Delivering on his promise of making a “razor sharp” address before the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu proffered compelling analogies between the terrorist ISIS organization and Hamas and took Iran to task for its nefarious nuclear ambitions.
Speaking on Monday afternoon, September 29, Netanyahu effectively conveyed his belief that the scourge of militant Islam must be tenaciously confronted while convincing the world what Israel faces today and what it will face in the future.
Emphasizing Israel’s perennial battle against its arch nemesis Hamas as a microcosm of the fight against global jihad, Netanyahu said, “The people of Israel pray for peace, but those hopes are in danger - because militant Islam is on the rise. No one is spared - Christians, Jews, and Muslims. Their ultimate goal is to dominate the world."
"That threat may seem exaggerated to some, because it starts out small - like a cancer," he continued. "But cancer grows, covering a wider and wider area. To protect the security of the world, we must remove the scab, before it's too late."
Netanyahu drew a comparison of both the ISIS and Hamas charters, and noted that Hamas cheered exuberantly when close to 3000 people were murdered by al-Qaeda in the US during the September 11, 2001 attacks.
"Hamas is ISIS, and ISIS is Hamas," he declared. "And what they share is what all Islamism shares: [. . .] they all have the same ideology, they all seek to establish a global militant Islam - where there is no freedom. To them, anyone can be considered an infidel, including fellow Muslims."
Netanyahu then compared Hamas, ISIS, and Nazis. "The Nazis believed in a master race; Islamists believe in a master faith," he said. "The question before us is whether militant Islam will have the power to realize their unbridled ambition."
He also included Iran as part of the international Islamic terrorist threat and warned Western countries not to attempt to woo the Islamic Republic into cooperating in the international coalition’s efforts to thwart ISIS at the expense of ignoring its burgeoning nuclear arsenal.
"Don't be fooled by Iran's manipulative 'charm offensive,'" Netanyahu urged. "It's for one reason only: to remove sanctions, and to lift obstacles to the path of power."
He also quoted passages from a book authored by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, whereby Rouhani says he has "problems with the West."
"This would essentially cement Iran's place as a threshold nuclear power," he continued, saying it would "pose the gravest threat to us all."
"It's one thing to confront militant Islamists on the back of a pickup truck armed with rifles," he said. "It's another to confront militant Islamists with weapons of mass destruction."
Netanyahu then compared the situation with ISIS to the situation with Syrian chemical weapons, whereby he noted that Syria was disarmed - but ISIS and Iran are not, according to an INN report.
"Would you let ISIS build a water reactor? Would you let ISIS have access to nuclear weapons?" he asked. "Of course you wouldn't, and you should not let the Islamic State of Iran either."
If so, he says, "the Ayatollah will show their true face and unleash their fanaticism to the entire world."
"Iran's military capabilities must be fully dismantled," he declared, to general applause.
"Make no mistake: ISIS must be defeated. But to defeat ISIS and leave Iran as a threshold nuclear power would be to win the battle and lose the war."
"To say that Iran doesn't practice terrorism is like saying Derek Jeter never played shortstop for the New York Yankees," he said.
"Ladies and gentleman, the fight against militant Islam is indivisible," he continued. "That's why Israel's fight against Hamas is not our fight: it's your fight. Our fight against Hamas today could be your fight tomorrow."
Speaking of the 50-day defensive war that Israel fought against Hamas terrorists in Gaza this summer, Netanyahu recounted the events of Operation Protective Edge and boldly critiqued the “human rights” council representing the host of the general assembly for its blatant hypocrisy.
"The profound moral difference between Israel and Hamas couldn't have been clearer," Netanyahu said. "Israel was using missiles to protect its children, Hamas was using children to protect its missiles."
"The UNHRC (United Nations Human Rights Council) has betrayed its noble principles to protect its enemies," he continued, noting it is "turning the concept of war upside down."
"The UNHRC is sending a clear message to terrorists everywhere: use civilians as a human shield. Use them again, and again, and again. You know why? Because sadly, it works."
"Thus, the UNHRC has become a Terrorists' Human Rights Council," Netanyahu declared, noting that it "may have already had consequences."
Netanyahu excoriated the UNHRC for dedicating over half of its resolutions against Israel, "where issues are openly debated in our boisterous parliament."
"The UNHRC is an oxymoron, but I'll use it just the same," he said. "Its policies are an extension of the oldest prejudice in the world. It's a function of diseased minds: it's called anti-Semitism, which is spreading in polite society, which is being legitimized as a form of criticism against Israel."
"Genocide? In what moral universe does a country attempt over and over again to get its enemies out of harm's way? To build field hospitals? To ship tons and tons of aid?"
In an oblique reference to the address delivered by PA President Mahmoud Abbas at the general assembly last week in which he accused Israel of indiscriminately killing Palestinians in Gaza during the summer war, Netanyahu said, “I suppose it is the same moral universe where a man who wrote a dissertation of lies about the Holocaust, and who insists on a Palestine free of Jews, judenrein, can stand on this podium and shamelessly accuse Israel of genocide and ethnic cleansing.”
In a pathos-laden speech to the UNGA on Friday, September 26, Abbas issued threats to prosecute Israel, according to an INN report, for "war crimes" at the International Criminal Court (ICC). He pledged that: "We will not forget and we will not forgive, and we will not allow war criminals to escape punishment."
"There is an occupation that must end now," Abbas claimed. "There is a people that must be freed immediately. The hour of independence of the state of Palestine has arrived."
He did not set a deadline for fast-tracking to what he claimed would be "Palestinian statehood," after aides suggested they were eyeing 2017 as a possible date.
Abbas’s speech garnered strong reactions from the U.S. - which called the tirade "offensive" - and from Israeli MKs across the political spectrum.
Before Netanyahu’s speech, Avigdor Lieberman, Israel's foreign minister, told reporters that it's clear that Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has no intention of making peace with Israel, calling his speech to world leaders last week "a message of hatred and incitement."
Lieberman also questioned Abbas' legitimacy to speak on behalf of the Palestinian people, saying he doesn't control the Gaza Strip, where Hamas remains in charge of security and elections have been postponed for more than four years.
Lieberman said Abbas has "lost his way."
"Because he failed with all his domestic issues, he tries to resolve his domestic problems with some escalation in his rhetoric here in U.N., on the international arena," Lieberman said. "But it's clear he has no support."
Raising a seminal concept of changing “the template” for peace advancements in the Middle East and particularly for the seemingly intractable conflict between Israel and her Palestinian neighbors, Netanyahu said that while in the past an Israeli-Palestinian agreement would lead to a rapprochement between Israel and the Arab world, now – perhaps – a partnership with the Arab world could led to an eventual peace agreement with the Palestinians.
“To achieve that peace, we must not look only at Jerusalem and Ramallah, but also to Cairo, Amman, Abu Dhabi, Riyadh and elsewhere,” he said. “I believe peace can be realized with the active involvement of Arab countries, those who are willing to provide political, material and other indispensable support.”
"I want peace because I believe it will bring a better future for my people," he said, calling for one which brings "rock-solid security arrangements on the ground."
"As the Prime Minister of Israel, I am entrusted with the awesome of responsibility of protecting the Jewish people and the Jewish state," he said. "I will never waver on that responsibility."