Standing firm when no one else is. “PM, under attack, insists he “˜won’t be silent” on Iran,” by Adiv Sterman for the Times of Israel, December 2:
Israel will not stand silent as its security is compromised and will take action to dispel any threat leveled against the state, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday.
Speaking at the Great Synagogue in Rome, Netanyahu shot back at critics of his policies, and said that he was concerned more with Israel’s safety than with his public image.
“In contrast to others, when I see that interests vital to the security of Israel’s citizens are in danger, I will not be silent,” the prime minister said.
“I am committed to the future of my state and in contrast to periods in the past, we have a loud and clear voice among the nations and we will sound it in time in order to warn of the danger.”
These remarks were apparently directed at his predecessor Ehud Olmert, who earlier Sunday slammed Netanyahu’s public feuding with the US over the best way to thwart Iran’s nuclear weapons drive.
Netanyahu went on to directly address Iran’s nuclear program, and said that weapons of mass destruction in the hands of the Islamic Republic would not only endanger Israel, but the entire Middle East.
“I would like to dispel any illusions. Iran aspires to attain an atomic bomb,” he said, adding that Tehran was also spreading violence across the region.
“Today there is a regime in Iran that supports terrorism, facilitates the massacre of civilians in Syria and unceasingly arms its proxies — Hamas, Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad — with deadly missiles.”
Netanyahu concluded his remarks by stressing that the lifting of sanctions on Tehran would pave the way for the Islamist regime in Tehran to produce nuclear weapons.
“As we have warned, and I say this with regret, the sanctions have started to weaken and very quickly,” the prime minister said.
“If tangible steps are not taken soon, [the sanctions pressure] is liable to collapse and the efforts of years will vanish without anything in exchange.”…