In his final address to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee as a U.S. senator, Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) urged that the U.S. embassy be relocated to Jerusalem, and vowed to keep fighting to see that happen.
“The American embassy in Israel is still not where it belongs,” Lieberman said to loud cheers. “Jerusalem.”
“We will continue to fight for the day” when that happens, he said, and “that day I believe will come soon.”
President Obama has delayed the relocation of the embassy, authorized by a 1995 act of Congress. Obama has to update lawmakers every six months on the progress of relocation, which is still left up to the commander in chief.
Lieberman also stressed that military force may be needed — and should be used, if necessary — to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons capability.
“It is definitely within our power to stop Iran,” he said, but the question is “whether we will choose to stop them.”
Lieberman said the message to Tehran should be, “Either you peacefully negotiate an end to your illicit nuclear activities or they will be ended for you by military attack.”
“It’s time for us to make an iron-clad pledge which will be heard by both our friends and enemies,” he said. “By peaceful means if we can, but by military force if we absolutely must.”
The senator said that the Tehran regime’s days are “numbered” and urged action against the nuclear weapons program before it’s too late.
“The time for action is before Iran has crossed the line of capability to put together a nuclear weapon,” Lieberman said.
“If a nuclear-armed Iran is unacceptable… then we must prove that to the world,” he said. “The president said he doesn’t bluff and neither can we in Congress.”
Though retiring from the Senate at the end of this term, Lieberman said his pro-Israel activism will continue.
“Next year, I’m just leaving the Senate; I’m not retiring,” he said. “I will continue to stand with you as you have stood with me.”