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Netanyahu Vs. the Shadow of Annihilation

McConnell’s plan of action, which received many very enthusiastic standing ovations, was followed by former House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi. You had to feel sorry for the woman who reiterated President Obama’s plea to have patience and let sanctions work, and then reminded the audience of everything the Democrats had done to support Israel over the years, and went on to tell the story of her family’s commitment to a Jewish homeland before Israel existed. All this was appreciated, but after McConnell it fell rather flat. Indeed, her plea that “Iran must abandon the reckless pursuit of nuclear weapons” sounded so lame, that it made her appear to be giving endorsement to McConnell’s very strong argument, since she literally said nothing to show she believed any teeth should be applied to Iran at all, outside of continuing with current administration policy.

When Prime Minister Netanyahu finally took the podium to thunderous applause, he spoke not just as a politician and the head of Israel, but as the historical memory and leader of the Jewish people. He reminded his audience that in every generation people sought the annihilation of the Jews and now that threat was represented by Iran. But this time it was different, now the Jews had ceased to be the powerless people incapable of stopping the Holocaust. They had their own state that could and would protect them.

Praising Obama for understanding that American policy is not one of “containment,” Netanyahu went on to emphasize that “those who seek our destruction cannot have the means to obtain that goal.” Proceeding to criticize the words of pundits who say either that the world can live with an Iranian bomb, or that Iran can be deterred, the prime minister continued: “Responsible leaders should not bet the security of their country on the most dangerous regime whose leaders will use the most dangerous weapons” against their proclaimed enemies. He asked everyone to consider one question:  If a regime seizes embassies, stones women to death, kills gays, gives support to Assad, and foments the terrorism of Hamas and Hezbollah, and  does this before even getting the bomb, what would it do once it obtained it? Instead of talking about the great costs of stopping them, he said, one has to talk about the cost of not stopping them.“I promise you,” he said, “as Israel’s prime minister I will never gamble with the security of Israel.”