog has said that there is no daylight between us when it comes to the deal with Iran.”
“This isn’t about me. And it’s not about President Obama,” he said, stressing that the issue is not personal. “It’s about the deal.”
“Don’t let the deal’s supporters quash a real debate,” Netanyahu asserted. “The issue here is too important. Don’t let them take your voice away at this critical moment in history. What we do now will affect our lives and the lives of our children and grandchildren – in Israel, in America, everywhere. This is a time to stand up and be counted. Oppose this dangerous deal.”
Earlier this week, Obama held a conference call organized by liberal, non-mainstream American Jewish organizations, offering talking points to defend the deal and urging them to garner support through financial donations and advocacy. There was no opportunity for questions.
Hours after Netanyahu’s address, Obama held a meeting with Jewish leaders at the White House in an attempt to persuade them to adopt the opposite position championed by Netanyahu.
By: Max Gelber, United with Israel
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