Evoking the ancient fear among Jews of annihilation at the hands of their enemies, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Monday proclaimed “we have a voice,” saying the Jewish people will never again be passive in the face of threats to their existence.
“Those days are over,” Netanyahu said. “No more,” he declared, echoing the vow of “never again” Jews commonly use in reference to the Holocaust.
Netanyahu spoke during an appearance before AIPAC, the pro-Israel lobbying group. His remarks are a preview of those he will make Tuesday to Congress.
“Today we have a voice, and tomorrow as prime minister of the one and only Jewish state, I plan to use that voice,” he said. “American leaders worry about the security of their country,” he said. “Israeli leaders worry about the survival of their country.”
Showing a graphic he said depicted Iran’s training, arming and dispatching of terrorists on five continents, Netanyahu said Iranians’ “tentacles of terror” reached across the world.
“This is what Iran is doing now – without nuclear weapons. Imagine what Iran would do with nuclear weapons. And this same Iran vows to annihilate Israel. If it develops nuclear weapons, it would have the means to achieve that goal,” he said. “And as prime minister of Israel, I have a moral obligation to speak up in the face of these dangers while there is still time to avert them.”
Netanyahu said his appearance in Congress, arranged without the blessing of the White House, was not intended to show President Obama disrespect.
“My speech is not intended to show any disrespect to President Obama or the esteemed office that he holds. I have great respect for both,” he said, receiving, according to the Associated Press, a standing ovation from more than 15,000 pro-Israel supporters.