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Bridget Johnson


September 30, 2013 - 12:42 pm

Meeting to talk about, in President Obama’s words, “these hectic times” before Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses the United Nations tomorrow, the PM reminded POTUS that Iran “is committed to Israel’s destruction.”

Obama began the pool spray with reporters by reminding everyone that he’d finally visited Israel. “I think I’ve had the pleasure of hosting him more often than just about any other world leader, and hopefully this will provide just some small measure of repayment for the wonderful visit that I had in Israel this spring,” he said.

Obama then waxed about a restarted peace process in the Middle East and about “testing” diplomacy with Tehran.

“What I also shared with the Prime Minister is that, because of the extraordinary sanctions that we have been able to put in place over the last several years, the Iranians are now prepared, it appears, to negotiate,” said Obama, fresh off his Friday phone call to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. “We have to test diplomacy. We have to see if, in fact, they are serious about their willingness to abide by international norms and international law and international requirements and resolutions. And we in good faith will approach them, indicating that it is our preference to resolve these issues diplomatically.”

Alluding to Washington’s impending government shutdown, Netanyahu noted to Obama “there are many things on your plate, but I know that you know and the American people know that there is no better ally — more reliable, more stable, more democratic — other than Israel in a very raw, dangerous place.”

“For Israel, the ultimate test of a future agreement with Iran is whether or not Iran dismantles its military nuclear program.  We have a saying in Hebrew, we call it mivchan hatotza’a — you would say it in English, what’s the bottom line? And the bottom line, again, is that Iran fully dismantles its military nuclear program,” the prime minister continued.

“…It is Israel’s firm belief that if Iran continues to advance its nuclear program during negotiations, the sanctions should be strengthened.  It’s the combination, I believe, that has guided your policy and our policy so far, that is good credible military threat and strong sanctions I think is still the only formula that can get a peaceful resolution of this problem.”

“We know that for peace to endure, it must be based on Israel’s capacity to defend itself, by itself,” Netanyahu added.

Before departing Jerusalem, Netanyahu vowed to “speak the truth” before the UN General Assembly.

“I will present our rights as a nation, our determination to defend ourselves and our hopes for peace. I will speak the truth. Facts must be stated in the face of the sweet talk and the blitz of smiles,” he said. “I intend to focus on the issue of stopping Iran’s nuclear program. The way to stop Iran’s nuclear program requires four steps: 1) Halting all uranium enrichment: 2) Removing all enriched uranium; 3) Closing Qom; and 4) Stopping the plutonium track.”

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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All Comments   (5)
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I remember enjoying your takes on your little furry pets. I wish you could do some more of those. News is so grim, PJMedia has to lighten up! How is your very tiny chihuahua anyway?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"Facts must be stated in the face of the sweet talk and the blitz of smiles,” - Netanyahu.
While Obama's playing community organizer with Iran and the Republicans; a real leader tells the truth. When Bibi speaks to the U.N. general assembly; I will take that as a final warning before the SHTF.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
One can only wonder at what Netanyahu thinks of all this. He knows he's facing the most powerful man in the world (in theory, at least)... and yet, in the past, he took the time, diplomatically, to give Obama a history lesson on live TV. (He looked like a grandfather dispensing friendly advice. Obama looked like he was swallowing a live toad.)

There must be a part of Netanyahu that wants to scream: "GROW UP, KID! You're way too old to be this naive."
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Either Obama is a fool (entirely possible) or is attempting to snooker the Iranian leader (not plausible IMO) with his attempt at a 'reset' with the Persians. Jawing on the phone for a few minutes with the Iranian leader may have convinced Obama he can get some traction on the nuclear weapons issues affecting the M.E. The Persian leader may also be convinced he can gain some time by jawing with Obama.

Care to guess which one my money is on?

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Closing Qom, that's a beautiful idea. I know he's talking about the nuclear facilities there but the town itself is nothing but a hotbed of Islamist ideology. It would be great if they could close it down, kick all the Mullahs, Clerics, and Imams completely out of the country.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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