Wednesday, September 30, 2009

AJC poll: 56% of American Jews support US strike on Iran; 66% support Israel strike

( A new American Jewish Committee (AJC) survey of American Jews shows that for the first time, a majority of them would support a U.S military strike against Iran, and an even larger majority would support such a move by Israel.

The AJC survey showed that 56 percent of American Jews would support, and 36 percent would oppose, United States military action against Iran to prevent it from developing nuclear weapons. This is a real shift from 2008, when the AJC survey found that 42 percent would support the U.S. taking military action against Iran, while 47 percent were opposed.

66 percent would support, and 28 percent would oppose, Israel taking military action against Iran to prevent it from developing nuclear weapons.

On the Obama Administration’s general handling of the Iran nuclear issue, 49 percent of American Jews approve and 35 percent disapprove.

“Clearly concerns are mounting over the international community’s apparent inability to deploy tough and resolute sanctions to confront a belligerent Iran determined to build nuclear weapons and missiles to deliver them,” said AJC Executive Director David Harris.

94 percent of American Jews agree that the Palestinians should be “required to recognize Israel as a Jewish state in a final peace agreement.”

Distrust of the Arabs is high but slightly lower than it was in 2007: 75 percent agree, and 19 percent disagree, with the statement, “The goal of the Arabs is not the return of occupied territories but rather the destruction of Israel.” In the 2007 survey, 82 percent agreed and 12 percent disagreed.

Nonetheless, regarding the establishment of a Palestinian state, 49 percent favor that outcome, and 41 percent are opposed. In AJC’s 2007 survey, 46 percent were in favor and 43 percent opposed.

Encouraging news - Hamas: Psalms sent by Rabbi Ovadia Yosef to be handed to Shalit

(Ynet).Hamas members have received the Book of Psalms sent to Gilad Shalit from Rabbi Ovadia Yosef and promised Egyptian negotiators that they would deliver it to the kidnapped soldier, Ynet has learned from sources involved in the negotiations on a prisoner exchange deal.

On Friday, Israel is slated to receive a videotape containing a sign of life from the captive, in exchange for the release of 20 Palestinian prisoners.

The Psalms and prayer book were handed over to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak by Interior Minister Eli Yishai about two weeks ago, during Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's visit to Cairo.

Mubarak gave the books to Egyptian Intelligence Minister Omar Suleiman and asked him to make sure that they reach the soldier.

According to the sources, the trust which led to the recent moves began building up when Hamas agreed to receive the books and deliver them to Shalit. Up to now, the Palestinian group has refused to transfer anything to the captive soldier, for fear that Israel would take advantage of the situation in order to try and locate him.

The sources involved in the negotiations added that the German mediator had received the videotape from the Egyptian intelligence representative, who got it from Hamas politburo chief Khaled Mashaal, after the latter joined a Hamas delegation from Gaza, headed by Dr. Mahmoud al-Zahahr.

According to one of the sources involved in the talks, "Further development are expected soon, but the road to completing the deal is still long and many obstacles and difficulties are expected."

Israeli officials said Wednesday evening that the tape slated to be handed over to Israel is one-minute long and shows the kidnapped soldier with his face to the camera. The video will also include proof that it was taken recently.

Round One For Netanyahu

( Damron). It was not a KO punch—there will be another round—but on points it was a clear and decisive win in the New York ring for Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He made a quick work of both the American President Barack Obama, and the Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. You got to hand it to him; he did it with strength and with style. First, after exposing Obama’s weakness, he floored him with a cunning right hook. After that, it was an easy, almost nonchalant left uppercut that sent Abbas to the ropes, and from there wobbling down to face his angry. The triumphal Netanyahu was not glowing (here comes the style), yet he was embraced by the New York’s crowd—Jewish, gentile and UN delegates alike—as the victor. While more jubilant multitudes, and rising poll numbers, await him at home.

The boxing arena aside, here’s what actually happened in that trivet meeting. First, the diplomacy: Obama met separately, and jointly, with the leaders of Israrel and Palestine, admonished them for the lack of progress in peace negotiations, and urged them “sternly” to resume the stalled peace-talks. And he got them to shake hands, a hollow photo-op a la Begin and Sadat, Rabin and Arafat. Netanyahu “supposedly” indorsed the president’s call and urgency, declaring a wish to return to negotiations without any preconditions (how stylish…). Abbas, as a lamb brought to the slaughter, nodded half-heartedly, knowing very well what awaits him back home.

Second, to the “facts-on-the-ground,” as the Israelis are fond of saying, and to the analyses of Netanyahu’s win. To begin with, and most importantly, he withstood the pressure and demand of the Obama’s administration and did not freeze all settlements’ activity. In doing so, he not only retained his coalition at home and increased his popularity, but exposed Obama’s main weakness: that he’s a man of words, in essence, more than a man of deeds. To illustrate the point, here’s a short story: A friend met me the other day and asked how am I doing. I said, no complaints: the sun is shining, the skies are blue, the birds are singing and Obama is making another speech.

Netanyahu, you see, had figured out ahead of time a number of crucial elements in regard to the new administration: One, that Obama is a rookie and somewhat naive on the international stage; two, that he won’t walk the talk, because more urgent matters confront him at home, mainly the economy-crisis brought by the Great Recession, and the health-care reform fight, to name but two; and three, that abroad, too, more urgent matters were/are on his plate, such as ending the war in Iraq, figuring out what to do with the deterioration of the war in Afghanistan, and of course the nuclear issues of Iran and North Korea.

The end result being that the American President in actuality backed off his demand for all settlements freeze. A demand both he and Hillary Clinton, his secretary of state—a non-existent figure so far in the Middle East—had demanded. Netanyahu realized another important thing: that a president needs a cache of successes at home, with a large popularity and strength to back him up in order to be tough with Israel. Otherwise, he’ll be “eaten for breakfast” by the Israel-Jewish lobby, the Congress and the Media to boot.

As mentioned at the top, after manhandling Obama, Abaas was an easy work for Netanyahu. Abass needs America’s backing and support, and could not afford to refuse—glaring in the eyes of the world’s leaders at the largest world’s stage—to agree to the statement “of resuming peace-talks,” and to shake hands with Netanyahu. This handshake was bad for him, but good for Netanyahu. Here was a man of peace, offering his hand to his enemy, agreeing willingly to negotiate peace with him without preconditions, while at home he continued to occupy and settle his land, in effect causing the peace process to be more dead than alive. Which is the cherry on Netanyahu’s cake.

To seal his victory, Netanyahu kept pounding and exploiting the Iran nuclear issue, tying it neatly with progress in Middle East peace negotiations. The UN mass exit, rightly so, of most delegates when the Iranian president spoke, and the strongest than usual sanctions’ declaration by the leaders of America, Britain and France, all worked to his advantage. He was now able to return to Israel in a much favorable conditions for him and for his government—if not for the state-of-peace—than he had left it.

Strong at home,Strong abroad - PM Netanyahu to convene Likud Central Committee

(Jpost).Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will convene the Likud Central Committee next month in an effort to take advantage of his current popularity following meetings in the United States considered successful, sources close to Netanyahu revealed on Tuesday.

Netanyahu had been avoiding convening the hawkish committee, which could have embarrassed him ahead of his meetings the past few months with US President Barack Obama.

Despite various efforts by Netanyahu's political opponents to convene the committee against the prime minister's will, it has not met since December 2 - before the Likud selected its Knesset list.

But now that the US meetings are behind him, Netanyahu wants to convene the committee soon to take advantage of his current popularity. A group of Likud activists loyal to Netanyahu will meet next month to officially request that Netanyahu convene the committee, and the prime minister will formally grant their request.

"Bibi strengthened himself and the nation with his speech at the UN," said Likud Petah Tikva branch head Uri Faraj, a strong Netanyahu supporter.

"The central committee will meet regardless of whether Bibi looks strong or weak. Bibi is always strong in the central committee. It has to meet because the time has come, and legally, it can't be dragged on much longer."

A Likud source noted that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas convened his Fatah conference when he felt he was strong politically, and it gave him a significant political boost.

Netanyahu: UN Gaza report spells death for peace,Anyone who desires peace must stop this report right now

(Haaretz).Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday said that allowing the International Criminal Court in the Hague try the war crimes alleged in the recently compiled Goldstone Commission report on the Gaza conflict between Israel and Hamas, would deal a death blow to the peace process.

Speaking during a meeting with ambassadors from Asia and the Pacific islands, Netanyahu said that the Goldstone report and its conclusions could impede peace and make it difficult for democratic nations around the globe to fight terror.

The principle that a democratic nation has a legitimate right to respond to terror has been crushed by a body belonging to the United Nations, Netanyahu said. "This is a serious blow to the UN,It [the UN] could revert back to the days when it compared Zionism to racism. It's starting in Israel, but it will reach other nations and it will hurt the UN."

"Anyone who supports the Goldstone report and its conclusions is in effect against peace,since no country, and no people, would be willing to take risks for the sake of peace if their right to self defense was taken away."

"If the report reaches the international court in Hague, it will bring the peace process to a halt because Israel won't take the risks necessary to achieve peace if it is not assured the right to defend itself. Anyone who desires peace must stop this report right now," the prime minister concluded, asking the ambassadors to pass the message along to their respective governments.

PM Netanyahu tells National Security Cabinet: We must fix disengagement's mistakes

(Ynet).Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday during a National Security Cabinet discussion that "the theses which guided the disengagement from Gaza have collapsed – and we must say this with all integrity."

The most significant decision made during the meeting was to release 20 female Palestinian prisoners in exchange for a videotape containing a sign of life from kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit.

During the cabinet discussion, the prime minister referred to the Israeli pullout from Gaza in 2005. "There is no and there can be no situation in which Israel withdraws from a territory, is attacked with missiles from the same territory it withdrew from, and is not be given the right to defend itself," he said.

"There were theses that supported the pullout. One was that the pullout would promote peace and halt any attacks or firing of missiles from the Gaza Strip. According to the second one, even if the missile attacks on Israel would not be halted, we would have international legitimization to respond to aggression with all our force.

"We must say this with all integrity – these two assumptions have collapsed,The logic of these theses has collapsed completely. Today we are required to fix mistakes made in the past. We must guarantee that territories adjacent to the urban centers of the State of Israel would be demilitarized and won't be able to turn into terror and missile bases against Israel," he explained.

Netanyahu added during the discussion, "We must exert all measures in order to guarantee our right for self-defense. What is clear now is that Israel won't be able to take changes for the peace process and for promoting procedures, while at the same time there are procedures against the soldiers, officers and commanders of the IDF and against Israel's statesmen."

Netanyahu's Historic Speech

(merecomments).I have sometimes wondered what it would be like to have lived through the era of Churchill and Roosevelt, or Lincoln, to have heard great speeches made in the midst of trying times. I think Benjamin Netanyahu's speech to the United Nations yesterday is perhaps the closest I've heard to what I imagine those great speeches were like. I commend the speech to you.

He does not dabble in diplomatic niceties but calls on the members of the United Nations to live up to their original mandate. He passionately defends his people and his country while continuing to offer hope for a peaceful future. He condemns the political thugs in charge of Hamas and Iran while distinguishing them from the Iranian and Palestinian people. It was impressively articulate, though "articulate" speeches are now more common than they once were. What more impressed me was the principles that were articulated.

The underlying logic of much of UN-type thinking promotes a moral equivalence between member states, as if a conflict between any two nation-states is like two teams engaged in a deadly sporting event. If only we can get the two teams to talk to each other and obey the rules, things will work out. Not so, and Netanyahu forcefully points out that this is not one civilization vs. another. The conflict between Ahmadinejad-Hamas-Al-Qaeda and the West is barbarism vs. civilization.

I think even Netanyahu must realize that the old Enlightenment dream of upward progress won't do it, as he knows full well that the very same technological advances, in the hands of the fanatics, threaten a second Holocaust. It will not be technological progress alone that will prevail in this drawn-out conflict, nor will Western "values" win the day. For all of his trenchant insight, it is a telling sign that our modern "solution" to religious conflict has so impoverished our discourse that we are called to put our faith in scientific advancement. Fortunately, there are good people considering the future of our modern "solution" itself.

Netanyahu commends Merkel on tough stance on Iran

(WashingtonTV)—Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu congratulated German Chancellor Angela Merkel on her re-election, Germany’s Deutsche Presse-Agentur [DPA] reported on Wednesday.

Citing a statement from the prime minister’s office, DPA reported that Netanyahu also commended Merkel’s “tough stance” on Iran, during a telephone conversation on late Tuesday.

He “expressed appreciation for Germany’s tough stance on the issue of Iran,” the statement said.

Merkel’s conservative Christian Democratic Union took almost 34 percent of the vote in Sunday’s election. The party is seeking to form a coalition with the Free Democratic Party, which came in third with 14.6 percent.

Germany is one of six major powers working to resolve the longstanding row over Iran’s nuclear program.

Merkel has warned Tehran that it could face new sanctions if it failed to show a willingness to negotiate on its nuclear program.

PMO: Israel to release 20 female prisoners in return for a recent Shalit video

(Ynet).Israel's Security Cabinet has approved the release of 20 female Palestinian prisoners and detainees in exchange for proof that captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit held in the Gaza Strip is alive.

In a statement, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said Wednesday that it expects to receive a video showing the soldier is alive and well. The deal is to be carried out on Friday. However, a senior official in Netanyahu's office said the negotiations are still "expected to be long and difficult."

Similar statements were given in Cairo and Gaza on Wednesday. The Shalit family was also updated on the recent developments in the affair.

"According to the proposal by mediators, Israel will receive updated and unequivocal proof of Shalit's condition," the statement said, without giving a date for the women's release.

Jerusalem sources said the German mediator working on the case has already viewed the video, and that Israel has information of its content, which shows that Shalit appears to be alive and well. The video is believed to have been recorded in recent weeks.

Netanyahu praised special envoy on the Shalit case Hagai Hadas and his negotiations team for their professional handling of the matter, and said, "It's important that the world know that Shalit is alive and well, and that Hamas is responsible for his safety."

"The cabinet has decided to accept the Egyptian initiative as a confidence building step in the frame of the indirect talks, ahead of the crucial steps in negotiations for Gilad Shalit's release, and based on the Israeli government's commitment to work determinedly to bring him home fast, while protecting the State of Israel's vital interests," the Prime Minister's Office said.

The 20 prisoners to be released in exchange for the videotape of Shalit is comprised of eight Nablus residents, four Ramallah residents, three from Hebron, three from Bethlehem, one from Jenin and one from the Gaza Strip. Seven of the prisoners are not affiliated with any group; four are from Hamas, three from the Islamic Jihad, five from Fatah and one from the Popular Front.

The list of prisoners will be published on the Israel Prison Service's website in the coming hours. The PMO's statement said the list may be viewed and any information regarding the process may be obtained at the Justice Ministry's pardons department.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

U.N. Face-Off: Goldstone Accused by Disfigured Israeli Rocket Victim-"Why Were You Silent? Why Did You Humiliate Me?"

U.N. Human Rights Council Debate on Goldstone Report
Delivered by Dr. Mirela Siderer, Geneva, September 29, 2009

Click for video

My name is Dr. Mirela Siderer. I am a gynecologist living in Ashkelon, Israel.

Judge Goldstone, in July you invited me to testify. I told you my story. I am known by my patients -- including many women from Gaza. For me, every human being is equal.

On May 14, 2008, my life was changed forever. I was working in my clinic. Suddenly, the building was hit by a missile, fired from Gaza. I was terribly wounded. Blood was everywhere. My patient was also wounded, and more than 100 others. Next month will be my eighth operation.

Judge Goldstone, I told you all of this, in detail. I testified in good faith. You sent me this letter, saying, "Your testimony is an essential part of the Mission's fact-finding activities."

But now I see your report. I have to tell you: I am shocked.

Judge Goldstone, in a 500-page report, why did you completely ignore my story? My name appears only in passing, in brackets, in a technical context.

I feel humiliated.

Why are there only two pages about Israeli victims like me, who suffered thousands of rockets over eight years?

Why did you choose to focus on the period of my country's response, but not on that of the attacks that caused it?

Why did you not tell me that this council judged Israel guilty in advance, in its meeting of last January?

Why did you not tell me that members of your panel signed public letters judging Israel guilty in advance?

Judge Goldstone, you, too, signed such a letter, saying you were "shocked" about Gaza.

But where were you when Gaza attacked my medical clinic, in violation of international human rights and humanitarian law?

Where was this council?

Why were you all silent?

John Bolton with Greta/FOX On Netanyahu's U.N. Speech

PM thanks Sarkozy for support on Iran by agreeing to request to rebuild Gaza hospital

(Haaretz).Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu finally agreed yesterday to a request by French President Nicolas Sarkozy to rebuild a Gaza hospital damaged during Operation Cast Lead. Netanyahu told Sarkozy by phone yesterday that he had decided to approve the project as a humanitarian gesture. The premier also said he wished to accommodate Paris due to the "strident stance that France has taken on Iran's nuclear program."

Sarkozy made the request during Netanyahu's visit to Paris earlier this year. The hospital in question is Al-Quds Hospital, which is managed by the Red Crescent Society in Gaza. Sarkozy added that the initiative is a joint venture between France and Qatar, the wealthy Gulf sheikhdom that broke off relations with Israel during the Gaza war. The prime minister told Sarkozy earlier this year that Israel would consult with the defense establishment on the matter, yet in practice nothing materialized.

Last week, Netanyahu and Sarkozy met on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly opening session in New York. A source in the prime minister's bureau said that Sarkozy raised the issue again during the meeting. Netanyahu, in turn, promised to update the French leader within a number of days. Upon his return to Israel, Netanyahu instructed defense officials to make the necessary preparations to allow for the hospital's reconstruction.

Yesterday, Sarkozy called Netanyahu, who gave the go-ahead for the project. "We have decided to allow the rebuilding of the hospital," Netanyahu told Sarkozy. "I am doing this as a humanitarian gesture and in light of the great friendship between us."

Survey: American Jews back Obama, by narrower margins; Only 14% Orthodox Jews approve Obama's relation Handling

(BenSmith-Politico). An annual survey of American Jews finds support for President Obama's Mideast policy, though by narrower margins than backed him in November.

The American Jewish Committee's Annual Survey of American Jewish Opinion, which polled 800 American Jews between August 30 and September 17 of this year, found that 54% approve of President Obama's handling of U.S.-Israel relations, to the 32% who disapprove. Only a slightly higher number, 59%, approve of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's handling of the relationship.

The survey finds that a full 70% of respondents called U.S.-Israel relations "somewhat positive," and another 11% called them "very positive." But the survey also reveals real qualms among American Jews -- more than three quarters of whom voted for Obama, according to exit polls, on the details of Israel policy. The survey found that 51% disagree "with the Obama Administration’s call for a stop to all new Israeli settlement construction." The survey also found a surge in support for military action against Iran, which more than half of American Jews now back.

“Clearly concerns are mounting over the international community’s apparent inability to deploy tough and resolute sanctions to confront a belligerent Iran determined to build nuclear weapons and missiles to deliver them,” said AJC Executive Director David Harris said in an accompanying press release The survey also revealed no particular surge in optimism about a peaceful resolution in the Middle East: On the prospects for achieving a lasting peace between Israel and the Arabs, only 12 percent are more optimistic than a year ago, 23 percent are less optimistic, and 65 percent think the chances are the same, the survey found.

The survey also found a sharp divide within the Jewish community: Orthodox Jews (who represented just 9% of respondents, decreasing the quality of the data) were far harder on Obama than Reform, Conservative, and other Jews. Only 14% of the Orthodox surveyed said they approved of Obama's handling of the U.S.-Israel relationship, a figure closer to Israeli public opinion than to other American Jews.

Washington Times Op-Ed: US as Leader of the Free World no more - The torch has been passed to Israel

(THE WASHINGTON TIMES).Israel is looking like the new leader of the Free World. The previous leader, the United States, resigned this role last week at the United Nations to take the position of global community organizer. This was made plain by President Obama in his speech, titled "Responsibility for Our Common Future," in which he heralded "a new chapter of international cooperation." By contrast, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered a blunt and forceful call to action in the central challenge facing free people today. This is the struggle of "civilization against barbarism" being fought by "those who sanctify life against those who glorify death."

Mr. Obama's address was the predictable mix of criticism of the past policies of the United States, self-praise for correcting said policies and vague calls to united action on matters of collective interest. It sought to ingratiate rather than offend. But Mr. Netanyahu chastised the United Nations for its "systematic assault on the truth." He spoke truths that Mr. Obama would never whisper regarding the regime in Iran, which is "fueled by an extreme fundamentalism" and an "unforgiving creed." Mr. Netanyahu rebuked those members who countenanced Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's diatribe before the same world body, rightly calling it a "disgrace."

Mr. Netanyahu repeatedly paid tribute to the blessings of liberty and "the allure of freedom." He marveled at the technological advances freedom made possible. He asked if the international community would support the Iranian people "as they bravely stand up for freedom." He envisioned a future of Israel and Palestine, "two free peoples living in peace, living in prosperity, living in dignity." Mr. Obama, meanwhile, touted the imperative of responding to global climate change and mentioned as an afterthought that democracy should not be an afterthought.

Israel stands out because it understands the central challenge faced by the civilized world and by its willingness to take action. Israel is readying to stem the tide of barbarism and stand up to the threat of a nuclear Iran. In return, it asks only for moral support. "If Israel is again asked to take more risk for peace," Mr. Netanyahu said, "we must know today that you will stand with us tomorrow." He challenged the countries of the world with a clear-cut test: "Will you stand with Israel? Or will you stand with the terrorists?"

Mr. Obama said in closing that "we call on all nations to join us in building the future that our people deserve." But people only deserve what they have earned. Mr. Netanyahu called on the civilized world to "confront this peril, secure our future, and, God willing, forge an enduring peace for generations to come." Sometimes the future doesn't come without a fight.

The America Spectator/ Netanyahu - Israel's Reagan

"But to those who gave this Holocaust-denier a hearing, I say on behalf of my people, the Jewish people, and decent people everywhere: Have you no shame? Have you no decency?"
-- Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

So, in your discussions of the nuclear freeze proposals, I urge you to beware the temptation of pride -- of blithely declaring yourselves above it all and label both sides equally at fault, to ignore the facts of history and the aggressive impulses of an evil empire, to simply call the arms race a giant misunderstanding and thereby remove yourself from the struggle between right and wrong, good and evil."
-- President Ronald Reagan

(The American .spectator).. A mere nine days after taking office, at the height of the Cold War, Ronald Reagan strode into his very first presidential press conference in 1981 and found himself asked by ABC reporter Sam Donaldson what he thought the Soviet Union's long-range intentions were."Do you think, for instance, the Kremlin is bent on world domination that might lead to a continuation of the Cold War, or do you think that under the circumstances détente is possible?"

And then it came. After decades of presidents talking the Washington gobbledygook of détente favored by the town's diplomatic mandarins,Reagan's blunt answer stunned.

Here's what he said:

Well, so far détente has been a one-way-street that the Soviet Union has used to pursue its own aims… I know of no leader of the Soviet Union since the revolution, and including the present leadership, that has not more than once repeated in the various Communist congresses they hold their determination that their goal must be the promotion of world revolution and a one-world Socialist or Communist state… Now, as long as they do that and as long as they, at the same time, have openly and publicly declared that the only morality they recognize is what will further their cause, meaning they reserve unto themselves the right to commit any crime, to lie, to cheat, in order to attain that, that that is moral, not immoral, and we operate on a different set of standards, I think when you do business with them, even at a détente, you keep that in mind.

All of this comes to mind having watched the speech that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered to the United Nations this past week. His subject: the United Nations, Iran and the Holocaust-denying, nuclear bomb-building President of Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The man who has vowed to wipe Israel off the map.

The appropriate description of Netanyahu's words was used in the speech itself. It was a model of moral clarity -- one might even say Reaganesque moral clarity. In a moment of drama Netanyahu held aloft a copy of the detailed minutes of the meeting held by senior Nazi officials in the Berlin suburb of Wansee, where the infamous decision was taken in January of 1942 to methodically exterminate the Jews. Then he produced the actual blueprint for the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, signed by Hitler's deputy Heinrich Himmler. This, of course, became the notorious camp where a million Jews were murdered.

Let's say that again. The place where one million Jews were murdered.

The revelation that along with a third of the Jewish population the entire family of Netanyahu's wife Sara, in Netanyahu's words, his "wife's grandparents, her father's two sisters and three brothers, and all the aunts, uncles and cousins were all murdered by the Nazis" was nothing if not a clear recognition of what remains one of history's most brutal realities. Asked Bibi: "Is that also a lie?"

It is, of course, not a lie. It is something much more dangerous. It is irrelevant -- to those who are willfully closing their eyes to the considerable danger that is looming in Iran. Closing their eyes because they are either unwilling, unable or -- infinitely worse -- in fact in sympathy with the anti-Semitic ravings of Mr. Ahmadinejad.

..... Now it is Benjamin Netanyahu who has picked up Reagan's torch, looking the "quiet men" of the United Nations straight in the eye and speaking as plainly of evil as Reagan once did of the Soviet Union. In doing so he addressed a body that has gone out of its way not to defeat evil but to coddle it, to give seats on the UN Human Rights Commission to notorious violators of human rights like Cuba, the Sudan and Zimbabwe. A body that finally replaced its discredited Human Rights Commission only to re-create it in the form of a UN Human Rights Council -- which has managed to condemn Israel some fifteen times in a mere two years while giving a free pass to the activities of Hezbollah in Lebanon. A body in which the "quiet men" in the carpeted precincts of the UN sat by in silence while, as the Prime Minister noted, Hamas used Gaza to fire "thousands of missiles, mortars and rockets on nearby Israeli cities" out-and-out murdering Israeli civilians over the course of eight years.

The world is entering yet another perilous moment in a history filled with such moments. One would like to think that humankind would learn from them. One would like to believe that the one million Americans who joyfully filled the streets of San Francisco in 1945 to cheer an American president and the United Nations were the precursor of a wiser age. Instead, once again, we are face-to-face with a moment in which yet another madman will seek to inflict a tragedy of unimaginable proportions on the Jews, a tragedy that could engulf the rest of the world in the blink of an eye.

Unlike the horrors of the Holocaust, this time the quiet men in white collars padding about the carpeted precincts of the United Nations itself are bidding to effectively become accomplices to the modern version of the quiet men of Wansee -- the mullahs of Tehran. This time, instead of Nazi uniforms the favored dress of the new Wansee will be that of the Islamic cleric, smooth-shaven cheeks replaced with the requisite beards.

Ronald Reagan made history by his unwillingness to gloss over the hard truths of his time. He told us that "if history teaches anything, it teaches that simpleminded appeasement or wishful thinking about our adversaries is folly. It means the betrayal of our past, the squandering of freedom."

Today there is one nation, at least, that has a leader who understands this.

That leader would be Benjamin Netanyahu.

Israel's Reagan.

US National security expert Gaffney: Iran on Brink of Having Nuclear Bomb, Using It

(Newsmax).Leading national security expert Frank Gaffney tells Newsmax we could be in the "last days" before Iran obtains nuclear weapons — and he warns that if they do, they absolutely will use them.

Gaffney served in the Ronald Reagan administration as assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy, and is the Founder and President of the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C.

He is also host of the nationally syndicated program "Secure Freedom Radio," a columnist for several Web sites including Newsmax, and co-author of the book "War Footing: 10 Steps America Must Take to Prevail in the War for the Free World."

Considering Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's constant anti-Israeli and anti-U.S. rhetoric, does it appear he's intent on using nuclear weapons once Iran obtains them? Martella asked.

"I think you couldn't be more clear that he intends to use them," Gaffney said.

"Going back to the '30s, people thought that Hitler couldn't possibly mean what he was saying. Today people are similarly hoping that Ahmadinejad doesn't mean what he's saying. But he certainly says it with conviction. He says it repeatedly. He says it in public. He says it to his own constituency.

"There is I think no basis to [believe] that it is responsible, let alone safe, other than to believe that Ahmadinejad and the mullahs that run him and Iran, if able to get their hands on these missiles and nuclear warheads, will indeed use them."

Asked if the Obama administration can convince Russia and China to go along with harsh sanctions against Iran, Gaffney said:

"I think it very unlikely. I think even if the Chinese and Russians agree to some kind of further sanctions, it will probably be dragged out. It will be designed to continue to do what they've been doing to date, which is to provide political cover for their Iranian clients, or allies, and to buy the time the Iranians need to finish their nuclear weapons development program...

"We may be beyond the point at which sanctions could make much of a material difference. I think we're down to the last days, certainly weeks, maybe months at the outside, before the Iranians get the bomb."

Monday, September 28, 2009

Netanyahu United Nation speech Unites the Likud - Freeze on rebellion replaces settlement freeze

(Jpost).Following Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's speech to the UN General Assembly last week, Netanyahu found himself emerging from Yom Kippur on Monday night with a new mandate from his own party after the settlement freeze seemed to be replaced by a freeze on internal dispute.

For the first time in months, the simmering internal rebellion in the Likud appeared to be quieting down instead of boiling over, after Netanyahu's speech and the revelation by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that he had hoodwinked the West and built a second facility for enriching uranium right under their noses.

Diaspora Affairs Minister Yuli Edelstein told The Jerusalem Post on Monday night that since the speech, he had heard a flood of positive feedback not only from fellow Likud officials, but also from rank-and-file party members who had previously been dissatisfied with a perceived left-turn by the prime minister.

"In the tripartite meeting [with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and US President Barack Obama], Netanyahu didn't say anything about concessions to the Palestinians, about settlement freezes and things like that - and that certainly helped him within the Likud," Edelstein said. "But all of that was strengthened by the speech, one part of which contained an aggressive 'j'accuse,' and that was even more critical."

"In the recent years, many even within the Likud had forgotten Netanyahu's abilities and standing on the international stage - his conviction and his ability to convince and to speak before audiences and the media. And now, I hear in responses from many Likud members, they have recalled that ability."

Edelstein emphasized that Ahmadinejad's announcement also had helped to place "the Likud consensus as the national consensus" regarding Iran - an issue upon which there is much more agreement than on steps to be taken or avoided regarding the Palestinians.

The degree to which Netanyahu's standing had improved within his own party was emphasized when freshman MK and rebellion ringleader MK Tzipi Hotovely sent a letter to her party chairman on the night before Yom Kippur, in which she said she "strengthened his hands and complimented him on his important speech."

"You represented the moral voice amid the air of hypocrisy that blew in from the international field, and you strengthened our national pride," she wrote.

Although Hotovely was perhaps the most rebellious of the Likud MKs to come in from the cold following the prime minister's 45-minute speech in New York, she was far from the only one. MK Carmel Shama, who has been seen as teetering on the brink of joining fellow freshman rebels, started the deluge minutes after Netanyahu completed his speech on Thursday, saying that the prime minister had "proven diplomatic productivity and achievement of goals in the international arena through determination and not through giving in, by telling the straight truth and not by talking around it."

"Netanyahu presented and continues to present Israel as a new state that is proud of its existence, of its right to determine and preserve its existential interests," Shama said. "There is not a single Zionist Israeli citizen who did not identify with the speech."

Netanyahu Interview with israeli Media after U.N. Speech - "Light One candle of Truth- to dispel the darkness"

In answer to one journalist who asked whether he might not be lending credibility to Ahmadenijad by addressing his denial of the Holocaust, Netanyahu chose to focus on a prescient experience he had with the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, 25 years ago.

PM Netanyahu Address before American Jewish Leadership at 92Y

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Israel urges West to stand firm against Iran - If not now, then When?

(Telegraph).Israel's prime minister began an intensive round of telephone diplomacy to urge Western governments to stand firm against Iran in response to the latest revelations of its secret nuclear programme.

Netanyahu telephoned Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, and other senators and congressmen to urge tougher sanctions."Action must be taken in all areas to increase pressure on Iran and impose crippling sanctions on it," he said, according to the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz. "If not now, then when?"

The report suggests that Israel, which has been considering air strikes against Iran, is for now still pursuing diplomatic routes to preventing Tehran's development of nuclear missiles.  

Mr Netanyahu is also trying to show he is mindful of the approach being taken to Iran by Barack Obama, US president. The prime minister knows that Iran is part of a broader geopolitical set of issues and that in the long run, should he wish to order a strike against Iran, it will be hard, if not impossible, to do so without American approval.

Mr Netanyahu was backed by a diplomatic barrage from other senior Israeli figures. Avigdor Lieberman, the hardline foreign minister, called on the international community to overthrow "the mad regime of Tehran". General Gabi Ashkenazi, chief of staff of the Israeli army, said there was still time to allow sanctions to work.

A real leader makes a powerful U.N. speech

(Tennesean).To the Editor:Finally, we have a world leader who is willing to stand up to the United Nations and its ill-fated policies that support terrorist and rogue nations and condemn the actions of free countries defending themselves.

And, finally, we have a world leader who is not an appeaser or apologizer for his country’s actions. Thank you, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, for that wonderful and forceful speech you gave at the United Nations.

Thank you for calling the U.N. out for all its support of terrorist nations and challenging them to do what is right in the future. I only wish America had a leader that was concerned about his country as much as he is about himself and his poll numbers. I only wish America had a leader who would not go around the world apologizing for our great country. Yes, I wish our president had only half the backbone that Prime Minister Netanyahu has.

Thank you, again, Prime Minister Netanyahu, for reminding us what a true leader looks like.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Netanyahu's Leadership and Clarity About Iran

( Hugh Hewitt-TownHall)An e-mailer today remarked that listening to my replay of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's rebuke of the U.N. today was like listening to Churchill. 

Of course most of us cannot actually know what it was like to listen to Churchill in wartime, and the world is not as yet in as desperate a situation as it faced on May 9, 1940 as the Blitzkrieg sliced through France and Neville Chamberlain's government fell.But Netanyahu must feel at least a little as Churchill did when the greatest Englishman assumed the leadership of a Great Britain with its back to the wall. 

Churchill later recorded his state of mind on being given the power to lead the West even as Hitler's strength was cresting and England faced its greatest peril:Thus at the outset of this mighty battle, I acquired the chief power in the State....As I went to bed about 3 A.M., I was conscious of a profound sense of relief.  At last I had the authority to give directions over the whole scene.  I felt as if I were walking with Destiny, and that all my past life had been but a preparation for this hour and for this trial.  Eleven years in the political wilderness had freed me from ordinary party antagonisms.  My warnings over the past six years had been so numerous, so detailed, and were now so terribly vindicated, that no one could gainsay me.  I could not be reproached either for making the war or with want of preparation for it...Therefore, although impatient for the morning, I slept soundly and had no need for cheering dreams.

Facts are better than dreams.Netanyahu used facts about the Holocaust today to chide the world about its indulgence of a Holocaust-denying fanatic with nuclear ambitions and naked intent to bring about genocide.  What a relief it must be to Netanyahu to be in charge as the decisive moment approaches with Iran.  He and most of Israel must be aware that our new president is a shadow of the old president when it comes to using American strength to deter or defeat radical Isamist evil, especially that flowing from its font in Tehran.  He and most of Israel must realize they are alone when it comes to dealing with Iran, and even worse than alone if appeasers like Zbigniew Brzezinski have influence with President Obama.But it is our very good luck or Providence's provision that the West --which includes Israel-- has at least one leader willing to speak clearly and act decisively. 

Iran's own people may yet spare the whole world a confrontation with the radicals running the government and the revolutionary Guard, but if their massive courage cannot dislodge the fanatics and if the appeasement-oriented Obama Administration cannot rouse itself to any serious action, then the world will have to rely on Netanyahu and the IDF to stop a regime run by the worst sort of haters.

.  President Bush's speeches after 9/11 to the Joint Session of Congress and in the 2002 State of the Union as well as his challenge to the U.N. about Iraq's dismissal of international law and U.N. direction were powerful because they were direct and specific.  Netanyahu provided the same sort of clarity today, and it ought to have helped the world recognize the peril of the times and the actions necessary to avoid catastrophe. 

Netanyahu at his best‪

-Give Netanyahu a good platform, a convenient enemy, and a charged issue to fight over, and he is at his best‬-

(Nachum Barnea-Ynet).Heads of state who deliver speeches at the United Nations have a tendency to aim too broadly, sink into diplomatic sentences that are official to the point of tedium, and cover everything without saying anything in fact.  

But this is not Netanyahu’s way. His speech Thursday was focused, clear, and pressed the buttons that the global media cannot ignore. They expected dramas from him, but he wasn’t dramatic. He did not rip up papers, he did not wave his arms, and he did not raise his voice. He was serious, grim, and incisive in appropriate measures.   Netanyahu performed many rehearsals with this text before he went up to the podium. The rehearsals paid off.   Some Israelis likely did not enjoy seeing the repeated references to the Holocaust motive. Netanyahu does not really think that the threat posed by Iran towards Israel is identical to the threat posed by Hitler towards European Jewry. Israel was established so that threats like that will not materialize. However, the Holocaust works in America. Criticism of the UN also works. The Americans despise the UN, and they know why.   The speech comprised four interwoven sections. Ahmadinejad as a Holocaust-denier gave substance to the first part. Iran as a fundamentalist state that aspires for weapons of mass destruction was the focus of the second section. An attack on the Goldstone Report constitutes the third part, and the willingness for peace with the Palestinians in its Bar-Ilan version provided the fourth part.   In the first three parts, Netanyahu placed the UN on trial: The UN is guilty of honoring a Holocaust-denier, the UN is guilty of the helplessness it shows vis-a-vis a nuclear Iran, the UN is guilty of the Goldstone Report, and the UN is guilty of not condemning Hamas’ aggression in Gaza.   The speech was received with unusual attention. It was cut off by applause once, when Netanyahu spoke about peace and the prosperity he offers the Palestinians, and ended with relatively long applause. Naturally, the applause from the section where Jewish activists sat were more enthusiastic than the others.   Netanyahu has good reason to positively sum up his visit to New York. This may have been possibly his best week since he was again elected as prime minister. The good news is that Netanyahu is self-confident to the point of haughtiness. This may also be the ba

Netanyahu's stance begining to escalate - Obama, Sarkozy, Brown issue ultimatum over second Iran uranium plant

(Haaretz , News Agencies).Using harsh diplomatic language, the leaders of the United States, Britain and France issued a strongly worded joint condemnation Friday over the existence of a second Iran uranium enrichment plant, revealed earlier this week by Tehran.

Appearing together to issue a statement ahead of the opening of the G-20 economic summit in Pittsburgh, all three condemned the actions of the Iranian government, and warned that Tehran has a limited deadline to comply with international requirements or face tighter sanctions.

Speaking first, U.S. President Barack Obama said that the three nations had presented the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, with detailed information regarding the second Iranian plant.

"Iran has been building a covert uranium enrichment facility... for several years,We expect the IAEA to immediately investigate this disturbing information."

"Iran's decision to build the nuclear plant underscores its unwillingness to meet international obligations and represents a direct challenge to the basic contract at the center of the non-proliferation agreement," he went on. "Iran is breaking rules that all nations must follow."

French President Nicolas Sarkozy warned that Iran has until December to change its approach to international concerns about its nuclear program, or "sanctions will have to be taken."

"Everything must be put on the table now," Sarkozy said. "Iran is taking the international community on a dangerous path and we cannot let the Iranian leaders gain time while the [centrifuge] motors are running."

Audio - Mark Levin: Benjamin Netanyahu is "The New Leader of the Free World"

General Praise for Netanyahu's Historic UN Speech

( Rare wall-to-wall praise was heard in Israel and abroad for Netanyahu’s historic speech in the UN on Thursday - though Hamas didn't like it.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who was present in the hall, was restrained in his praise: “It was a very persuasive speech, the hall was filled, there was great interest, and he did it well.” Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who was also there, was more effusive: “The prime minister’s speech was a speech that will be imprinted in the world’s consciousness. He knows how to do it. The photograph of him with the plans for Auschwitz will be carved into international memory.”

President Shimon Peres and many government ministers called Netanyahu immediately afterwards to warmly congratulate him, and it took him some 40 minutes to exit the building because of all the well-wishers. He even received an embrace from a long-time guard at the UN who said he remembered Netanyahu from his days as Israel’s Ambassador from over 20 years ago.

Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, Michael Oren, called the speech, “Successful and even historic.” Oren told Army Radio that the speech received across-the-board support in the UN, adding, “In general this was a good week for Israeli diplomacy. Netanyahu had a very full and successful week – a historic week in terms of American-Israeli relations.”

Netanyahu was applauded twice during his speech: When he said that though the Land of Israel belongs to the Jewish People, and despite the historic links between them, Israel is willing to allow a demilitarized PA state to be formed there; and when he concluded with quotes from Churchill and the Prophets.

Netanyahu Shows Limits of Israeli Concession in name of public consensus

(Gidon Belmaker-Epoch Times).Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks to the world, he does so in the name of Israeli consensus.

Netanyahu’s speech at the U.N. General Assembly on Thursday echoed the way Israelis see the world and the way they learn their history. He did not present any new vision or any signs of change in his policy. Some analysts have dubbed his policy “consensus diplomacy,” a policy that by nature does not aspire to great change.

Change is now a buzzword in international politics. The world’s attitude towards Iran and other controversial states has softened, and the world’s patience toward the never-ending conflict between Israel and the Palestine is running out. Obama’s accession to the throne as U.S. president brought about unprecedented public criticism of Israel’s settlement policy. With the winds changing in Washington, Netanyahu’s speech was meant to be an apologia for Israel.

Just as the Palestinians made a complete freeze of the Israeli settlements in the West Bank a prerequisite for negotiations, Netanyahu made acknowledging Israel as a Jewish state his prerequisite. Going back to Biblical times, resurrecting ancient prophets, Netanyahu’s speech again emphasized the long historical ties the Jews have to the small piece of land between the Mediterranean and the Jordan river.

“Inscribed on the walls outside this building is the great Biblical vision of peace,” said Netanyahu in his speech. “‘Nation shall not lift up sword against nation. They shall learn war no more.’ These words were spoken by the Jewish prophet Isaiah 2,800 years ago as he walked in my country, in my city—in the hills of Judea and in the streets of Jerusalem.”

“We are not strangers to this land. It is our homeland. As deeply connected as we are to this land, we recognize that the Palestinians also live there and want a home of their own,” he added.

In his speech, Netanyahu also emphasized the Arab refusal of the partition plan from 1947 and the Israeli War of Independence, and described in length the Holocaust.

This is not the first time Netanyahu has summoned national myths to counter international pressure. When he presented his foreign policy in his Bar Ilan University speech more than three months ago, he recited the same historical facts (or opinions, we can let the historians decide) as in this speech. The message was the same in both: Israel is the ancient homeland of the Jewish people; only a strong Israel can prevent a second Holocaust; and Israel is a peace-loving country.

Generations of Israeli children were raised on these notions. When talking in the name of Israeli consensus, Netanyahu is describing the limits of his possible concessions. For Israeli society, any future peace agreement between the Israelis and the Palestinians will also be a process of redefining its core values.

In Speech before Jewish leaders-Netanyahu Recalls Chabad Rebbe’s Advice: Dispel Lies, Darkness in the UN, With Truth

( his impassioned speech, Netanyahu spoke with members of the Israeli media. In answer to one journalist who asked whether he might not be lending credibility to Ahmadenijad by addressing his denial of the Holocaust, Netanyahu chose to focus on a prescient experience he had with the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, 25 years ago.

“Let me tell you something,” said Netanyahu. “In 1984, after I came to the UN as Israel’s Ambassador, I met the Rebbe of Lubavitch. He began speaking to me—he spoke to me for 40 minutes.

“You know what he told me, back in 1984?” Netanyahu asked.

“He told me, ‘you are going to the UN—a place of deep darkness and lies, and if you will light one candle of truth, you will dispel the darkness.’

“That is what I tried to do here—to present the truth clearly and with confidence.”

Later in the evening, Netanyahu spoke to Jewish community leaders at the 92nd Street Y. Introduced by Alan Solow, Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, and by Elie Wiesel, the Prime Minister spoke at length about his meeting with the Rebbe when he arrived at the UN as Israel’s Ambassador.

"You will go into a house of lies," he said the Rebbe told him, referring to the UN. Netanyahu pointed out the lies that emanating from the UN regarding Israel--lies about Israel as the aggressor and lies about the Holocaust. To dispel the lies and the darkness, the Rebbe told him, he must "light a candle of truth."

Netanyahu appealed to his audience to do likewise, and "light a candle for truth and justice for the Jewish people," this Yom Kippur.

PM Netanyahu on Charlie Rose PBS

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Netanyahu a Leader for Leaders

(james4america).Without fear, without trepidation, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned the world leaders that they must face the challenges posed by the likes of Iran’s Ahmedinejad. He made no apologies for the existence of Israel, nor for the demand that all nations recognize the State of Israel. In no uncertain terms, the Prime Minister rebutted the naive and weak intonation of the Obama administration. Basically, he showed what it sounds like to be a true leader.

The leaders gathered at the United Nations, including the leader who is supposed to represent OUR interests, could all take lessons from Netanyahu. He is a man of strong conviction, and is willing to accept the challenges that his position presents. He is well aware of the risks he faces, personally and politically, and his decisions, from all apearances, are not “flip-flop” in nature

A leader has arisen - Netanyahu wanted in the US

NETANYAHU FOR PRESIDENT (OF THE U.S.) MacNabYes). we could use Netanyahu in Washington. He told the UN delegates exactly what they already knew about Iran even though they obviously didn't want to hear it. Think what he could do with the kind of resources we have (or used to have?) Maybe we could preserve capitalism, get some support for the Constitution, wipe out the corruption, win the war in Afghanistan in short order and solve the country's problems with money to spare. We might even hear an honest opinion from a politician. The difficulty is that his speech reminds us of an old biblical proverb: "Cast not your pearls before swine for they will be trampled."

The ability to recognize the facts and the skilled leadership to know when and how to present them knows no international boundaries. In our opinion, Mr. Netanyahu stands head and shoulders above most of what we have in place and call leadership here in the U.S.


(Joel Rosenberg-flashtrafficblog). Over the years, I’ve heard Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu deliver a lot of speeches. But none so powerful as this.

It reminded me of President Bush’s speech to the U.N. in September 2002 when he challenged the world community to effectively hold Saddam Hussein accountable for dozens of violations of international law or risk irrelevance.

Today, Netanyahu challenged the world to stop Iran from acquiring weapons of genocide, or risk losing all moral legitimacy.

President Bush’s speech led to a war with Iraq. I suspect Prime Minister Netanyahu knows full well a war is likely coming with Iran. I pray that a peaceful solution can be found. But if Israel must go it alone — without the world’s help — Netanyahu wants to be on record for having clearly explained the issues and stakes.

Address by PM Benjamin Netanyahu to the UN General Assembly

"Nearly 62 years ago, the United Nations recognized the right of the Jews, an ancient people 3,500 years-old, to a state of their own in their ancestral homeland.

I stand here today as the Prime Minister of Israel, the Jewish state, and I speak to you on behalf of my country and my people.

The United Nations was founded after the carnage of World War II and the horrors of the Holocaust. It was charged with preventing the recurrence of such horrendous events.

Nothing has undermined that central mission more than the systematic assault on the truth. Yesterday the President of Iran stood at this very podium, spewing his latest anti-Semitic rants. Just a few days earlier, he again claimed that the Holocaust is a lie.

Last month, I went to a villa in a suburb of Berlin called Wannsee. There, on January 20, 1942, after a hearty meal, senior Nazi officials met and decided how to exterminate the Jewish people. The detailed minutes of that meeting have been preserved by successive German governments. Here is a copy of those minutes, in which the Nazis issued precise instructions on how to carry out the extermination of the Jews. Is this a lie?

A day before I was in Wannsee, I was given in Berlin the original construction plans for the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. Those plans are signed by Hitler’s deputy, Heinrich Himmler himself. Here is a copy of the plans for Auschwitz-Birkenau, where one million Jews were murdered. Is this too a lie?

This June, President Obama visited the Buchenwald concentration camp. Did President Obama pay tribute to a lie?

And what of the Auschwitz survivors whose arms still bear the tattooed numbers branded on them by the Nazis? Are those tattoos a lie? One-third of all Jews perished in the conflagration. Nearly every Jewish family was affected, including my own. My wife's grandparents, her father’s two sisters and three brothers, and all the aunts, uncles and cousins were all murdered by the Nazis. Is that also a lie?

Yesterday, the man who calls the Holocaust a lie spoke from this podium. To those who refused to come here and to those who left this room in protest, I commend you. You stood up for moral clarity and you brought honor to your countries.

But to those who gave this Holocaust-denier a hearing, I say on behalf of my people, the Jewish people, and decent people everywhere: Have you no shame? Have you no decency?

A mere six decades after the Holocaust, you give legitimacy to a man who denies that the murder of six million Jews took place and pledges to wipe out the Jewish state.

What a disgrace! What a mockery of the charter of the United Nations! Perhaps some of you think that this man and his odious regime threaten only the Jews. You're wrong.

History has shown us time and again that what starts with attacks on the Jews eventually ends up engulfing many others.

This Iranian regime is fueled by an extreme fundamentalism that burst onto the world scene three decades ago after lying dormant for centuries. In the past thirty years, this fanaticism has swept the globe with a murderous violence and cold-blooded impartiality in its choice of victims. It has callously slaughtered Moslems and Christians, Jews and Hindus, and many others. Though it is comprised of different offshoots, the adherents of this unforgiving creed seek to return humanity to medieval times.

Wherever they can, they impose a backward regimented society where women, minorities, gays or anyone not deemed to be a true believer is brutally subjugated. The struggle against this fanaticism does not pit faith against faith nor civilization against civilization.

It pits civilization against barbarism, the 21st century against the 9th century, those who sanctify life against those who glorify death.

The primitivism of the 9th century ought to be no match for the progress of the 21st century. The allure of freedom, the power of technology, the reach of communications should surely win the day. Ultimately, the past cannot triumph over the future. And the future offers all nations magnificent bounties of hope. The pace of progress is growing exponentially.

It took us centuries to get from the printing press to the telephone, decades to get from the telephone to the personal computer, and only a few years to get from the personal computer to the internet.

What seemed impossible a few years ago is already outdated, and we can scarcely fathom the changes that are yet to come. We will crack the genetic code. We will cure the incurable. We will lengthen our lives. We will find a cheap alternative to fossil fuels and clean up the planet.

I am proud that my country Israel is at the forefront of these advances - by leading innovations in science and technology, medicine and biology, agriculture and water, energy and the environment. These innovations the world over offer humanity a sunlit future of unimagined promise.

But if the most primitive fanaticism can acquire the most deadly weapons, the march of history could be reversed for a time. And like the belated victory over the Nazis, the forces of progress and freedom will prevail only after an horrific toll of blood and fortune has been exacted from mankind. That is why the greatest threat facing the world today is the marriage between religious fanaticism and the weapons of mass destruction.

The most urgent challenge facing this body is to prevent the tyrants of Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons. Are the member states of the United Nations up to that challenge? Will the international community confront a despotism that terrorizes its own people as they bravely stand up for freedom?

Will it take action against the dictators who stole an election in broad daylight and gunned down Iranian protesters who died in the streets choking in their own blood? Will the international community thwart the world's most pernicious sponsors and practitioners of terrorism?

Above all, will the international community stop the terrorist regime of Iran from developing atomic weapons, thereby endangering the peace of the entire world?

The people of Iran are courageously standing up to this regime. People of goodwill around the world stand with them, as do the thousands who have been protesting outside this hall. Will the United Nations stand by their side?

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The jury is still out on the United Nations, and recent signs are not encouraging. Rather than condemning the terrorists and their Iranian patrons, some here have condemned their victims. That is exactly what a recent UN report on Gaza did, falsely equating the terrorists with those they targeted.

For eight long years, Hamas fired from Gaza thousands of missiles, mortars and rockets on nearby Israeli cities. Year after year, as these missiles were deliberately hurled at our civilians, not a single UN resolution was passed condemning those criminal attacks. We heard nothing - absolutely nothing - from the UN Human Rights Council, a misnamed institution if there ever was one.

In 2005, hoping to advance peace, Israel unilaterally withdrew from every inch of Gaza. It dismantled 21 settlements and uprooted over 8,000 Israelis. We didn't get peace. Instead we got an Iranian backed terror base fifty miles from Tel Aviv. Life in Israeli towns and cities next to Gaza became a nightmare. You see, the Hamas rocket attacks not only continued, they increased tenfold. Again, the UN was silent.

Finally, after eight years of this unremitting assault, Israel was finally forced to respond. But how should we have responded? Well, there is only one example in history of thousands of rockets being fired on a country's civilian population. It happened when the Nazis rocketed British cities during World War II. During that war, the allies leveled German cities, causing hundreds of thousands of casualties. Israel chose to respond differently. Faced with an enemy committing a double war crime of firing on civilians while hiding behind civilians - Israel sought to conduct surgical strikes against the rocket launchers.

That was no easy task because the terrorists were firing missiles from homes and schools, using mosques as weapons depots and ferreting explosives in ambulances. Israel, by contrast, tried to minimize casualties by urging Palestinian civilians to vacate the targeted areas.

We dropped countless flyers over their homes, sent thousands of text messages and called thousands of cell phones asking people to leave. Never has a country gone to such extraordinary lengths to remove the enemy's civilian population from harm's way.

Yet faced with such a clear case of aggressor and victim, who did the UN Human Rights Council decide to condemn? Israel. A democracy legitimately defending itself against terror is morally hanged, drawn and quartered, and given an unfair trial to boot.

By these twisted standards, the UN Human Rights Council would have dragged Roosevelt and Churchill to the dock as war criminals. What a perversion of truth. What a perversion of justice.

Delegates of the United Nations,

Will you accept this farce?

Because if you do, the United Nations would revert to its darkest days, when the worst violators of human rights sat in judgment against the law-abiding democracies, when Zionism was equated with racism and when an automatic majority could declare that the earth is flat.

If this body does not reject this report, it would send a message to terrorists everywhere: Terror pays; if you launch your attacks from densely populated areas, you will win immunity. And in condemning Israel, this body would also deal a mortal blow to peace. Here's why.

When Israel left Gaza, many hoped that the missile attacks would stop. Others believed that at the very least, Israel would have international legitimacy to exercise its right of self-defense. What legitimacy? What self-defense?

The same UN that cheered Israel as it left Gaza and promised to back our right of self-defense now accuses us –my people, my country - of war crimes? And for what? For acting responsibly in self-defense. What a travesty!

Israel justly defended itself against terror. This biased and unjust report is a clear-cut test for all governments. Will you stand with Israel or will you stand with the terrorists?

We must know the answer to that question now. Now and not later. Because if Israel is again asked to take more risks for peace, we must know today that you will stand with us tomorrow. Only if we have the confidence that we can defend ourselves can we take further risks for peace.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

All of Israel wants peace.

Any time an Arab leader genuinely wanted peace with us, we made peace. We made peace with Egypt led by Anwar Sadat. We made peace with Jordan led by King Hussein. And if the Palestinians truly want peace, I and my government, and the people of Israel, will make peace. But we want a genuine peace, a defensible peace, a permanent peace. In 1947, this body voted to establish two states for two peoples - a Jewish state and an Arab state. The Jews accepted that resolution. The Arabs rejected it.

We ask the Palestinians to finally do what they have refused to do for 62 years: Say yes to a Jewish state. Just as we are asked to recognize a nation-state for the Palestinian people, the Palestinians must be asked to recognize the nation state of the Jewish people. The Jewish people are not foreign conquerors in the Land of Israel. This is the land of our forefathers.

Inscribed on the walls outside this building is the great Biblical vision of peace: "Nation shall not lift up sword against nation. They shall learn war no more." These words were spoken by the Jewish prophet Isaiah 2,800 years ago as he walked in my country, in my city, in the hills of Judea and in the streets of Jerusalem.

We are not strangers to this land. It is our homeland. As deeply connected as we are to this land, we recognize that the Palestinians also live there and want a home of their own. We want to live side by side with them, two free peoples living in peace, prosperity and dignity.

But we must have security. The Palestinians should have all the powers to govern themselves except those handful of powers that could endanger Israel.

That is why a Palestinian state must be effectively demilitarized. We don't want another Gaza, another Iranian backed terror base abutting Jerusalem and perched on the hills a few kilometers from Tel Aviv.

I believe such a peace can be achieved. But only if we roll back the forces of terror, led by Iran, that seek to destroy peace, eliminate Israel and overthrow the world order. The question facing the international community is whether it is prepared to confront those forces or accommodate them.

Over seventy years ago, Winston Churchill lamented what he called the "confirmed unteachability of mankind," the unfortunate habit of civilized societies to sleep until danger nearly overtakes them.

Churchill bemoaned what he called the "want of foresight, the unwillingness to act when action will be simple and effective, the lack of clear thinking, the confusion of counsel until emergency comes, until self-preservation strikes its jarring gong.”

I speak here today in the hope that Churchill's assessment of the "unteachibility of mankind" is for once proven wrong.

I speak here today in the hope that we can learn from history -- that we can prevent danger in time.

In the spirit of the timeless words spoken to Joshua over 3,000 years ago, let us be strong and of good courage. Let us confront this peril, secure our future and, God willing, forge an enduring peace for generations to come.

Video: Courageous Netanyahu goes nuclear at powerfull UNGA address





Netanyahu slams UN, challenges it to confront Iran, and defend Israel against Terrorism

(Haaretz)In a dramatic powerfull address to the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Iran poses a threat to the peace of the world and that it is incumbent on the world body to prevent the Islamic Republic to obtain nuclear weapons.

In response to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's claims about the Holocaust, Netanyahu began his speech by lambasting those who did not walk out on the controversial leader during his speech on Wednesday.

"Is this protocol a lie?" Netanyahu said as he brandished the minutes of the Wansee Conference, in which Nazi officials planned the Final Solution.The prime minister also held up the architectural blueprints of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camps that bear the signature of Hitler's deputy, Heinrich Himmler.

Netanyahu praised world diplomats who walked out of Ahmadinejad's fiery speech to the UN on Wednesday, though he used the speech to assail those who remained seated.

"Do those who listened to Ahmadinejad speech have no shame, no decency."

Netanyahu warned against the dangers posed by Iran, imploring the West to confront the Islamic Republic's "religious fanaticism."

"The struggle against Iran pits civilization against barbarism,This Iranian regime is fueled by extreme fundamentalism."

The premier challenged the world body to prevent Iran from acquiring weapons of mass destruction. Israel and the Western powers believe Iran's nuclear program is of a military nature, a charge the Iranians deny.

Netanyahu said the progress made in the postwar 20th century could be undone if Iran is permitted to build atomic weapons.

"History could be reversed if primitive fanaticism acquires deadly weapons,The jury is still out on the United Nations, and the signs aren`t encouraging."

The prime minister then went on to criticize the recently published UN-commissioned report claiming both Israel and Hamas committed war crimes during Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip in January:

"Not one UN resolution was passed condemning Hamas rocket attacks on Israel,We heard nothing, absolutely nothing from the UN Human Rights Council."

"Israel unilaterally withdrew from every inch of Gaza, uprooting over 8,000 Israelis from their homes… because many in Israel believed that this would get peace."

"Instead we got an Iranian-backed terror base 50 miles from Tel Aviv, and life in the Israeli towns and cities near Gaza became nothing less than a nightmare. Hamas attacks increased ten-fold after we withdrew, and again, the UN was silent, absolutely silent."

"After 8 years of unremitting assault Israel was forced to respond," and said the only other example in history was the German bombing of British cities in WWII, to which the allies responded by leveling Germancities, causing hundreds of thousands of casualties.

"I'm not passing judgment,I'm stating a fact that is the product of decisions of just and great leaders fighting an evil enemy,".

"Faced with an enemy committing double war crimes - firing at civilians while hiding behind civilians - Israel sought to carry out surgical attacks on terrorists, not an easy task when fighting squads in a densely populated area,".

"Israel tried to minimize civilian casualties…We dropped countless flyers over Gazans' homes, sent text messages to Palestinian residents, made cellular phone calls urging them to vacate, to leave,never has a country gone to such length to remove the enemy's civilian population away from harm's way."

"The UN Human Rights Council decided to condemn Israel, we were morally hanged, given an unfair trial to boot… What a perversion of truth and justice."

"The UN would revert to its darkest age - when Zionism was equated with racism,"referring to a UN resolution adopted by the general assembly in 1975.

"If the report is not rejected, the UN will go into a process of vitiating itself from relevance,the world will be sending a message to terrorists that terrorism pays - you will win immunity of you launch your attacks from densely populated areas."

The prime minister said his country wants "genuine, defensive peace" and he praised the late Arab leaders Anwar Sadat and King Hussein of Jordan for their "courage" in forging diplomatic ties with Israel.

"Every time an Arab leader truly wanted peace, they got it,If the Palestinians truly want peace, we will make peace."

Netanyahu also reiterated an Israeli demand that the Palestinians explicitly recognize Israel as "the state of the Jewish people."

"Say yes to a Jewish state,The Jewish people are not foreign conquerors in the land of Israel."

As a condition for peace, the prime minister said any future Palestinian state must be "effectively demilitarized" so that it would not have the means to threaten Israel.

"I said effective because we do not want another Gaza, another south Lebanon, another Iranian-backed terror base threatening Jerusalem,We want peace, and I believe that with goodwill and hard work, such apeace can be achieved."

Netanyahu also invoked Winston Churchill in imploring the international community to oppose Iran and the rejectionist groups it supports, including Hamas and Hezbollah:

"The question facing the international community is whether it is prepared to confront these forces or just accommodate them,".

Netanyahu Asks U.N. 'Have You No Shame' for Giving Ahmadinejad Forum

"The man who called the Holocaust a lie spoke at this podium. To those who refused to come and to those who left in protest, I commend you. You stood up for moral clarity and you brought honor to your countries. But to those who gave this Holocaust denier a hearing, I say on behalf of my people, the Jewish people, and decent people everywhere -- have you no shame? Have you no decency?"

UN Security Council calls for nuclear weapons states to disarm

(News Agencies and Haaretz).The United Nations Security Council, at a historic summit meeting chaired by U.S. President Barack Obama, unanimously approved a U.S.-drafted resolution on Thursday calling on nuclear weapons states to scrap their deadly arsenals.

Russia, China and developing nations supported the U.S.-sponsored measure, giving it global clout and strong political backing.

Obama was the first American president to preside over a Security Council summit, gaveling the meeting into session and announcing that the draft resolution has been adopted unanimously.

"The historic resolution we just adopted enshrines our shared commitment to a goal of a world without nuclear weapons," Obama said immediately after the vote. "And it brings Security Council agreement on a broad framework for action to reduce nuclear dangers as we work toward that goal."

"Just one nuclear weapon set off in a major city could cause major destruction," Obama said, adding that a "nuclear war cannot be won, and must never be fought."

He said the global effort would seek to lock down all vulnerable nuclear materials within four years.

"This is not about singling out an individual nation," he said. "International law is not an empty promise, and treaties must be enforced."

"We will leave this meeting with renewed determination," Obama said.

Obama also said that all nations have "a right to peaceful nuclear energy."

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon saluted the national leaders for joining in the unprecedented Security Council summit on nuclear arms.

"This is a historic moment, a moment offering a fresh start toward a new future," he said.

Later, French President Nicolas Sarkozy told the Security Council that the international community must take immediate steps against Iran over its nuclear program.

Sarkozy added that it was right to talk about the future, but warned that Iran and North Korea were currently developing nuclear weapons and that something must be done to deal with that.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said that the world should consider "far tougher sanctions" against Iran if it continues to seek a nuclear bomb.

"As evidence of its breach of international agreements grows, we must now consider far tougher sanctions together," Brown said.

Abbas rejects Obama's call for Peace talks without pre-conditions

(Haaretz). Just days after meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Barack Obama in New York, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Thursday that he saw no common ground on which to renew peace negotiations.

In an interview with the Al-Hayyat daily, Abbas called the Netanyahu government "a real problem." The Palestinian leader added that he could not agree to Israel's compromise for a partial settlement freeze, which he said inherently implied continued construction.

Abbas reiterated his stance that peace negotiations must resume from where former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's government left off and insisted they include the core issues. Some stride was made during talks with the Olmert government, said Abbas, adding: "There were maps drafted by both sides and proposals for territorial exchanges, and thus we cannot return to point zerio."

When asked whether he saw fundamental differences between the Palestinians and the Israelis which might stall negotiations even further, Abbas responded: "The Netanyahu government is a real problem and there is no common ground for negotiations with it. Construction in the settlement is continuing, Netanyahu is declaring Jerusalem and [Palestinian] refugees topics not up for negotiations, so what is there to talk about?"

PA stands firm on settlement freeze, despite Obama speech Senior Palestinian Authority officials had mixed reactions to U.S. Obama's remarks to the UN General Assembly Wednesday on achieving a comprehensive settlement to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Abbas and members of the Palestinian delegation to the UN were pleased with Obama's statement that Washington is pursuing a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders, as Abbas has that diplomatic talks with Israel with Israel cannot begin unless it is clear that the 1967 lines are the goal. But the officials expressed displeasure with Obama's declaration that negotiations with Israel should begin without preconditions.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Ahmadinejad rails against Israel in UN speech

Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad used his address Wednesday evening to the United Nations’ General Assembly to criticize capitalism and what he described as the hypocrisy of Western powers — while also leaving an opening for conciliation on the issue of nuclear weapons.

Capitalism’s “unfair system of thought has reached the end of the road and is unable to move,” Ahmadinejad, Iran’s president, said in his highly anticipated speech in New York.

The Iranian leader issue stinging attacks on the United States and its allies without calling them by name, and delegations from several nations, including the U.S., walked out during the speech, partly in protest of Ahmadinejad’s past statements blasting Israel and denying the holocaust.

Ahmadinejad assailed Israel for what he said was a barbaric attack on the Gaza Strip last winter. He also accused the West of hypocrisy, saying it preached democracy, but violated its fundamental principles.

Addressing Israel, the Iranian leader said, "The awakening of nations and the expansion of freedom worldwide will no longer allow them to continue their hypocrisy and vicious attitudes."

"How can one imagine that the inhuman policies in Palestine may continue?" Ahmadinejad continued. "How can crimes of the occupiers against defenseless women and children and destruction of their homes, farms, hospitals and schools be supported unconditionally by certain governments?"

Ahmadinejad didn't address Iran's nuclear program directly in his speech, but he assailed what he called “despicable forms of intimidation and deceit in the name of freedom.”

“It is no longer possible to humiliate nations and impose double standards on the world community,” Ahmadinejad said, according to the English interpreter.

Yet Ahmadinejad also said his country is ready to shake all hands "that are honestly extended to us," and he announced Iran's commitment to participate in building durable peace and security worldwide for all nations while defending the country's legitimate and legal rights.

In Interview to Haaretz - Netanyahu sees confirmation of Israel positions in Obama's first UN speech

(Haaretz).Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Haaretz Wednesday that U.S. President Barack Obama's speech to the United Nations General Assembly was "positive" because "he also said something we had been seeking for six months, that we have to meet and begin the diplomatic process without preconditions." Netanyahu also said Obama had spoken "clearly about Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people. I believe that disagreement about this is the root of the conflict."

Netanyahu also pointed out that Obama had made reference to Israeli efforts to improve the Palestinian economy by lifting roadblocks.

Referring to Obama's statement Netanyahu said, "The things he said about the occupation are not new. He also said them in Cairo, and in fact that is the formula adopted by the road map and it does not say we have to go back to the 1967 borders. This is the formula adopted by governments before the one I head, which did not agree to go back to the 1967 borders. We certainly would [also] not agree to that. In the matter of the settlements he also said nothing new. These disagreements should not prevent the beginning of the process which, among other things if it is successful, will also decide this issue."

Netanyahu said Obama, like other American presidents, reflected the deep basic friendship between the American and the Israeli people, and that "he stood in Cairo before the whole Muslim world and said this relationship would never be severed." Netanyahu added he believed the obligation of the United States to Israel's security was total.

When asked about claims that Tuesday's three-way summit with Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas and Obama would become an excuse for foot-dragging, Netanyahu responded, "not on our part."

Netanyahu interview to Ynet: We will not withdraw to '67 borders

(Ynet).Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday he would not freeze construction in settlements before negotiations with Palestinians began. In an interview with Ynet, he also commended Obama's speech to the UN General Assembly.

Is Abbas able to supply the goods you expect from negotiations, i.e, the recognition of Israel as the nation of the Jewish people?

"This is a question I asked him during our meeting yesterday. I told him there
would be peace only if the same Palestinians asking us to recognize Palestine as
the nation state of their people would recognize Israel as the nation state of
the Jewish people.

"The end of the conflict is the end of the conflict.
Abu Mazen's test will be if he wants to be Arafat or Sadat."

There has been much talk of chilled relations between yourself and US President Obama during recent months. Do you feel that you became closer during the recent meeting?

"I think it was a very good meeting. President Obama also described it as such
to the UN. In recent months there has been a warming of ties and almost daily
contact between Israel and the US."

How can you describe the meeting as an achievement when Obama has called for a curbing of settlement activity?

"We're not celebrating but I am certainly happy. I am happy the president has
removed the Palestinian demand for the setting of preconditions. There is a
difference of opinion between Israel and the US on the issue of settlements, and
this is nothing new, it has existed for 40 years. The US president has stressed
that this is not something that should prevent negotiations, because in any case
the issue will be discussed within the negotiations."

Netanyahu also responded to Obama's referral to the "occupation that began in 1967" and said, "Obama did not say to return to the 1967 borders. He was referring to a clause that exists in the Road Map. Previous governments have not agreed to go back to the 1967 borders and certainly this one won't."

And what about the differences of opinion with the Palestinians? The issue of the settlements has remained unchanged as well as those of the borders, the refugees, and Jerusalem.

"I am sure the Palestinians will bring up their stance and we will bring up
ours. I said this at the triple meeting with Abu Mazen. There may be very
difficult parts to these negotiations, but they are very important to get into."

Regarding the Iranian issue, is the Obama administration committed to the safety of Israel in light of Iran's nuclear program?

"I think Obama is aware and has repeated several times his commitment to the
safety of Israel. The fact that he did so in Cairo, before the entire Arab
world, is an indication of this commitment."

Will your speech at the UN deal with the Iranian issue, and what will you say to the world?

"I will not go into the details of the speech, but I will say that I will be
making it in English because in Hebrew we are already decided amongst ourselves.
During the speech I want to talk from our hearts and souls to the nations of the
world. I will speak in English because I want to be heard and understood without
translation; I want things to be clear."

Meeting with World leaders in NY - PM seeks wide consensus on Iran

(Jpost).Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met with leaders of countries largely friendly to Israel Wednesday after a tough round of conversations with US President Barack Obama and Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas the day before, followed by a meeting with France.

Netanyahu's 45-minute conversation with French Prime Minister Nicolas Sarkozy, in which he was accompanied only by his military attache Meir Kalifi and National Security Adviser Uzi Arad, was believed to have focused on Iran, though no official announcement was issued after the talks.

France is seen as particularly crucial for taking a tough line on Iran, as it has been one of the European countries most outspoken about the prospect of sanctions and has indicated a willingness to contemplate unilateral EU moves.

Though French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner seemed to throw cold water on an American-originated idea of cutting off petroleum supplies to Iran should it not comply with international demands over its nuclear program, Sarkozy addressed the threat of Iran directly in his remarks before the General Assembly on Wednesday.

"If they rely on a passive response from the international community in order to pursue their military nuclear program, they will be making a tragic mistake," Sarkozy said of the Iranians.

Speaking of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, he also stressed, "We have waited too long to restore peace to the Middle East, by giving the Palestinian people the state to which they are entitled as a matter of law and justice, and by giving Israel the right to live in security, a right that the tragedies of history have made so necessary for them. So we know what remains to be done."

Netanyahu was scheduled to meet Wednesday evening - around the same time Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was to address the UN General Assembly - with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and separately with the leaders of Canada, Australia and New Zealand after press time.

Ahead of their meeting, New Zealand Prime Minister John Key criticized the UN's historical treatment of Israel.

"It hasn't always been friendly, and I think that it's important that all sides believe that they can come here and be treated on the merits of the case, not on previous prejudices," he told The Jerusalem Post on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly opening.

He said that he was looking forward to the meeting with Netanyahu, at which the issue of Middle East peace would be a top priority.

"We intend to treat the Israeli and the Palestinian sides evenly," he said. "We certainly want to see peace in the Middle East.

"We see the tremendous challenges that lie ahead, particularly contested areas like the Gaza Strip. But New Zealand will give even-handed support to both Israel and Palestine."