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Netanyahu: Threat Iran Poses 'to All of Us is Not Behind Us, It's Before Us'

(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu predicted in his address to the United Nations General Assembly today that “the days when UN ambassadors reflexively condemn Israel, those days are coming to an end.”

But he spared no withering criticism for the world body, reminding members that what was “begun as a moral force has become a moral farce.”

“What I’m about to say is going to shock you: Israel has a bright future at the UN,” he began the speech. “Now I know that hearing that from me must surely come as a surprise, because year after year I’ve stood at this very podium and slammed the UN for its obsessive bias against Israel. And the UN deserved every scathing word – for the disgrace of the General Assembly that last year passed 20 resolutions against the democratic state of Israel and a grand total of three resolutions against all the other countries on the planet.”

Netanyahu called the UN Human Rights Council a “joke” and noted that the UN’s Commission on Women condemned only Israel this year — “Israel, where women fly fighter jets, lead major corporations, head universities, preside – twice – over the Supreme Court, and have served as speaker of the Knesset and prime minister.”

He touted the diplomatic, economic and security relationships Israel has with various nations outside of the UN framework, underscoring that “world leaders increasingly appreciate that Israel is a powerful country with one of the best intelligence services on earth.”

“Because of our unmatched experience and proven capabilities in fighting terrorism, many of your governments seek our help in keeping your countries safe,” he said. “…Governments are changing their attitudes towards Israel because they know that Israel can help them protect their peoples, can help them feed them, can help them better their lives.”

Netanyahu said he had one key message for the delegates: “Lay down your arms. The war against Israel at the UN is over.”

“Perhaps some of you don’t know it yet, but I am confident that one day in the not too distant future you will also get the message from your president or from your prime minister informing you that the war against Israel at the United Nations has ended. Yes, I know, there might be a storm before the calm. I know there is talk about ganging up on Israel at the UN later this year. Given its history of hostility towards Israel, does anyone really believe that Israel will let the UN determine our security and our vital national interests?” he continued.

He noted that “if the UN spends so much time condemning the only liberal democracy in the Middle East, it has far less time to address war, disease, poverty, climate change and all the other serious problems that plague the planet.”

“Are the half million slaughtered Syrians helped by your condemnation of Israel? The same Israel that has treated thousands of injured Syrians in our hospitals, including a field hospital that I built right along the Golan Heights border with Syria. Are the gays hanging from cranes in Iran helped by your denigration of Israel? That same Israel where gays march proudly in our streets and serve in our parliament, including I’m proud to say in my own Likud party. Are the starving children in North Korea’s brutal tyranny, are they helped by your demonization of Israel? Israel, whose agricultural knowhow is feeding the hungry throughout the developing world?” Netanyahu said. “The sooner the UN’s obsession with Israel ends, the better. The better for Israel, the better for your countries, the better for the UN itself.”

The prime minister asked Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas if he wants to “continue to stoke hatred as you did today or you can finally confront hatred and work with me to establish peace between our two peoples.”

Abbas told the UN that “there is a collective responsibility upon you to ensure that 2017 is the year of ending the occupation.”

Abbas accused Netanyahu of ethnic cleansing and racial discrimination, and vowed to introduce a UN Security Council resolution opposing “the terror of the settlers against the Palestinian people.”

Netanyahu invited Abbas “to speak to the Israeli people at the Knesset in Jerusalem — and I would gladly come to speak to the Palestinian parliament in Ramallah.”

He emphasized that the “greatest threat to my country, to our region, and ultimately to our world remains the militant Islamic regime of Iran.”

“The threat Iran poses to all of us is not behind us, it’s before us. In the coming years, there must be a sustained and united effort to push back against Iran’s aggression and Iran’s terror,” Netanyahu said. “With the nuclear constraints on Iran one year closer to being removed, let me be clear: Israel will not allow the terrorist regime in Iran to develop nuclear weapons – not now, not in a decade, not ever.”