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February 10, 2015 7:27 pm

Netanyahu: Congress Speech About Israel’s Survival, Not ‘Confrontation’ With Obama

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his upcoming address in front of Congress has nothing to do with his "confrontation" with US President Barack Obama. Photo: Wikimedia Commons. – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday issued his latest defense of his upcoming speech to Congress on the Iranian nuclear threat and radical Islam, saying in a statement that he is not seeking a “confrontation” with President Barack Obama on the issue, but instead fulfilling his “obligation to speak up on a matter that affects the very survival of my country.”

The White House has opposed Netanyahu’s March 3 speech because it contends that House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) did not consult with the president before inviting Netanyahu. The Obama administration also believes the speech will hurt the P5+1 powers’ chances of reaching a deal in their ongoing nuclear negotiations with Iran.

Netanyahu, however, said Tuesday that Israel has “a profound disagreement with the United States administration and the rest of the P5+1 over the offer that has been made to Iran” in the talks.

“This offer would enable Iran to threaten Israel’s survival,” said Netanyahu. “This is a regime, Iran, that is openly committed to Israel’s destruction. It would be able, under this deal, to break out to a nuclear weapon in a short time, and within a few years, to have the industrial capability to produce many nuclear bombs for the goal of our destruction. This is not a personal disagreement between President Obama and me. I deeply appreciate all that he has done for Israel in many fields. Equally, I know that the president appreciates my responsibility, my foremost responsibility, to protect and defend the security of Israel.”

Netanyahu also said that disagreements about Israel’s security “have occurred between prime ministers in Israel from the left and from the right and American presidents from both parties.”

“None of these disagreements led to a rupture in the relationship between Israel and the United States,” he said. “In fact, over time, our relationship grew stronger.”

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