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March 3, 2014 5:46 pm

Netanyahu Tells Obama: Iran is ‘Greatest Challenge’ Faced by U.S., Israel

avatar by Joshua Levitt

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President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu at the White House. Photo: Screenshot.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday in Washington, D.C., that the “greatest challenge” facing their two countries is stopping Iran from gaining the capability to produce a nuclear weapon.

“The greatest challenge, undoubtedly, is to prevent Iran from acquiring the capacity to make nuclear weapons,” Netanyahu said, according to a transcript of his remarks released by his communications office. “I think that goal can be achieved if Iran is prevented from enriching uranium and dismantles fully its military nuclear installations.”

Netanyahu told Obama that “if that goal can be achieved peacefully and through diplomacy, I can tell you that no country has a greater stake in this than Israel.”

He said, “as you know and I’m sure you’ll appreciate, Iran calls openly for Israel’s destruction, so I’m sure you’ll appreciate that Israel cannot permit such a state to have the ability to make atomic bombs to achieve that goal.  We just cannot be brought back again to the brink of destruction. And I, as the Prime Minister of Israel, will do whatever I must do to defend the Jewish state.”

On the ongoing U.S.-brokered peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, Netanyahu thanked Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry for the “tireless efforts” that Kerry “has put into this quest.”

“The 20 years that have passed since Israel entered the peace process have been marked by unprecedented steps that Israel has taken to advance peace,” Netanyahu said. “I mean, we vacated cities in Judea and Samaria. We left entirely Gaza. We’ve not only frozen settlements, we’ve uprooted entire settlements. We’ve released hundreds of terrorist prisoners, including dozens in recent months.”

“And when you look at what we got in return, it’s been scores of suicide bombings, thousands of rockets on our cities fired from the areas we vacated, and just incessant Palestinian incitement against Israel. So Israel has been doing its part, and I regret to say that the Palestinians haven’t.”

“Now, I know this flies in the face of conventional wisdom, but it’s the truth,” Netanyahu said. “And the people of Israel know that it’s the truth because they’ve been living it. What they want is peace. What we all want fervently is peace. Not a piece a paper — although that, too — but a real peace; a peace that is anchored in mutual recognition of two nation states that recognize and respect one another, and solid security arrangements on the ground.”

Netanyahu addressed Obama directly: “Mr. President, you rightly said that Israel, the Jewish state, is the realization of the Jewish people’s self-determination in our ancestral homeland. So the Palestinians expect us to recognize a Palestinian state for the Palestinian people, a nation state for the Palestinian people. I think it’s about time they recognize a nation state for the Jewish people.  We’ve only been there for 4,000 years.”

“And I hope [PA] President [Mahmoud] Abbas does this, as I hope that he’ll take seriously Israel’s genuine security needs. Because, as you know and I think everybody does, in the Middle East, which is definitely the most turbulent and violent part of the Earth, the only peace that will endure is a peace that we can defend.”

“And we’ve learned from our history — Jewish history, but I think from general history — that the best way to guarantee peace is to be strong.  And that’s what the people of Israel expect me to do — to stand strong against criticism, against pressure, stand strong to secure the future of the one and only Jewish state.”

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  • Kol HaKavod BiBi !!!!!!

  • shosh

    Very proud of Bibi, Mazal Tov ve Yaasher Koach ! Just hope that he continues remaining strong and resolved, and
    does not give in to pressure from anybody for the safety
    of Israel and the Jewish People.

    • shosh

      Very prod of Bibi’s stand, MAZAL TOV VE YAASHER KOCHOH!
      Just hope that he continues remaining strong and resolved, and does not yield to pressure from anyone –
      for the sake and safety of Eretz Israel, Medinat Israel
      ve Am Israel.

  • Syeda Aaliya Shehzadi

    Dear All, Beyond jews, christians and Muslims we all are human beings. None of the religions allow to kill humans and destroy their lands. Islam, Christianity and jewdasim we all share same ancestors, same forefathers. Even Islam allows Muslims to marry christians and jews. We all are children of Ibraham(The Great man), so it’s not the religion which is problem. These are sociopolitical matters of governing people who look their own benefits. Jews should be given a part of land to live peacefully. This whole land is made by God for all of us, we just need to be generous enough for our neighbors. Islam says if your neighbor is unhappy with you you aren’t a true believer. So Governments should make policies to make land prosperous by helping people not to make empty by removing people living on land.

    • M. Litvack

      Just imagine; all Arabs are atheists and there isn’t any Islam. What would that mean? Well, there wouldn’t be any Hezbollah or Hamas and rocket attacks on Israel, there wouldn’t be any fatwas or suicide bombers, the Twin Towers would still be in tacked and all those thousands of people would still be alive. Iran wouldn’t be threatening anyone and would be a good neigbour. Real peace would prevail throughout all the Mid-East and love thy neigbour would be the in thing. And what about the other religions? Maybe the Arabs would convince everyone that atheism is the true “faith”. Now wouldn’t that be something? Right; dream on Mcduff.

    • Herbert Horwitz

      I learned a long time ago that when the words and the actions are the same, I can believe the words, but when the words and actions are different, i must believe the actions.

      I believe Iran will try to destroy Israel.

      I believe that any comments from Gaza or the West Bank expressing the desire for peace with Israel while acknowledging Israel’s right to exist are untrue and will continue to believe that when the rockets stop flying onto our land.

      It may be true that it is really only Hamas and Hesbollah that are trying to destroy Israel, but what are the Arab nations, Gaza and West Bank citizens doing to stop them?

      Close your eyes and what you see is the obvious answer.

  • Vivienne Leijonhufvud (goldie)

    No more sacrifices Israel, enough is enough this fracas is beyond reason. Islam is notoriously unstable and as long as there are religious fanatics in powerful positions we are all under threat and Israel most of all. Israel has been attacked consistently since her foundation as a nation. One Megalomaniac in Hitler is enough already + Stalin Franco & Mussolini! The underlying cause for all this is taking literally the story of Ishmael blown out of all proportion by a man who called himself a prophet. So far as I can see the whole basis of Islam is founded in plagiarizing the Torah, Talmud New Testament below these three plagiarized layers is the cult of Astarte and all the other names attributed to this ancient Babylonian goddess who migrated all over the middle east and South Eastern Europe. Mohammed was an uneducated caravan trailer who could only recite not write this came much later. The world’s peace and Israel’s revolves around this axis. Why is the stone covered at the Hajj? What is the purpose of going round the stone in circles? It’s simply an uncommon meteorite that fell from outer space into the Arabian desert? Islamic architecture also appears founded in sexuality. Penile/missile towers circling a woman’s breast including three nipples (Astarte is multi breasted) mounting the nipples the waning crescent moon (primitive death moon) the star the son of the goddess (primitive rebirth and ascension and Mother goddess inheritor). All this crap dating eons ago is still affecting the logic of sound politics, science and governance of the 21st century. Worst of all are individuals like Suoros (he literally considers himself as a Master of the Universe) how insane is this, but look at the cost and effect? Who are his associates again Islam? Words fail me how entire governments can pay homage to such crap. Islam was merely a weapon of dominance and submission both by the Ottoman & Almoravid and other invaders into Europe. Please please why on earth does the entire world and Israel have to take this absolute BS?

  • Paul Palnik

    Mr. Obama is evil. Everybody knows that.

  • paul

    Do not be deceived people, God owns the mountains and the his people ISRAEL. They need no other, Obama, Iran ect whoever curses Israel God will curse, whoever blesses Israel God will bless. LEADERS OF THE NATIONS, OPEN YOUR EARS TO THE WORD OF GOD, DO NOT BE DECEIVED.

    • Plain Talk

      Please tell your foolishness to Holocaust survivors and descendants of slavery and all the other atrocities that have been perpetrated throughout history.
      Just for the record, the “other side” use the Koran for their justification, land rights and violence. But of course, your perspective is the right one because since birth you were brainwashed to believe it and now it has “miraculously” become fact.
      Oy Veh!

  • Md. Zahidul Islam (Milton)

    “The greatest challenge, undoubtedly, is to prevent Iran from acquiring the capacity to make nuclear weapons,” Netanyahu said, according to a transcript of his remarks released by his communications office. “I think that goal can be achieved if Iran is prevented from enriching uranium and dismantles fully its military nuclear installations.”

    But my question as a student of Law is that if Israel has the right to have the weapons to guard himself then why not it’s neighboring countries the same right to protect themselves !!!

    Md. Zahidul Islam (Milton)
    MSS(Pol.Science), LL.B, PGD -Journalism

    • J

      Don’t be so naive, Milton.

      For starters, it was Iran in 1979 who took over the US embassy, holding lots of Americans hostage for months and months. It was Iran who bombed the US Marine Baracks.

      Also Iran who pays the bill for Syria and Hezbollah, both very dangerous regimes whose guns (which Iran buys for them) has killed many friends of America.

      This not a question of the human rights, we should all have nukes, but in Iran, where gays are hung in the street, where student protesters (from their own people) are brutally murdered when they protest rigged elections, where critics of the regime, including former Ayatollahs rot in prisons, where the Holocaust is openly denied and where Israel, America’s ally, is not considered a nation, nor are the Jews considered a people deserving of nationhood.

      Indeed, Milton the list goes on. Iran is dangerous, and Israel brings light to the world.

      • J. Amen.

      • Vivienne Leijonhufvud (goldie)

        It is refreshing to read a comment that outlines the beginnings of all the current strife around the world.

        The Iranians had to be handled by the British SAS the same year when the Iranian Embassy was attacked by terrorists. Iranian flights were grounded the disruption went on and on. Then came Afghanistan vs Russia. The only good things since ’79 have been the fall of the Berlin Wall and Glasnost. Islam is the greatest enemy to the entire world and above all Israel.

      • Milton

        No question of naive ! and I believe any problem can be solved having discussion and probably not with the gun.

        My question was that if Israel has the right to have the weapons to guard himself then why not it’s neighboring countries the same right to protect themselves !!!

        The world is now a global village, so we all can make it heaven or hell by our behavior. Let it have a solution and find the right path. But who is to bell the cat??

    • Stephen Luftschein

      I’m not sure where you got your degree, but Israel has plainly stated that will never engage in offensive hostilities. Iran, exactly the opposite.
      THAT’S the difference.

      • Md. Zahidul Islam (Milton)

        Dear Stephen, I have studied Islamic History by P.K Hitti long back i.e 22 years back and achieved my first graduation (BA) degree under the University of Rajshahi (Bangladesh)in English medium, after that I got three post graduation degrees(Political science/law/journalism) in English medium too with dignity as well from the national University here in Bangladesh. Still I do have much curiosity about the world history as well. But you pointed out that Israel will never be engaged in offensive hostilities but Iran! If so then it’s Israelis duty to make the Muslim world aware about the clear intention of them, which may bring better solution and must respect each others security not ones.

    • Milton, isn’t it interesting that the Sunni’s in the mid-east were not particularly concerned about Israel having the atomic bomb since 1967 when Israel let it be known through back channels that Israel had a few A-bombs, but when the Sunni Muslims found out their Shite Muslim brothers in Iran wanted the atomic bomb, now there was a problem. Milton, by some chance do you think that the Sunnis do not think the Shites are totally rational actors or that they are just dhimmi-wits?

      • Md. Zahidul Islam (Milton)

        Please study more about the Islamic History..

    • Very simple answer, Milton. Israel isn’t threatening to destroy anyone. Iran is. Hezbollah is. Hamas is. You get it? And the one being threatened is Israel.

    • yussie

      Becaus they only attack and not defend….

  • Dov

    Why does no one have to make sacrifices only the Jews? Did anyone see President Obama make sacrifices with Obamacare or any of his other policies. Why do Jews have to “make sacrifices? We have been making sacrifices for thousands of years! Its enough!


  • First of all, Bibi Netanyahu is far more intelligent than Obama. Moreover, he represents a successful capitalistic system and country which has proven to be more rewarding than the smothering oppression Obama is smearing out over this once so prosperous nation.He copies the failures of Europe and leads the USA to Marxism. It is almost embarrassing to see Obama.

  • George Bokor

    Without the recognition of the State of Israel by Abbas and the Palestinians there can not be any peace negotiations – PERIOD. Arafat hade the incredible opportunity at Camp Da-vid and he missed it, probably for ever.

  • Arie

    Obama tells the Jews they must “make sacrifices.”

    Definition: Israel must be willing to allow the building of concentration camps, and the Jews must be willing to walk in without a fight for the greater cause and piece in our time.

    • George Bokor

      Do not worry about Obama, Arie, nobody does.

      • Kris Kristian

        George Bokor

        The problem is that Obama has caused untold damage to the US and Israel

        Unless he is impeached for some of the lies and crimes he has committed, the world will still have about 2 more years in which time he can destroy America completely, as well as Israel.

        Obama is an evil man. Why did the voters not wake up and send him on his way out of the WH.???
        Had they not been so loyal to the Dems, and used some grey matter, both USA and Israel would have been safe and with a strong future.

        Kerry is no better. Kerry is an idiot. He has given the PA all they wanted, while making demands on Israel, to commit national suicide.
        Thank heaven that PM Netanyahu is strong.

        Obama has given Iran the green light to produce their nuclear weapons, whic Iran will use to destroy Israel, Saudi Arabia and America.

        I hope that Saudi Arabia will wake up, and open the gates for Jews and Christians to liove and work there, and to build churches and synagogues, and to make peace with Israel. Saudi and Israel could be the stabilzing force for the ME.
        Imagine with all the oil and money in Saudi and the brains in Israel, the ME would be the “heaven” on earth.

        • Md. Zahidul Islam (Milton)

          Also request to imagine with all the oil and money in Saudi and the brains in the Muslim World, the ME would be the “heaven” on earth.