This is an excellent (and encouraging) analysis from Dr Franklin Lamb. It seems that the Israeli Prime Minister’s heavy-handed tactics are backfiring on him – at least in terms of the way it is affecting his efforts to influence the US elections!
Franklin P. Lamb, LLM, PhD, is Director of Americans Concerned for Middle East Peace.
Aipac: Israel’s Agent Feeling Squeezed?
By Franklin P. Lamb
The American Israel public affairs committee (AIPAC) has seen headier days according to US congressional staffers forced to work regularly with the pro-Zionist agent of Israel. The grip of fear and the lock on Congress that the Israel first organization has long touted in its service to Israel may be weakening against a backdrop of American Jews rejecting the increasing rants of Prime Minister Netanyahu that are driving many Jews to distance themselves from him, from AIPAC, from other Arabphobic US Zionist organizations, and from Israel.
AIPAC tells some Congressional aids that fund raising is hurting and it can’t keep promises it made to certain candidates that it would arrange “indirect” funding for their current election campaigns. This at the same time Netanyahu is increasingly becoming the butt of jokes across the Israeli and American political spectrum. Several in his cabinet and member s of the US Congress reportedly consider him an embarrassment. A perception likely added to by his recent General Assembly cartoon gimmick and his repeated Nazi style arm and hand gestures that were widely distributed by the main stream American media outlets especially Reuters, AP and even the Zionist Drudge Report.
In addition, there are signs that some members of congress and their staffs, who are heavily lobbied by AIPAC to donate cash, are beginning to chaff at heavy handed AIPAC fundraising tactics.
Perhaps reflecting financial pressures on its free spending policies including astronomical administration costs in the 75% range, on 9/24/12, Jonathan Missner, AIPAC’s Director of National Affairs and Development sent out more 500,000 emails in a desperate and thinly veiled bid to raise cash to defeat Obama.
Dear Friend of Israel:
I am writing because we have not yet heard from you, and your support is greatly needed by September 30th.
As I’m sure you know, Israel and America are now facing serious threats throughout the Middle East. In recent months alone we have seen:
• Protestors in multiple Arab countries storm U.S. embassies, burn American and Israeli flags, and chant “death to America, death to Israel,” amidst false reports that a video was created by an Israeli Jew and backed by 100 Jewish financiers.
• Iran sent military personnel and large quantities of weapons across to Syria to aid the Assad regime’s violent crackdown.
• A deadly terror attack along the Egypt-Israel border that killed 16 Egyptians and enabled terrorists to penetrate into Israel.
• Leaders in Iran and its regional proxies increased their vitriol against Israel. The frequency and intensity of these recent statements has been troubling: “Anyone who loves freedom and justice must strive for the annihilation of the Zionist regime.” Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (August 17th).
• If you’re like most pro-Israel Americans, these events have made you more scared for Israel’s existence than you’ve likely felt in many years.
• But as you watch these dangers continue to unfold, it is important to remember there is something you can do to help keep Israel safe.
• You can join AIPAC, and help ensure that our leaders in Washington speak out clearly and unequivocally in support of Israel and that the aggressions shown toward our greatest ally Israel must immediately cease.
• At this dangerous time, the number one strategic answer to the threats facing Israel is for America to express – in every possible way- an unwavering, unshakable commitment to Israel.
• We must ensure that President Obama speaks out for Israel.
• We must ensure that America stands by its full commitment to Israel’s security assistance for fiscal year 2013, which is vital for Israel to be able to defend herself.
• And we must ensure that America continues to pledge 100% of its diplomatic support to Israel.
• We must do all of this, so that we can send a strong and loud message that America stands by Israel and that any attacks on Israel’s security is an attack on America’s security.”
AIPAC appears to be failing in carrying out its orders from the Israeli Embassy in Washington “to defeat Obama, whatever is required.” The latest polls, including two commissioned by the American Jewish Committee and one from the Anti-Defamation League show Obama likely avoiding defeat on November 6th that Tel Aviv hoped his combative attitude toward Israel would produce. Obama currently leads Mitt Romney by a 69-20 percent margin among likely Jewish voters. If these polls hold, while they represent a marked decline from the 78 percent of the Jewish vote Obama got in 2008, they show Romney’s promise to put Israel “first no matter what “ is not resonating with American Jews. By even garnering 25% of the Jewish vote this shows there is plenty of resistance to the Romney candidacy on a variety of domestic social issues that increasingly among the American public matter more than Israel’s perceived zany schemes. These poll projections may have been reflected at the UN last week when Netanyahu appeared to back off a bit from his pillorying of the Obama administration as being weak on terrorism.
Meanwhile, according to an Arab American Institute (AAI) poll, 52 percent of all Arab-Americans say they plan to vote for Obama, compared to 26 percent who have declared their support for Romney. Broken down by religion, Arab American Muslims support Obama overwhelmingly (75% to 8%), while Orthodox/Protestants support Romney by a 16% margin. According to the poll, Arab American Democrats outnumber Republicans by a 2-1 margin (46% to 22%), continuing a steady migration away from the GOP toward the Democratic Party since 2002.
Congressional staffers report that the Obama White House is rejecting the tactics being employed behind its back to assert pressure for the “red lines” that Netanyahu’s has been pushing and that the administration is aware that AIPAC is actively working to defeat President Obama on November 6th.
What is confusing many in the American Jewish community appears to be the same as what perplexes a growing segment of the non-Jewish American public. And that is Netanyahu’s nonsense over Iranian progress in having nuclear weapons and the history of this “the sky is falling-we must cry wolf!” canard.
It was back in April of 1984, that the British defense magazine Jane’s Defense Weekly got things started with its false claim that Iran was “engaged in the production of an atomic bomb, likely to be ready within two years.”
Jane’s became embarrassed since it could offer no proof to back its sensationalist claim and soon admitted that its speculation was based on a West German intelligence source which turned out to be an assistant engineer who visited the unfinished Bushehr nuclear reactor that year and became curious. Soon, a pillar of the US Zionist lobby, US Senator Alan Cranston’s picked up on the report and declared that Iran would have nuclear weapons by 1991.
The next year, Benjamin Netanyahu, a onetime campaign volunteer for Cranston, now an Israeli parliamentarian, began a campaign to inform the World that Iran could develop nuclear weapons within “three to five years” and therefore must be stopped through “an international front headed by the US.”
The current President of Israel Shimon Peres announced in 1992 that Iran would have nuclear weapons by 1999. As noted by Robert Fisk in the UK Independent, current Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said in 1996 that Iran would have a nuclear arsenal by 2004.
Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld joined the project and reported to Congress in 1998 that Iran could build an intercontinental ballistic missile with a nuclear or a biological payload that could hit the US within five years. Secretary of State Colin Powell soon claimed in 2004 that if fact, Iran had been working on technology to fit a nuclear warhead onto a missile. These allegations boldly came from Powell’s less than one year after his Iraqi weapons of mass destruction assertions were being proven to be false.
Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld joined the project and reported to Congress in 1998 that Iran could build an intercontinental ballistic missile with a nuclear or a biological payload that could hit the US within five years. Secretary of State Colin Powell soon claimed in 2004 that if fact, Iran had been working on technology to fit a nuclear warhead onto a missile. These allegations boldly came from Powell’s less than one year after his Iraqi weapons of mass destruction assertions were being proven to be false.
For his part, Netanyahu reportedly got into an ugly argument with the American ambassador to Israel last month over the Obama administration’s unwillingness to take matters regarding Iran to a more aggressive level. The Israeli prime minister was, according to the New York Times, “at his wit’s end” because, he claimed, Iran was “only four to six weeks away from a nuclear bomb”. A few weeks later, Netanyahu backtracked and pushed the deadline “to six or seven months away.”
And round and round it goes.
Congressional sources insist that White House staff will not forget Netanyahu’s blatant attempts to humiliate and defeat their boss.
The American public, as well as the international community are exhibiting exhaustion over this incessant hysteria which was summed up recently by Professor Stephen M. Walt, writing in Foreign Policy. “Those prophesying war with Iran are starting to sound like those wacky cult leaders who keep predicting the End of the World, and then keep moving the date when the world doesn’t end on schedule. At what point are we going to stop paying attention?”
One Congressional source emailed this observer: “Time will tell if next year’s AIPAC conference finds President Obama or any of his top aides on its program.
Father Roy writes: Joshua Holland is an editor and senior writer at AlterNet. Holland writes: “While telling David Gregory, repeatedly, that he wasn’t going to be drawn into the American election, Netanyahu has inserted himself quite clumsily into the race.” Then Holland explains why it’s not going to work. Peace, Roy
Netanyahu Is Trying to Influence an American Election — 5 Reasons It’s Not Going to Work
Bibi’s fundamentally mis-reading America’s political landscape.
September 17, 2012
We can write irony’s obituary after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu went on Meet the Press to articulate his differences with the administration’s approach to Iran while telling David Gregory, repeatedly, that he wasn’t “going to be drawn into the American election.”
Netanyahu has inserted himself quite clumsily into the race. He recently demanded that the United States lay out specific “red lines” that, if crossed by Iran, would bring American military power to bear on the Islamic Republic (the administration has done so already, but Bibi doesn’t like them). He berrated our ambassador, Dan Shapiro, over the issue with an outburst that Alon Liel, a former Israeli foreign ministry official, characterized as “an attempt to help the Republicans in the upcoming election. The entire show… is meant to prove to the American public, and in particular to the Jewish community, that the rift between Israel and the United States is more significant and deeper than we thought.” And then last week a dubious story was leaked claiming that Netanyahu had requested a meeting with Obama only to be declined.
And Bibi isn’t just putting his thumb on the scale because of his decades-long friendship with Mitt Romney . Time magazine’s Joe Klein said of the blackmail attempt, “I don’t think I’ve ever, in the forty years I’ve been doing this – and I’m trying to search my mind through history – have heard of another example of an American ally trying to push us into war as blatantly, and trying to influence an American election as blatantly as Bibi Netanyahu and the Likud party in Israel is doing right now. I think it’s absolutely outrageous and disgusting…. it is cynical and it is brazen.”
It’s also the case that Bibi, who supposedly knows more about American politics than most American politicians, is fundamentally misreading the political landscape and, in doing so, playing a very weak hand.
Here are five reasons he’s getting the picture wrong.
1. Obama’s Support Among Jewish Voters Unchanged
Over the past three years, there have been dozens of breathless stories claiming that Obama was losing his hold on the Jewish vote, ostensibly because of the tensions that exist between the president and Netanyahu. And Bibi no doubt believed that to be the case – he believed that he could have a spoiler effect in Florida. But all those stories were nonsense – Jewish support declined from election night 2008 along with other Democratic-leaning groups. Obama’s post-convention “bounce” has been about those voters coming back into the fold, and Jewish voters are no exception.
Among Jewish voters, Obama beat John McCain 69-25 in 2008. According to Gallup, he now leads Romney by a 70-25 margin among those same voters.
2. Jews Don’t See U.S.-Israel Relations as a Key Election Issue
If you believe AIPAC or the Republican Jewish Coalition, as Netanyahu probably does, Jewish voters place an enormous amount of weight on U.S.-Israeli relations, and are always ripe for the picking by a Republican who shows sufficient fealty toward the Jewish state or hostility for Iran. The reality is quite different.
Back in March, the American Jewish Committee (AJC) released it’s comprehensive annual survey of American Jewish opinion . It asked Jewish voters to rank eleven issues by importance. Just 6 percent said U.S.-Israel relations was their top issue, and only one in five listed it among their top 3 issues. American Jews are, after all, Americans and have to live here – 29 percent said the economy was their number one issue, followed by healthcare (20 percent). Taxes, Social Security and national security all beat out Israel as issues of importance.
If Jews make up the same share of the electorate in 2012 as they did in 2008 – 2 percent – this means that 0.4 percent of American voters are Jews who rank Israel among their top 3 issues. Even in Florida, they’d make up only .08 percent of the vote.
3. Conservative White Evangelicals Won’t Vote for Obama Anyway
Although we don’t have the data necessary for an apples-to-apples comparison – with white Evangelicals ranking the same eleven issues as Jewish voters – it’s possible that this group puts more emphasis on the issue of Israel than Jewish Americans. A 2006 poll by Pew found that “seven-in-ten white evangelicals (69%) believe God gave Israel to the Jewish people and a solid majority (59%) believes that Israel is the fulfillment of biblical prophecy.”
According to a Pew poll last year, two-thirds of them said, “helping to protect Israel should be a very important policy goal for the United States in the Middle East” – a much higher share than among other Christian groups. What’s more, the study found that the conviction was stronger among more conservative Evangelicals – people who would never vote for Obama anyway.
4. Jewish Voters Aren’t Too Worried About Iran; Approve of Obama’s Approach
According to the AJC survey, just 4 percent of Jewish voters say that Iran’s nuclear program is their most important concern, and only one in seven say it ranks among their top three.
When the survey was conducted in March, Obama’s overall support among Jews was 9 points lower than it is in the latest Gallup poll, but the respondents approved of how Obama has handled Iran by a 61-37 margin.
5. Like other Americans, Jews Care About the Economy
Jewish Americans’ top four issues, according to the AJC survey, are the economy, health-care, taxes and national security (in that order).
Here’s how they rated Obama’s performance on those key issues back in March (again, when their overall support for Obama was around 10 points lower than it is today):
• Economy: 59 percent approved
• Health-care: 62 percent approved
• Taxes: 57 percent approved
• National Security: 69 percent approved
And while it wasn’t a top issue, Jewish voters approved of how Obama has handled the U.S.-Israeli relationship by a 58-40 margin.
All of this is why Netanyahu’s attempt to drive a wedge between Jewish voters and Obama is a fool’s errand. Give Obama some credit for calling his bluff.
Joshua Holland is an editor and senior writer at AlterNet. He’s the author of The 15 Biggest Lies About the Economy. Drop him an email or follow him on Twitter.
The Israeli Prime Minister – Benjamin Netanyahu – addressed the UN General Assembly on September 27th, 2012, shortly after Mahmoud Abbas gave his address. You can hear the talk via the video or read the full transcript below.
I know I am not unbiased in these matters but I do wonder how many people are still buying into the world-view that the Israeli Prime Minister is selling, with Israel as an Island of civilisation amidst a sea of medieval Islamic terrorism.
Certainly some of the key assertions in this speech need to be called into question:
- That all people are equal under Israeli law
- That Israel is making the world a better place
- That Iran is on the verge of acquiring nuclear weapons
- That Iran is the greatest threat to world peace
The most blatant falsehood though, in my opinion, is Netanyahu’s assertion that his government is genuinely committed to some ‘peace process’ with the Palestinians. All the evidence, unfortunately, suggests the opposite.
A Transcript of Netanyahu’s speech
Thank you very much Mr. President.
It’s a pleasure to see the General Assembly presided by the Ambassador from Israel, and it’s good to see all of you, distinguished delegates.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Three thousand years ago, King David reigned over the Jewish state in our eternal capital, Jerusalem. I say that to all those who proclaim that the Jewish state has no roots in our region and that it will soon disappear.
Throughout our history, the Jewish people have overcome all the tyrants who have sought our destruction. It’s their ideologies that have been discarded by history.
The people of Israel live on. We say in Hebrew Am Yisrael Chai, and the Jewish state will live forever.
The Jewish people have lived in the land of Israel for thousands of years. Even after most of our people were exiled from it, Jews continued to live in the land of Israel throughout the ages. The masses of our people never gave up the dreamed of returning to our ancient homeland.
Defying the laws of history, we did just that. We ingathered the exiles, restored our independence and rebuilt our national life. The Jewish people have come home.
We will never be uprooted again.
Yesterday was Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish year.
Every year, for over three millennia, we have come together on this day of reflection and atonement. We take stock of our past. We pray for our future. We remember the sorrows of our persecution; we remember the great travails of our dispersion; we mourn the extermination of a third of our people, six million, in the Holocaust.
But at the end of Yom Kippur, we celebrate.
We celebrate the rebirth of Israel. We celebrate the heroism of our young men and women who have defended our people with the indomitable courage of Joshua, David, and the Maccabees of old. We celebrate the marvel of the flourishing modern Jewish state.
In Israel, we walk the same paths tread by our patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. But we blaze new trails in science, technology, medicine, agriculture.
In Israel, the past and the future find common ground.
Unfortunately, that is not the case in many other countries. For today, a great battle is being waged between the modern and the medieval.
The forces of modernity seek a bright future in which the rights of all are protected, in which an ever-expanding digital library is available in the palm of every child, in which every life is sacred.
The forces of medievalism seek a world in which women and minorities are subjugated, in which knowledge is suppressed, in which not life but death is glorified.
These forces clash around the globe, but nowhere more starkly than in the Middle East.
Israel stands proudly with the forces of modernity. We protect the rights of all our citizens: men and women, Jews and Arabs, Muslims and Christians – all are equal before the law.
Israel is also making the world a better place: our scientists win Nobel Prizes. Our know-how is in every cell-phone and computer that you’re using. We prevent hunger by irrigating arid lands in Africa and Asia.
Recently, I was deeply moved when I visited Technion, one of our technological institutes in Haifa, and I saw a man paralyzed from the waist down climb up a flight of stairs, quite easily, with the aid of an Israeli invention.
And Israel’s exceptional creativity is matched by our people’s remarkable compassion. When disaster strikes anywhere in the world – in Haiti, Japan, India, Turkey Indonesia and elsewhere – Israeli doctors are among the first on the scene, performing life-saving surgeries.
In the past year, I lost both my father and my father-in-law. In the same hospital wards where they were treated, Israeli doctors were treating Palestinian Arabs. In fact, every year, thousands of Arabs from the Palestinian territories and Arabs from throughout the Middle East come to Israel to be treated in Israeli hospitals by Israeli doctors.
I know you’re not going to hear that from speakers around this podium, but that’s the truth. It’s important that you are aware of this truth.
It’s because Israel cherishes life, that Israel cherishes peace and seeks peace.
We seek to preserve our historic ties and our historic peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan. We seek to forge a durable peace with the Palestinians.
President Abbas just spoke here.
I say to him and I say to you:
We won’t solve our conflict with libelous speeches at the UN. That’s not the way to solve it. We won’t solve our conflict with unilateral declarations of statehood.
We have to sit together, negotiate together, and reach a mutual compromise, in which a demilitarized Palestinian state recognizes the one and only Jewish State.
Israel wants to see a Middle East of progress and peace. We want to see the three great religions that sprang forth from our region – Judaism, Christianity and Islam – coexist in peace and in mutual respect.
Yet the medieval forces of radical Islam, whom you just saw storming the American embassies throughout the Middle East, they oppose this.
They seek supremacy over all Muslims. They are bent on world conquest. They want to destroy Israel, Europe, America. They want to extinguish freedom. They want to end the modern world.
Militant Islam has many branches – from the rulers of Iran with their Revolutionary Guards to Al Qaeda terrorists to the radical cells lurking in every part of the globe.
But despite their differences, they are all rooted in the same bitter soil of intolerance. That intolerance is directed first at their fellow Muslims, and then to Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, secular people, anyone who doesn’t submit to their unforgiving creed.
They want to drag humanity back to an age of unquestioning dogma and unrelenting conflict.
I am sure of one thing. Ultimately they will fail. Ultimately, light will penetrate the darkness.
We’ve seen that happen before.
Some five hundred years ago, the printing press helped pry a cloistered Europe out of a dark age. Eventually, ignorance gave way to enlightenment.
So too, a cloistered Middle East will eventually yield to the irresistible power of freedom and technology. When this happens, our region will be guided not by fanaticism and conspiracy, but by reason and curiosity.
I think the relevant question is this: it’s not whether this fanaticism will be defeated. It’s how many lives will be lost before it’s defeated.
We’ve seen that happen before too.
Some 70 years ago, the world saw another fanatic ideology bent on world conquest. It went down in flames. But not before it took millions of people with it. Those who opposed that fanaticism waited too long to act. In the end they triumphed, but at an horrific cost.
My friends, we cannot let that happen again.
At stake is not merely the future of my own country. At stake is the future of the world. Nothing could imperil our common future more than the arming of Iran with nuclear weapons.
To understand what the world would be like with a nuclear-armed Iran, just imagine the world with a nuclear-armed Al-Qaeda.
It makes no difference whether these lethal weapons are in the hands of the world’s most dangerous terrorist regime or the world’s most dangerous terrorist organization. They’re both fired by the same hatred; they’re both driven by the same lust for violence.
Just look at what the Iranian regime has done up till now, without nuclear weapons.
In 2009, they brutally put down mass protests for democracy in their own country. Today, their henchmen are participating in the slaughter of tens of thousands of Syrian civilians, including thousands of children, directly participating in this murder.
They abetted the killing of American soldiers in Iraq and continue to do so in Afghanistan. Before that, Iranian proxies killed hundreds of American troops in Beirut and in Saudi Arabia. They’ve turned Lebanon and Gaza into terror strongholds, embedding nearly 100,000 missiles and rockets in civilian areas. Thousands of these rockets and missiles have already been fired at Israeli communities by their terrorist proxies.
In the last year, they’ve spread their international terror networks to two dozen countries across five continents – from India and Thailand to Kenya and Bulgaria. They’ve even plotted to blow up a restaurant a few blocks from the White House in order to kill a diplomat.
And of course, Iran’s rulers repeatedly deny the Holocaust and call for Israel’s destruction almost on a daily basis, as they did again this week from the United Nations.
So I ask you, given this record of Iranian aggression without nuclear weapons, just imagine Iranian aggression with nuclear weapons. Imagine their long range missiles tipped with nuclear warheads, their terror networks armed with atomic bombs.
Who among you would feel safe in the Middle East? Who would be safe in Europe? Who would be safe in America? Who would be safe anywhere?
There are those who believe that a nuclear-armed Iran can be deterred like the Soviet Union.
That’s a very dangerous assumption.
Militant Jihadists behave very differently from secular Marxists. There were no Soviet suicide bombers. Yet Iran produces hordes of them.
Deterrence worked with the Soviets, because every time the Soviets faced a choice between their ideology and their survival, they chose their survival.
But deterrence may not work with the Iranians once they get nuclear weapons.
There’s a great scholar of the Middle East, Prof. Bernard Lewis, who put it best. He said that for the ayatollahs of Iran, mutually assured destruction is not a deterrent, it’s an inducement.
Iran’s apocalyptic leaders believe that a medieval holy man will reappear in the wake of a devastating Holy War, thereby ensuring that their brand of radical Islam will rule the earth.
That’s not just what they believe. That’s what is actually guiding their policies and their actions.
Just listen to Ayatollah Rafsanjani who said, I quote: ”The use of even one nuclear bomb inside Israel will destroy everything, however it would only harm the Islamic world.”
Rafsanjani said: “It is not irrational to contemplate such an eventuality.”
And that’s coming from one of the so-called moderates of Iran.
Shockingly, some people have begun to peddle the absurd notion that a nuclear-armed Iran would actually stabilize the Middle East.
That’s like saying a nuclear-armed Al-Qaeda would usher in an era of universal peace.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I’ve been speaking about the need to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons for over 15 years.
I spoke about it in my first term in office as Prime Minister, and then I spoke about it when I left office. I spoke about it when it was fashionable, and I spoke about it when it wasn’t fashionable.
I speak about it now because the hour is getting late, very late. I speak about it now because the Iranian nuclear calendar doesn’t take time out for anyone or for anything. I speak about it now because when it comes to the survival of my country, it’s not only my right to speak; it’s my duty to speak. And I believe that this is the duty of every responsible leader who wants to preserve world peace.
For nearly a decade, the international community has tried to stop the Iranian nuclear program with diplomacy.
That hasn’t worked.
Iran uses diplomatic negotiations as a means to buy time to advance its nuclear program.
For over seven years, the international community has tried sanctions with Iran. Under the leadership of President Obama, the international community has passed some of the strongest sanctions to date.
I want to thank the governments represented here that have joined in this effort. It’s had an effect. Oil exports have been curbed and the Iranian economy has been hit hard.
It’s had an effect on the economy, but we must face the truth. Sanctions have not stopped Iran’s nuclear program either.
According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, during the last year alone, Iran has doubled the number of centrifuges in its underground nuclear facility in Qom.
At this late hour, there is only one way to peacefully prevent Iran from getting atomic bombs. That’s by placing a clear red line on Iran’s nuclear weapons program.
Red lines don’t lead to war; red lines prevent war.
Look at NATO’s charter: it made clear that an attack on one member country would be considered an attack on all. NATO’s red line helped keep the peace in Europe for nearly half a century.
President Kennedy set a red line during the Cuban Missile Crisis. That red line also prevented war and helped preserve the peace for decades.
In fact, it’s the failure to place red lines that has often invited aggression.
If the Western powers had drawn clear red lines during the 1930s, I believe they would have stopped Nazi aggression and World War II might have been avoided.
In 1990, if Saddam Hussein had been clearly told that his conquest of Kuwait would cross a red line, the first Gulf War might have been avoided.
Clear red lines have also worked with Iran.
Earlier this year, Iran threatened to close the Straits of Hormouz. The United States drew a clear red line and Iran backed off.
Red lines could be drawn in different parts of Iran’s nuclear weapons program. But to be credible, a red line must be drawn first and foremost in one vital part of their program: on Iran’s efforts to enrich uranium. Now let me explain why:
Basically, any bomb consists of explosive material and a mechanism to ignite it.
The simplest example is gunpowder and a fuse. That is, you light the fuse and set off the gunpowder.
In the case of Iran’s plans to build a nuclear weapon, the gunpowder is enriched uranium. The fuse is a nuclear detonator.
For Iran, amassing enough enriched uranium is far more difficult than producing the nuclear fuse.
For a country like Iran, it takes many, many years to enrich uranium for a bomb. That requires thousands of centrifuges spinning in tandem in very big industrial plants. Those Iranian plants are visible and they’re still vulnerable.
In contrast, Iran could produce the nuclear detonator – the fuse – in a lot less time, maybe under a year, maybe only a few months.
The detonator can be made in a small workshop the size of a classroom. It may be very difficult to find and target that workshop, especially in Iran. That’s a country that’s bigger than France, Germany, Italy and Britain combined.
The same is true for the small facility in which they could assemble a warhead or a nuclear device that could be placed in a container ship. Chances are you won’t find that facility either.
So in fact the only way that you can credibly prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, is to prevent Iran from amassing enough enriched uranium for a bomb.
So, how much enriched uranium do you need for a bomb? And how close is Iran to getting it?
Let me show you. I brought a diagram for you. Here’s the diagram.
This is a bomb; this is a fuse.
In the case of Iran’s nuclear plans to build a bomb, this bomb has to be filled with enough enriched uranium. And Iran has to go through three stages.
The first stage: they have to enrich enough of low enriched uranium.
The second stage: they have to enrich enough medium enriched uranium.
And the third stage and final stage: they have to enrich enough high enriched uranium for the first bomb.
Where’s Iran? Iran’s completed the first stage. It took them many years, but they completed it and they’re 70% of the way there.
Now they are well into the second stage. By next spring, at most by next summer at current enrichment rates, they will have finished the medium enrichment and move on to the final stage.
From there, it’s only a few months, possibly a few weeks before they get enough enriched uranium for the first bomb.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
What I told you now is not based on secret information. It’s not based on military intelligence. It’s based on public reports by the International Atomic Energy Agency. Anybody can read them. They’re online.
So if these are the facts, and they are, where should the red line be drawn?
The red line should be drawn right here…
Before Iran completes the second stage of nuclear enrichment necessary to make a bomb.
Before Iran gets to a point where it’s a few months away or a few weeks away from amassing enough enriched uranium to make a nuclear weapon.
Each day, that point is getting closer. That’s why I speak today with such a sense of urgency. And that’s why everyone should have a sense of urgency.
Some who claim that even if Iran completes the enrichment process, even if it crosses that red line that I just drew, our intelligence agencies will know when and where Iran will make the fuse, assemble the bomb, and prepare the warhead.
Look, no one appreciats our intelligence agencies more than the Prime Minister of Israel. All these leading intelligence agencies are superb, including ours. They’ve foiled many attacks. They’ve saved many lives.
But they are not foolproof.
For over two years, our intelligence agencies didn’t know that Iran was building a huge nuclear enrichment plant under a mountain.
Do we want to risk the security of the world on the assumption that we would find in time a small workshop in a country half the size of Europe?
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The relevant question is not when Iran will get the bomb. The relevant question is at what stage can we no longer stop Iran from getting the bomb.
The red line must be drawn on Iran’s nuclear enrichment program because these enrichment facilities are the only nuclear installations that we can definitely see and credibly target.
I believe that faced with a clear red line, Iran will back down.
This will give more time for sanctions and diplomacy to convince Iran to dismantle its nuclear weapons program altogether.
Two days ago, from this podium, President Obama reiterated that the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran cannot be contained.
I very much appreciate the President’s position as does everyone in my country. We share the goal of stopping Iran’s nuclear weapons program. This goal unites the people of Israel. It unites Americans, Democrats and Republicans alike and it is shared by important leaders throughout the world.
What I have said today will help ensure that this common goal is achieved.
Israel is in discussions with the United States over this issue, and I am confident that we can chart a path forward together.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The clash between modernity and medievalism need not be a clash between progress and tradition.
The traditions of the Jewish people go back thousands of years. They are the source of our collective values and the foundation of our national strength.
At the same time, the Jewish people have always looked towards the future. Throughout history, we have been at the forefront of efforts to expand liberty, promote equality, and advance human rights.
We champion these principles not despite of our traditions but because of them.
We heed the words of the Jewish prophets Isaiah, Amos, and Jeremiah to treat all with dignity and compassion, to pursue justice and cherish life and to pray and strive for peace.
These are the timeless values of my people and these are the Jewish people’s greatest gift to mankind.
Let us commit ourselves today to defend these values so that we can defend our freedom and protect our common civilization.
Below is the 3rd and final video and transcript of recent speeches given at the UN General Assembly by key leaders in the Middle East:
Ahmadinejad’s address was given on September 16th, 2012.
I find myself entirely suspicious of Ahmadinejad. After all, he is a politician. Even so, the contrast between his and Netanyahu’s speeches could not be greater!
Whereas Netanyahu centred on his appeal to the world to halt Iran’s nuclear program, Ahmadinejad barely mentioned Israel. He makes a reference to ‘uncivilized Zionists’ who threaten military action against his country, and one other reference to “the hegemonic policies and actions of the world Zionism” but avoided any direct criticism of Netanyahu or the State of Israel as such.
Moreover, Ahmadinejad comes across as more of a preacher than a President. I can’t imagine that many Christians would have anticipated his conclusion:
“The arrival of the Ultimate Savior, Jesus Christ and the Righteous will bring about an eternally bright future for mankind, not by force or waging wars but through thought awakening and developing kindness in everyone.”
A Transcript of Ahmadinejad’s speech
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
All Praise Belongs to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, and May Peace and Blessings be upon the Greatest and Trustworthy Prophet and His Pure Progeny, His Chosen
Companions, and upon all Divine Messengers.
Oh, God, Hasten the Emergence of Your Chosen Beloved, Grant Him Good Health and Victory, Make us His Best Companions, and all those who attest to His Rightfulness.
Mr. President, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I thank the Almighty God for having once more the chance to participate in this meeting.
We have gathered here to ponder and work together for building a better life for the entire human community and for our nations.
Coming from Iran, the land of glory and beauty, the land of knowledge, culture, wisdom and morality, the cradle of philosophy and mysticism, the land of compassion and light, the land of scientists, scholars, philosophers, masters of literature, and writers, the land of Avicenna, Ferdowsi, Hafiz, Maulana, Attar, Khayyam, and Shariar, I represent a great and proud nation that is a founder of human civilization and an inheritor of respected universal values. I represent a conscious nation which is dedicated to the cause of freedom, peace and compassion, a nation that has experienced the agony and bitter times of aggressions and imposed wars, and profoundly values the blessings of peace and stability. I am now here for the eighth time in the eighth year of my service to my noble people in this august assembly of sisters and brothers from across the world, to show to the world that my noble nation like its brilliant past, has a global vision and welcomes any effort intended to provide and promote peace, stability and tranquility which can be only realized through harmony, cooperation and joint management of the world.
I am here to voice the divine and humanitarian message of learned men and women of my country to you and to the whole world; a message that Iran’s great orator and poet, presented to humanity in his eternal two-line poetry:
Human beings are members of a whole,
In creation of one essence and soul,
If one member is afflicted with pain
Other members uneasy will remain
I have talked in the past seven years about the current challenges, solutions and prospects of the future world. Today I want to raise and discuss such issues from
a different perspective.
Thousands of years has passed since children of Adam (peace be upon Him) started to settle down in various parts of Earth.
Peoples of different colors, tastes, languages, customs and traditions pursued persistently to fulfill their aspirations to build a noble society for a more beautiful life
blessed with lasting peace, security and happiness.
Despite all efforts made by righteous people and justice seekers, and the sufferings and pains endured by masses of people in the quest to achieve happiness
and victory, the history of mankind, except in rare cases, is marked with unfulfilled dreams and failures.
Imagine for a moment:
- Had there been no egoism, distrust, malicious behaviors, and dictatorships with no one violating the rights of others;
- Had humanitarian values been viewed as the criterion for social dignity in place of affluence and consumerism,
- Had humanity not experienced the dark age of medieval periods, and centers of power not hindered the flourishing of knowledge and constructive thoughts,
- Had the wars of Crusade and the ensuing periods of slavery and colonialism not happened, and had the inheritors of these dark periods followed a course on the
premises of humanitarians principles,
- Had the first and second World Wars in Europe, the wars in Korea, Vietnam, Africa, Latin America, and in the Balkans not happened, and if instead of the
occupation of Palestine and imposition of a fake government, displacement and genocide of millions of people around the globe, the truth behind these wars had been revealed based on justice,
- Had Saddam Hussein not invaded Iran, and had the big powers supported the rights of Iranian people instead of siding with Saddam,
- If the tragic incident of September 11, and the military actions against Afghanistan and Iraq that left millions killed and homeless had not happened, and if,
instead of killing and throwing the culprit into the sea without trial or without informing the world and people of America, an independent fact-finding team had
been formed to make the general public aware of the truth behind the incident, and prepare for bringing to justice the perpetrators,
- Had extremism or terrorism not been used to secure political goals,
- Had the arms been turned into pens, and military expenditures been used to promote well-being and amity among nations,
- Had the drum of ethnic, religious or racial conflicts not been beaten, and if differences had not been used for the purpose of advancing political agendas,
- Had the right to criticize the hegemonic policies and actions of the world Zionism been recognized to allow the world media to freely report and shed light on
the realities, instead of taking deceitful gestures of backing freedom bent on offending the sanctities and most sacred beliefs of human beings and divine messengers, who as the purest and most compassionate human beings are the gift of the Almighty to humanity,
- Had the Security Council not been under the domination of a limited number of governments, thus disabling the United Nations to carry out its responsibilities on a just and equitable basis,
- If the international economic institutions had not been under pressure and were allowed to perform their duties and functions by using their expertise based on
fairness and justice,
- Had the world capitalists not weakened or victimized the economies of nations in order to make up for their own mistakes,
- If integrity and honesty had prevailed on the international relations, and all nations and governments were treated equally and justly in the global efforts to build
and expand happiness for the entire mankind,
- And if tens of other unfavorable situations had not occurred in human life,
Imagine how beautiful and pleasant our lives and how lovely the history of mankind would have been.
Let us take a look at the world situation today.
a): The Economic Situation
- Poverty is on the rise and the gap is widening between the rich and the poor.
- Total foreign debt of 18 industrial countries has exceeded 60 trillion dollars, whilst the repayment of half of this amount is sufficient to eradicate poverty in the world.
- Economies dependent on consumerism and exploitation of people only serve the interests of a limited number of countries.
- Creation of worthless paper assets by using influence and control over the world’s economic centers constitutes the greatest abuse of history, and is considered a major contributor to global economic crisis.
- It has been reported that only 32 trillions of paper assets were printed by one government alone.
- Development planning based on capitalist economy that runs in a vicious circle, triggers unhealthy and devastating competitions and is a failed practice.
b) The Cultural Situation:
From the standpoint of the politicians who control the world power centers, concepts such as moral principles, purity, honesty, integrity, compassion and selfsacrifice
are rejected as defunct and outdated notions, and an impediment to the accomplishment of their goals. They openly talk about their disbelief in the relevance of ethics to the political and social affairs.
Pure and indigenous cultures as the product of centuries – old efforts of nations, the common denominator reflecting human profound feeling and love towards beauties, and the force which breeds diversity, cultural vividness, and social dynamism, are under constant attacks, and susceptible to extinction.
A specific life style devoid of individual or social identity is being imposed on nations by organized and systematic destruction and humiliation of identities.
Family as the noblest institution of societies and a center emanating love and humanity has been seriously weakened and its constructive role is on the decline.
Woman’s sublime role and personality, as a heavenly being, a manifestation of divine image and beauty, and the main pillar of every society, has been damaged and abused by the powerful and the wealthy.
Human soul has become frustrated and the essence of humankind humiliated and suppressed.
c): Political and Security.Situation
Unilateralism, application of double standards, and imposition of wars, instability and occupations to ensure economic interests, and expand dominance over
sensitive centers of the world have turned to be the order of the day.
Arms race and intimidation by nuclear weapons and weapons of mass-destruction by the hegemonic powers have become prevalent: Testing new generations of ultra-modern weaponry and the pledge to disclose these armaments on due time is now being used as a new language of threat against nations to coerce them into accepting a new era of hegemony. Continued threat by the uncivilized Zionists to resort to military action against our great nation is a clear example of this bitter reality.
- A state of mistrust has cast its shadow on the international relations, whilst there is no trusted or just authority to help resolve world conflicts.
- No one feels secure or safe even those who have stockpiled thousands of atomic bombs and other arms in their arsenals.
d): The Environmental Situation
The environment as a common wealth and heritage of the entire humankind and a constant guarantor of man’s survival has been seriously damaged and devastated as a result of irresponsible and excessive use of resources particularly by capitalists across the world, a situation that has caused massive drought, flood, and pollutions inflicting irreparable damage and jeopardizing seriously human life on Earth.
Despite advances in scientific knowledge and technology, the aspirations of Adam’s children have not yet been fulfilled.
Does anybody believe that continuation of the current order is capable of bringing happiness for human society?
Today everyone is discontent and disappointed with the current international order.
Human beings do not deserve to be under continued sufferings of the present situation. God of wisdom and compassion who loves all human beings has not
ordained such a destiny for mankind. He has ordered human, as the Supreme Creature, to make the best and most beautiful life on Earth along with justice, 10re,
We must, therefore, think of a solution.
Who is responsible for all these sufferings and failures?
Some people try to justify that everything is normal and a reflection of divine will, putting the blame on nations as responsible for all prevalent vices and evils. They are of the opinion that:
- It is the nations that succumb to discrimination and tyranny;
- It is the nations that surrender to dictatorship and greed;
- It is the nations that accept the hegemony of Arrogant and expansionist powers;
- It is the nations that are influenced by the propaganda tactics of powers, and most all vices in our world are the result of their passive attitudes with the inclination to live under the supremacy of the world powers.
- These are the arguments raised by those who tend to blame nations for the unfavorable conditions prevailing in the world, with the intention to justify the attitudes and destructive behaviors of the ruling minority.
- These claims, supposedly authentic, can not in any way justify continuation of the present oppressive international order. Indeed, Poverty is imposed on nations, and powers’ ambitions and goals are pursued either through deceits or resort to force.
- To justify their inhuman actions, they propagate the theory based on ‘ the Survival of the fittest’.
- While in principle, most governments and nations of justice-seeking people are humble and submissive in the face of Right, and are after fostering dignity, prosperity and constructive interactions.
- Masses of people never want to expand their territories, nor do they seek to obtain legendary wealth. They have no disputes among themselves in principles and have never played any role in the creation of any disastrous events in the course of history.
- I do not believe that Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, and others have any problems, or are hostile against each other. They get along together comfortably and live together in an atmosphere of peace and amity. They are all devoted to the cause of justice, purity and love.
- The general tendency of nations has always been to accomplish positive common aspirations reflecting exalted divine and human beauties and nobilities.
- The current abysmal situation of the world and the bitter incidents of history are due mainly to the wrong management of the world and the self-proclaimed centers of power who have entrusted themselves to the Devil.
- The order that is rooted in the anti-human thoughts of slavery and the old and new colonialism are responsible for poverty, corruption, ignorance, oppression and discrimination in every corner of the world.
The current world order has certain characteristics, some of which are as follows:
- It is founded on materialism, and that is why it is in no way bound to moral values.
- It has been shaped according to selfishness, deception, hatred and animosity.
- It believes in classification of human beings, humiliation of other nations, trampling upon the rights of others and their domination.
- It seeks to expand its domination by spreading discord and conflicts amongst ethnic groups and nations.
- It aims to monopolize power, wealth, science and technology.
- Policies of the world’s main centers of power are based on the principles of domination and the conquering of others. These centers only seek supremacy, and are not in favor of peace and definitely not at the service of their nations.
- Are we to believe that those who spend hundreds of millions of dollars on election campaigns have the interests of the people of the world at their hearts?
- Despite what big political parties claim in the capitalistic countries, the money that goes into election campaigns is usually nothing but an investment.
- In such countries, people have to vote for parties that only represent a small number of people.
- The will and the views of the masses have the least impact and influence on the big decisions especially those made about the major domestic and foreign policies. Their voices are not heard even if they constitute 99% of their societies.
- Human and ethical values are sacrificed in order to win votes and the willingness to listen to the demands of the people has become only a tool at the time of election.
- The current world order is discriminatory and based on injustice.
Distinguished Friends and Colleagues,
What should be done and what is the way out of the current situation?
There is no doubt that the world is in need of a new order and a fresh way of
- An order in which man is recognized as God’s Supreme Creature, enjoying material and spiritual qualities and possessing a pure and divine nature filled with a desire to seek justice and truth.
- An order that aims to revive human dignity and believes in universal happiness and perfection.
- An order which is after peace, lasting security and welfare for all walks of life around the globe.
- An order that is founded upon trust and kindness and brings thoughts, hearts and hands closer to each other. Rulers must love people.
- A just and fair order in which everybody is equal before law and in which there is no double standard.
- Leaders of the world must regard themselves as committed servants of their people, not their superiors.
- Authority is a sacred gift from people to their rulers, not a chance to amass power and wealth.
Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Is it possible to have such an order without having everybody’s contribution to the way the world is run?
It is abundantly evident that when all the people and governments start to think and commit themselves to the above-mentioned principles and become
sensitive to the internationally important issues and participate in decision makings, their wishes find a chance to be materialized.
By raising collective awareness, the seeking of a joint global management becomes more vivid with the chances of its implementation increased.
Therefore, Together We Need to:
- Place our trust in God Almighty and stand against the acquisitive minority with all our might, so that they become isolated, and can no longer decide the destiny of other nations.
- Believe in the God’s bounty of blessing and mercy and seek it in the integration and unity of human societies. Governments emerging from the free will of nations must believe in their own ceaseless capabilities and know that they can achieve victory if they vigorously fight the unjust order and defend human rights.
- Pave the ground for the joint global management by insisting upon justice in all its aspects, strengthen unity, friendship and expand economic, social, cultural and political interactions in independent and specialized organizations.
- Care about the interests of all the people of the world and join hands to reform the current structures of the UN with our joint efforts and coordination. It is necessary to note that the UN belongs to nations. Thus, the existence of discrimination amongst the members is a great insult to all. The existence of discrimination and monopoly in the UN is in no way acceptable.
- Have more coordinated efforts to generate and propagate and firmly establish the language needed for designing the required structures of the joint global management filled with justice, love and freedom. Participation in global management is the basis of lasting peace. The Non-Aligned Movement as the second largest trans-regional group after the UN, held its 16th summit in Tehran with the motto of “Joint Global Management”, cognizant of the importance of this issue and the shortcomings of the current mismanagement in the emergence of crises and problems afflicting the world today. During the Summit, participating Heads of State and representatives of more than 120 countries underscored the necessity of a more serious and effective participation of all nations in the global management.
Fortunately, we are now at a historic juncture. On one hand, Marxism is no longer around and is practically eliminated from the management systems, and on the other, capitalism is bogged down in a self-made quagmire. It has indeed reached a deadlock and does not seem to be able to come up with any noteworthy solution to the various economic, political, security and cultural problems of the world. NAM is proud to once again emphasize the rightfulness of its historic decision to reject the poles of power and the unbridled hegemony ruling the world. On behalf of the members of NAM, I would like to invite all countries of the world to play a more active role in making it possible for everybody to contribute to the global decision-making processes. The need to remove the structural barriers and encourage the process of universal participation in global management has never been greater before.
The UN lacks the efficiency to bring about the required changes. If this inefficiency persists, nations will lose hope in the global structures to defend their rights. If the UN is not restructured, international interactions and the spirit of collective global cooperation will be tarnished and the standing of the UN will be damaged.
The UN that has been created with the purpose of expanding justice and reinstitution of the universal rights has in practice been engulfed by discrimination preparing a supportive ground for the domination of a few powerful countries.
Consequently, UN’s inefficiency has been on the rise. Moreover, the existence of the veto right and monopolization of power in the Security Council have made it nearly impossible to defend the rights of the nations.
The issue of UN re-structuring is very vital and is a need that has been emphasized time and again by the representatives of nations, a goal that has not yet been accomplished.
I would like to urge the honorable members of the United Nations and H.E. the Secretary General and his colleagues to place this issue high on their agenda and devise an appropriate mechanism to make it happen.
NAM stands ready to aid the UN in this essential endeavor.
Mr. President, Friends and Dear Colleagues,
Creating peace and lasting security with decent life for all, although a great and a historic mission can be accomplished. The Almighty God has not left us alone in this mission and has said that it will surely happen. If it doesn’t, then it will be contradictory to his wisdom.
God Almighty has promised us a man of kindness, a man who loves people and loves absolute justice, a man who is a perfect human being and is named Imam Al-Mahdi, a man who will come in the company of Jesus Christ (PBUH) and the righteous. By using the inherent potential of all the worthy men and women of all nations and I repeat, the inherent potential of “all the worthy men and women of all nations” he will lead humanity into achieving its glorious and eternal ideals.
The arrival of the Ultimate Savior will mark a new beginning, a rebirth and a resurrection. It will be the beginning of peace, lasting security and genuine life.
His arrival will be the end of oppression, immorality, poverty, discrimination and the beginning of justice, love and empathy.
He will come and he will cut through ignorance, superstition, prejudice by opening the gates of science and knowledge. He will establish a world brimful of prudence and he will prepare the ground for the collective, active and constructive participation of all in the global management.
He will come to grant kindness, hope, freedom and dignity to all humanity as a gift.
He will come so mankind will taste the pleasure of being human and being in the company of other humans.
He will come so that hands will be joined, hearts will be filled with love and thoughts will be purified to be at service of security, welfare and happiness for all.
He will come to return all children of Adam irrespective of their skin colors to their innate origin after a long history of separation and division linking them to eternal happiness.
The arrival of the Ultimate Savior, Jesus Christ and the Righteous will bring about an eternally bright future for mankind, not by force or waging wars but through thought awakening and developing kindness in everyone. Their arrival will breathe a new life in the cold and frozen body of the world. He will bless humanity with a spring that puts an end to our winter of ignorance, poverty and war with the tidings of a season of blooming.
Now we can sense the sweet scent and the soulful breeze of the spring, a spring that has just begun and doesn’t belong to a specific race, ethnicity, nation or a region, a spring that will soon reach all the territories in Asia, Europe, Africa and the US.
He will be the spring of all the justice-seekers, freedom-lovers and the followers of heavenly prophets. He will be the spring of humanity and the greenery of all ages.
Let us join hands and clear the way for his eventual arrival with empathy and cooperation, in harmony and unity. Let us march on this path to salvation for the thirsty souls of humanity to taste immortal joy and grace.
Long live this spring, long live this spring and long live this spring.