Benjamin Netanyahu addresses Jewish leaders

Prime Minister Netanyahu addressed Jewish Leaders in New York City on October 2, 2013 after his address the day before to the United Nations General Assembly.

At the United Nations on Tuesday, October 1st, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged foreign dignitaries to view Iran’s latest diplomatic charm offensive with distrust and warned that Israel would act alone, if necessary, to prevent Tehran from developing a nuclear weapon.

"Israel will never acquiesce to nuclear arms in the hands of a rogue regime that repeatedly promises to wipe us off the map. Against such a threat, Israel will have no choice but to defend itself. I want there to be no confusion on this point. Israel will not allow Iran to get nuclear weapons. If Israel is forced to stand alone, Israel will stand alone. Yet, in standing alone, Israel will know that we will be defending many, many others."

Speaking just days after President Obama’s historic phone call with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Netanyahu appealed to a gathering that included Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, to cast a skeptical eye on Iran’s pledge to strike a nuclear deal. He said Tehran has repeatedly employed diplomatic outreach in the past to disguise its plans to build a nuclear bomb.

Prime Minister Netanyahu said the dangers of a nuclear-armed Iran and the emergence of other threats in the Middle East have led many of the country's Arab neighbours to recognize that Israel is not their enemy.

He said this provides the opportunity to overcome the historic animosities and build new relationships, new friendships and new hopes. In his speech, Netanyahu said that although Rouhani’s conciliatory rhetoric sets him apart from his confrontational predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, both men remain committed to the goal of developing a nuclear bomb.

“Now I know Rouhani doesn’t sound like Ahmadinejad, but when it comes to Iran’s nuclear weapons program, the only difference between them is this: Ahmadinejad was a wolf in wolf’s clothing; Rouhani is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, a wolf who thinks he can pull the wool over the eyes of the international community.”

Near the end of his 30-minute speech, Netanyahu quoted from the biblical prophet Amos:

"In our time, the biblical prophecies have been realized: As the prophet Amos said: '…they shall rebuild ruined cities and inhabit them, they shall plant vineyards and drink their wine, they shall till gardens and eat their fruit. And I will plant them upon their soil, never to be uprooted again.'"

The prime minister's message to those who would seek his nation's destruction was, "The people of Israel have come home, never to be uprooted again".

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