PM Netanyahu visits the Western Wall. (Flash90) PM Netanyahu prays at the Western Wall. (Flash90)
PM Netanyahu visits the Western Wall. (Flash90)

Israel’s prime minister visited the Western Wall, which abuts the Temple Mount, Judaism’s holiest site, to say a short prayer before leaving for Washington where he will address Congress on the Iranian nuclear issue.

By Anav Silverman/Tazpit News Agency

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the Western Wall in Jerusalem on the eve of his departure for the United States where he will deliver a historic speech to Congress on Tuesday, March 3 at the invitation of House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) about the Iranian nuclear threat.

“On the eve of my trip to the US, I came here to the Western Wall,” the Israeli prime minister said, after praying briefly at Judaism’s holiest site, with his hands resting on the wall.

PM Netanyahu speaks to reporters at the Western Wall. (Flash90)

PM Netanyahu speaks to reporters at the Western Wall. (Flash90)

“I would like to take this opportunity to say that I respect US President Barack Obama. I believe in the strength of the relationship between Israel and the US and in their strength to overcome differences of opinion, those that have been and those that will yet be.”

Netanyahu also spoke of his commitment to the security of Israel during his visit to the Wall, hours before boarding a flight to Washington.

“As Prime Minister of Israel, it is my obligation to see to the security of Israel; therefore, we strongly oppose the agreement being formulated with Iran and the major powers, which could endanger our very existence.”

“In the face of this danger we must unite and also explain the dangers stemming from this agreement, to Israel, to the region and to the world,” he said.

In his address last week to the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations in Jerusalem, Netanyahu highlighted his belief that no responsible Israeli prime minister could refuse to speak to Congress about a matter so vital to Israel’s security.

“Why am I going to Congress? asked the Israeli prime minister. “Because Israel has been offered the chance to make its case on this crucial issue before the world’s most important parliament; because a speech before Congress allows Israel to present its position to the elected representatives of the American people and to a worldwide audience; because Congress has played a critical role in applying pressure to the Iranian regime — the very pressure that brought the ayatollahs to the negotiating table in the first place, and because Congress may well have a say on any final deal.”