In his latest widely anticipated address to the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu used the international platform to amplify his opposition to the Iran nuclear deal and to warn the world body not to sweep Iran’s aggression and violations “under the Persian rug.”
“As leader of a country defending against Iran’s aggression, I wish I could take comfort in the claim this deal blocks Iran’s path to nukes,” Netanyahu said.
“I have long said that the greatest danger facing our world is the coupling of militant Islam with nuclear weapons,” and that the nuclear deal is the “marriage certificate of that unholy union,” he added.
For his prop this year—the Israeli leader’s bomb diagram from 2012 is well-known—Netanyahu chose to use a copy of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s recently published book that outlines a long-term plan for Israel’s destruction.
“It’s not easy for Israel to oppose something embraced by the greatest powers in the world. Believe me, it would be far easier to keep silent,” Netanyahu said. “As the prime minister of the Jewish state, I refuse to be silent.”
Netanyahu’s most poignant moment in this year’s U.N. speech came when he lambasted the world body for its “utter” and “deafening” silence on Iran’s threats towards Israel, even taking a moment silence on his own to stare down the General Assembly.
“The days when the Jewish people remain passive in the face of genocidal enemies, those days are over,” Netanyahu said.
Netanyahu touched on other issues related to the Iran deal, including his strained relations with President Barack Obama. Netanyahu said he “deeply appreciates” Obama’s commitment to securing Israel and that “we have no disagreement about the need to work together to secure our common future.”
Additionally, Netanyahu took aim at Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who declared on Wednesday at the U.N. that the Palestinians would no longer uphold the commitments of the 1993 Oslo Accords. Netanyahu criticized Abbas for his “rejectionism” and said he expects the Palestinian leadership to “abide by its commitments.”
“Israel remains committed to achieving peace with the Palestinians,” Netanyahu declared.
Netanyahu also told Abbas to stop “spreading lies” about Israel’s intentions at the Temple Mount holy site, saying Israel remains “committed to the status quo there.”