By Asher Intrater
Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke this week in the United States Congress warning of the danger of Iran’s current regime obtaining nuclear weapons. The speech lasted 45 minutes, had 107 mentions of Iran, was interrupted 36 times by applause, 23 times accompanied with standing ovations (Yediot, 4-3). Netanyahu referred to the Bible twice: once comparing the current situation with the book of Esther (amazingly the speech took place on the eve of Purim); and the other referring to Moses telling the people of Israel to be strong and courageous.
Netanyahu emphasized that any type of an agreement that would remove sanctions at this time would eventually result in nuclear armament. He also emphasized that the Khamenei government is openly supportive of Jihad and actively funds terrorist groups throughout the world. Sanctions are an extremely effective tool, which risk no lives, do not lead to military conflict, weaken the regime of the Ayatollahs, lessen terrorist funding worldwide and hinder the development of nuclear weapons.
Any agreement would be virtually impossible to enforce. Most estimates state that the impending agreement would allow for 6,500 centrifuges now, and up to 10,000 at the end of 10 years. Netanyahu commented that 10 years may seem like a long time, but in the light of history, it is extremely short.
Much of the press criticized him, as well as top political leaders, both in Israel and around the world. However, in my opinion, many people felt that he told the truth, and were glad that he did so. A surprising expression of support for Netanyahu’s position came from the “Al Arabia”– the newspaper close to the Saudi Arabian government. Their lead editorial article praised Netanyahu and said he correctly understood the situation with Iran much better than U.S. President Obama (Ma’ariv, 5-3).