Saturday, September 29, 2012

Ari Shavit - The pot calling the kettle black . Why doesn’t Ari Shavit interview Bernard Lewis, Raphael Israeli or Matthias Kuntzel?

In his latest article in THE COUNTDOWN series titled  Iran is here, Ari Shavit writes: There are no good people and bad people in the face of Natanz, only those who see and those who are blind”.  

Thirteen people were interviewed for the series: Moshe Ya’alon, Isaac Ben-Israel, Yehezkel Dror, Uzi Arad, Giora Eiland, Kobi Richter, Yossi Beilin, Ephraim Sneh, Efraim Halevy, Tzachi Hanegbi, Amos Yadlin, a former senior official from the Atomic Energy Agency and a well-known decision-maker.”

Ari Shavit  is among the blind. He is among the blind because of the thirteen people whom he interviewed NONE were scholars of  Islam.  When PM Netanyahu in his speech to the UN General Assembly  quoted   Bernard Lewis "He said that for the Ayatollahs of Iran, mutually assured destruction is not a deterrent, it’s an inducement"   how many Israelis  knew what he was talking about?  Very few.  Very few because Ari Shavt failed to interview the only people who really know the magnitude of the Iranian threat.    

Ari Shavit continues..
 “He [Netyanyahu] did not make the required political moves to accord his government domestic legitimacy. Even as he engaged in brinkmanship vis-a-vis Iran, he also engaged in brinkmanship vis-a-vis the United States, the Israeli security establishment and local public opinion. Suddenly, therefore, the tables were turned. Instead of Iran being perceived as an evil power undermining the world order, Israel began to be perceived as a crazy state threatening world peace.”
And why does the world perceive Israel as a crazy state threatening world peace?  Precisely because the world press, including Ari Shavit, refused to discuss  Shia eschatology, the Mahdi and the Twelvers, and refused to interview scholars  who would have informed them.  
Ari Shavit writes.”  Instead of the United States and Israel working together against Iran, the United States and Israel began to work against each other."
What Ari Shavit omits is to explain how is Nathayhu supposed to trust the Obama administration which supports the Muslim Brotherhood, the most anti-Semitic and anti American organization?   Here is former federal prosecutor  Andrew McCarthy on the Obama administration  and the Muslim brotherhood.
Ari Shavit should  pack his bags and fly to Philadelphia and interview Bernard Lewis instead of  complaining how everyone is blind.  

Ari Shavit's final countdown: Iran is here

Something went terribly wrong with the Netanyahu strategy of blocking Iranian nuclearization. The threat is as daunting as ever, but stopping it has become increasingly complicated

It’s clear: one way or another, Iran is going to change our lives. If Iran becomes a nuclear power, Israel will be forced to become a fortress state with high walls around it in order to stand fast in a nuclearized, radicalized Middle East that will pose a threat to its very existence. There will be no chance for peace and no prospect of normality: we will become as Sparta. If Israel tries to curb Iran by means of a military attack, it will find itself in a missile war that will strike at the home front as the home front has never been struck before. Israeli society will undergo a severe trauma for which it is unprepared, morally or mentally.
If it is the United States that finally stops Iran by the use of force, that move will likely exact high prices from Israel. To counterbalance a violent assault against a Muslim power, the United States will have to engage in political acts against the Jewish state which are liable to damage Israeli security assets. It follows that the question of Iran is not an abstract strategic issue but a question of real life. The answer to that question is going to influence the way of life and the course of life of each and every one of us. Iran is not out there somewhere, beyond the hills of darkness; Iran is here, in every bar in Tel Aviv and in every housing project in Be’er Sheva and in every moshav in the Galilee.
The problem of Iran is not an ideological problem and not a moral problem − it is an attentiveness problem. There are no good people and bad people in the face of Natanz, only those who see and those who are blind. The far-reaching implications of the challenge posed by Iran’s nuclear project were known a decade ago. Already a decade ago it was clear that Israel’s cardinal mission was not to arrive at a bomb-or-bombing crossroads. But Israel refused to internalize the Iranian challenge.
The strategic establishment addressed it and the intelligence community coped with it, but the broad public repressed it. As the Iranian threat did not entail an immediate price or concrete consequences, it remained amorphous. It was not part of the political debate or the public discourse. It had no concrete place in our concrete life. The psychological difficulty of looking head-on at Iran brought about a situation in which the good decade, in which it was possible to stop Iran without resorting to force, was allowed to slip by.
The attentiveness deficit was not confined to Israel. By the middle of the last decade, all the Western intelligence agencies were already quite familiar with the Iranian nuclear project. All the leaders in the West understood that Iran was seriously threatening the United States, Europe and the entire world order. But Western public opinion was not capable of coping with the challenge, either psychologically or conceptually. The Western elites turned their back on Iran.
The Western leaders therefore lacked a political context which would enable them to act with determination against Iran. Because the Iranian threat was not a tomorrow-morning thing, dealing with it was put off and fudged. No crippling sanctions were imposed on Iran in time. No deal was struck with Russia so that Iran could be subjected to a true political-economic blockade. Khamenei was not presented with a credible ultimatum of nuclearization or survival. For the past decade, Tehran has faced a weak and flaccid West which has been unable to block Iran’s nuclear project.
The attentiveness problems of both Israel and the West stemmed from the same source: the intoxication of success. For 40 years, the Israelis have lived quite a good life under the safety net which Dimona cast over them. For that very reason, they are not aware of the great debt they owe to Israel’s regional strategic monopoly. Nor are they aware of the jolting consequences liable to ensue if the monopoly is shattered.
The Americans and Europeans are in the same boat: for the past 67 years they have lived a life of peace and wellbeing under the safety net cast over them in the form of the West’s overwhelming nuclear superiority. For that very reason they are not aware of the great debt they owe to that situation of superiority, which ensures that they do not face a concrete nuclear threat. Nor are they aware of the jolting consequences liable to ensue if Western strategic superiority is undercut and a Shiite nuclear threat emerges, which will have a direct effect on the good life in Paris, Berlin, London and New York.
So, the Iranian nuclear issue is like a baobab tree. In its early stages of its growth there was no difficulty in chopping it down. But in the advanced stages there was no general mobilization to fell it. The disparity between Iranian stamina and Israeli and Western lethargy played into the hands of the Iranians. The disparity between the focus, tenacity and sophistication of the ayatollahs, and the lack of focus, lack of tenacity and the lassitude of the democracies allowed the clerics of darkness to get the best of the enlightened statesmen. As a result of the attentiveness deficit of Israel and of the West, there was no timely political prevention and no timely economic prevention.
Another result was that a belief developed in the power of clandestine prevention which was as naive as it was false. Owing to a severe blindness, brought on by a deep mental and cultural weakness, the baobab tree was not uprooted in the years when uprooting was possible. Instead of curbing Iran, the United States became entangled in Iraq and Afghanistan. Israel was preoccupied with settlements instead of being preoccupied with centrifuges. Europe froze as though crippled. Both the international community and the Jewish state watched the horrifying tree of the Iranian nuclear project growing before their eyes, helpless to stunt its growth.
Thus, Benjamin Netanyahu’s great contribution to the struggle against the Iranian nuclear project was to inject attentiveness. In contrast to many others, Bibi understood Iran, internalized Iran and was totally focused on Iran. From the day he entered the Prime Minister’s Bureau it was clear that the mission of his life was to thwart Iranian nuclearization. With that end in mind, he formed the odd coalition with Ehud Barak. To block the Iranian nuclear project he capitulated to the ultra-Orthodox, neglected the economy and ignored social problems. To block the Iranian nuclear project, he created an Israeli military option in which vast financial resources were invested. To block the Iranian nuclear project, he made sophisticated use of the military option.
Indeed, during 2011 and at the beginning of 2012 the Netanyahu strategy produced impressive results. After long years of do-nothingness, the Iranian issue rose to the top of the global agenda. The West woke up. The United States promised to prevent a nuclear Iran and prepared a military capability which can actualize that commitment. Europe imposed harsh sanctions on Iran. Not for fear of Ahmadinejad, but for fear that Netanyahu would strike at Ahmadinejad the international community started to place obstacles in the way of the Iranian president.
However, at a certain point something went awry. Netanyahu went too far and overdid the pressure. He did not try to persuade the West but only threatened the West. He did not make the necessary political concessions to accord Israel international legitimacy. He did not make the required political moves to accord his government domestic legitimacy. Even as he engaged in brinkmanship vis-a-vis Iran, he also engaged in brinkmanship vis-a-vis the United States, the Israeli security establishment and local public opinion. Suddenly, therefore, the tables were turned. Instead of Iran being perceived as an evil power undermining the world order, Israel began to be perceived as a crazy state threatening world peace.
Instead of the United States and Israel working together against Iran, the United States and Israel began to work against each other. Instead of a wedge being driven between the government and the people in Tehran, a wedge was driven between the government and the people in Tel Aviv. Netanyahu became completely isolated. The pistol with which he threatened Iran and threatened the world had no bullets.
Netanyahu’s strategy was based on two fundamental concepts. One was the Iranian zone of immunity (which obliges action against Iran before it succeeds in implanting its nuclear project deep underground where it will be invulnerable). The second was the Israeli zone of immunity (which was the only period of time in which Israel could act against Iran without the United States blocking it). Netanyahu believed that the two zones of immunity brought about a situation in which zero hour was now. Only in the summer-autumn of 2012 would it still be possible to stop Iran. Only in the summer-autumn of 2012 would an Israeli action be possible, both operationally and politically. If Israel did not vanquish Iran this year, it would not be able to do so in the coming years, Netanyahu believed. The country’s fate would no longer be in its own hands but in the hands of others.
No one knows whether Netanyahu and Barak truly intended to attack this year or whether they intended to parlay the attack at the last minute into a firm international commitment that would render an attack superfluous. However, it is perfectly clear that Netanyahu, at least, planned to bring the crisis to a peak before the American presidential elections. Those who think that the prime minister tried to topple President Obama are mistaken. Netanyahu tried to exploit the political vulnerability of candidate Obama to recruit him willy-nilly for the campaign against Iran. But that goal, too, eluded Netanyahu. Beginning in the spring, the American president stopped heeding his threats. The hold-me-back strategy boomeranged. International attentiveness was again lost. The Israeli zone of immunity that Netanyahu tried to build with such great labor collapsed on his head.
Four months ago, Haaretz Magazine launched the Countdown series of articles. The series was intended to serve as a platform for a high-quality, untainted, businesslike discussion of the Iranian issue. It tried to go beyond militancy and beyond passions and beyond the personal squabbles in order to present Haaretz readers with a broad range of thoughts about Iran. Thirteen people were interviewed for the series: Moshe Ya’alon, Isaac Ben-Israel, Yehezkel Dror, Uzi Arad, Giora Eiland, Kobi Richter, Yossi Beilin, Ephraim Sneh, Efraim Halevy, Tzachi Hanegbi, Amos Yadlin, a former senior official from the Atomic Energy Agency and a well-known decision-maker. Two or three vigorously supported an attack, three firmly opposed an attack and the others expressed complex viewpoints.
However, the majority of the interviewees agreed that the hub of Israel’s Iranian strategy must be close cooperation with the United States. Almost all the interviewees agreed that cooperation of this sort was not achieved in the past few years and that a supreme effort must be made to achieve it in the immediate future. Even though the majority of the interviews suggested implicitly that Netanyahu and Barak took a sharp and focused view of the Iranian challenge, they also suggested that the two had focused inordinately on the Israeli military option. They failed to prepare world and Israeli public opinion for a clash with Iran and they did not prepare Israel properly for the ordeal ahead.
The Iran decision is probably the most difficult that Israel will have to make in this generation. In a number of senses it resembles the Dimona decision. As with Dimona, so with Iran: the risks are enormous in either direction. As with Dimona, so with Iran: a distinctive combination of boldness, responsibility and creativity is required. Cooperation is needed with the Western powers, but at the same time Israel must be able to stand up to the Western powers. It is necessary to mobilize all the national resources, devise singular solutions and exercise wise and far-sighted leadership. However, while young Israel displayed model behavior regarding Dimona, when it came to Natanz and Fordow, adult Israel behaved awkwardly and confusedly. Tremendous deeds were done. There was professional excellence. However, the state as a state did not mobilize all its abilities and all its skills to cope properly with the existential threat.
Accordingly, as of now, the Iranian nuclear project has not been foiled politically, not been foiled economically and not been foiled clandestinely. Accordingly, as of now, under present conditions, to foil the Iranian nuclear project militarily appears adventurist and inapplicable. The likelihood is growing that in the years ahead the burden of foiling the Iranian nuclear project will pass from Israel’s hands to those of the United States (which may or may not act). The risk is growing that Israel’s efforts to block Iranian nuclearization will come to naught.
The summer of 2011 was a summer of protest; the summer of 2012 was a summer of dread. Toward the end of the summer the dread faded. The more the public discussion about the Iranian issue seethed, the less likely it came to seem that Israel would strike at Iran already this year. However, the truth is that no one knows what the truth is. Not even the prime minister and the defense minister. The Iranian challenge has not diminished. On the contrary: The risks embodied in Iranian nuclearization have not lessened; they have intensified. So the countdown has not yet ended. It will be renewed when the cloud of uncertainty evaporates and Israel will again face the dilemma of its very existence.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Reaction to Netanyahu’s UN speech from John Bolton and General Jack Kaene

Joining me now to the reaction to the prime minister’s Netanyahu’s address  -- two men with extensive foreign policy and military experience -  John Bolton, who of course is the former US ambassador to the United Nations and a Fox News contributor and general Jack Keane who's a retired four star general, former vice chief of staff of the army and a Fox News military analyst.
You have some interesting thoughts on this.  Number one, general, you were saying a shift in the timing, in terms of what the prime minister views as the ultimate date on Iran's nuclear weapons program.
Well, the prime minister consistently has been saying we are we're out of time and a number of months ago he said we have six to eight months left and I think now pushing that time line back to the spring or summer of next year is probably a little closer to where our current administration has it, I think our administration is actually beyond that time frame, but he has clearly moved closer to where this administration is that we do have more time.
And also you mentioned we, saw the prop that he had, you know,  he actually busted up the prop,  with the bomb and the fuse  which does make you pay attention, I mean,  some of us will think it's a little hokey,  but it makes you pay attention, all three of us started looking.
And seems to be drawing the Red Line at they can't get beyond 90% uranium enrichment?

Yeah, I was surprised by that. I think if I was drawing that red line I’d  draw it to when they begin to move to highly enriched uranium for weaponization, in other words, when you go from 20% to 90% you begin to move towards that and that I think gives you that weapon and why wait until they’ve  completed it ,is where he's drawing that red line, if I understand what he is saying -- I think the use of that graphic is brilliant,  to get people to understand  what's really taken places here, in such a complicated sophisticated subject, he's broken it  down I think so that any person can understand.
It reminds me of Saturday morning cartoons, that's how the bombs would look with a little fuse- anyone can get what he's trying to show us.

Ambassador Bolton -- your thoughts on this subject

Well I thought he made one very important point that people don't understand and that is that the economic sanctions may have caused Iran pain economically but they have not stopped or  materially impeded the nuclear weapons program.
So, you can have sanctions till the cows come home. North Korea is the most heavily sanctioned country on Earth, bar none, and it is already exploded two nuclear devices.
And I think that's an important argument to make because people are prone to say just why don’t we just toughen the sanctions up a little bit.
Under his timeline, under the Netanyahu timeline the sanctions are not gonna bring Iran to its knees before they have crossed his red line, so I thought that point was important to make and I think people need to understand that especially if military action follows.
Where I think he made a mistake was on the Red Line I think I agree with Jack on that point. You know, the Security Council of the vaunted United Nations set a red line in 2006. It said stop all uranium enrichment activities.  And Iran has blown right past that red line effectively with no consequences for its nuclear weapons program. So to me the very concept of a red line - it has dubious effect because the Iranians have seen previous red lines repeatedly ignored
We’ve seen in this country somewhat of a debate about what we should be doing with respect to Iran's nuclear program and we heard a lot of it during the Republican primary quite frankly. Ron Paul was saying what business is it of ours. If  Iran wants to develop a nuclear weapon and that's its business and we have no right to tell them no.
When we were listening to the prime minister you knew at one point his speech he was going to get to a quote from Bernard Lewis, and he did and the quote was something the effect of - for the Ayatollahs mutually assured destruction is not a deterrent to getting nuclear weapons it's an inducement to getting and using them.
Right, if you prize life in the hereafter more than you prize life on Earth the threat of being destroyed isn't going to deter you -- one thing you can say about the Communists during Cold War days is they were atheists they knew they were only going around once in life and they weren't about to throw it way too quickly.
That's not a calculus that applies to Iran and that's why the entire notion that it would be bad if Iran got nuclear weapons but we could contain and deter a nuclear Iran is delusional, very dangerous and even if I'm completely wrong on that, it doesn't stop with Iran, as secretary of state Clinton herself has said Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey and perhaps others will get nuclear weapons as well making an already volatile region even more dangerous.
Yeah, I totally agree I think one of the great values of the speech was laying out the true threat of radical Islam and it not just threatens Israel, it threatens the world because of what their objectives are and we have a nation state of the espouses that as well and wants a nuclear weapon and a thirty year history here of terrorism killing us. I mean the last commander we had in Iraq believes that the Shiite militia, sponsored by the Iranians, trained by the Iranians in Iran,   given weapons by the Iranians, killed close to two thousand of our 4400 American  dead. Plus blew up two embassies plus blew up two barracks and then this nation takes on a nuclear weapon. I think his characterization of that threat and what that means not just of the region but to the world is absolutely clear. One of the best presentations I've seen on the subject

Thank you both so much. I appreciate you being here.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

At the UN General Assembly Netanyahu quotes Bernard Lewis on MAD

It’s a pleasure to see the General Assembly presided by the Ambassador from Israel, and it’s good to see all of you, distinguished delegates.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Three thousand years ago, King David reigned over the Jewish state in our eternal capital, Jerusalem. I say that to all those who proclaim that the Jewish state has no roots in our region and that it will soon disappear.
Throughout our history, the Jewish people have overcome all the tyrants who have sought our destruction. It’s their ideologies that have been discarded by history.
The people of Israel live on. We say in Hebrew Am Yisrael Chai, and the Jewish state will live forever.
The Jewish people have lived in the land of Israel for thousands of years. Even after most of our people were exiled from it, Jews continued to live in the land of Israel throughout the ages. The masses of our people never gave up the dreamed of returning to our ancient homeland.
Defying the laws of history, we did just that. We ingathered the exiles, restored our independence and rebuilt our national life. The Jewish people have come home.
We will never be uprooted again.
Yesterday was Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish year.
Every year, for over three millennia, we have come together on this day of reflection and atonement. We take stock of our past. We pray for our future. We remember the sorrows of our persecution; we remember the great travails of our dispersion; we mourn the extermination of a third of our people, six million, in the Holocaust.
But at the end of Yom Kippur, we celebrate.
We celebrate the rebirth of Israel. We celebrate the heroism of our young men and women who have defended our people with the indomitable courage of Joshua, David, and the Maccabees of old. We celebrate the marvel of the flourishing modern Jewish state.
In Israel, we walk the same paths tread by our patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. But we blaze new trails in science, technology, medicine, agriculture.
In Israel, the past and the future find common ground.
Unfortunately, that is not the case in many other countries. For today, a great battle is being waged between the modern and the medieval.
The forces of modernity seek a bright future in which the rights of all are protected, in which an ever-expanding digital library is available in the palm of every child, in which every life is sacred.
The forces of medievalism seek a world in which women and minorities are subjugated, in which knowledge is suppressed, in which not life but death is glorified.
These forces clash around the globe, but nowhere more starkly than in the Middle East.
Israel stands proudly with the forces of modernity. We protect the rights of all our citizens:  men and women, Jews and Arabs, Muslims and Christians – all are equal before the law.
Israel is also making the world a better place: our scientists win Nobel Prizes. Our know-how is in every cell-phone and computer that you’re using. We prevent hunger by irrigating arid lands in Africa and Asia.
Recently, I was deeply moved when I visited Technion, one of our technological institutes in Haifa, and I saw a man paralyzed from the waist down climb up a flight of stairs, quite easily, with the aid of an Israeli invention.
And Israel’s exceptional creativity is matched by our people’s remarkable compassion. When disaster strikes anywhere in the world – in Haiti, Japan, India, Turkey Indonesia and elsewhere – Israeli doctors are among the first on the scene, performing life-saving surgeries.
In the past year, I lost both my father and my father-in-law. In the same hospital wards where they were treated, Israeli doctors were treating Palestinian Arabs. In fact, every year, thousands of Arabs from the Palestinian territories and Arabs from throughout the Middle East come to Israel to be treated in Israeli hospitals by Israeli doctors.
I know you’re not going to hear that from speakers around this podium, but that’s the truth. It’s important that you are aware of this truth.
It’s because Israel cherishes life, that Israel cherishes peace and seeks peace.
We seek to preserve our historic ties and our historic peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan. We seek to forge a durable peace with the Palestinians.
President Abbas just spoke here.
I say to him and I say to you:
We won’t solve our conflict with libelous speeches at the UN. That’s not the way to solve it. We won’t solve our conflict with unilateral declarations of statehood.
We have to sit together, negotiate together, and reach a mutual compromise, in which a demilitarized Palestinian state recognizes the one and only Jewish State.
Israel wants to see a Middle East of progress and peace. We want to see the three great religions that sprang forth from our region – Judaism, Christianity and Islam – coexist in peace and in mutual respect.
Yet the medieval forces of radical Islam, whom you just saw storming the American embassies throughout the Middle East, they oppose this.
They seek supremacy over all Muslims. They are bent on world conquest. They want to destroy Israel, Europe, America. They want to extinguish freedom. They want to end the modern world.
Militant Islam has many branches – from the rulers of Iran with their Revolutionary Guards to Al Qaeda terrorists to the radical cells lurking in every part of the globe.
But despite their differences, they are all rooted in the same bitter soil of intolerance. That intolerance is directed first at their fellow Muslims, and then to Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, secular people, anyone who doesn’t submit to their unforgiving creed.
They want to drag humanity back to an age of unquestioning dogma and unrelenting conflict.
I am sure of one thing. Ultimately they will fail. Ultimately, light will penetrate the darkness.
We’ve seen that happen before.
Some five hundred years ago, the printing press helped pry a cloistered Europe out of a dark age. Eventually, ignorance gave way to enlightenment.
So too, a cloistered Middle East will eventually yield to the irresistible power of freedom and technology. When this happens, our region will be guided not by fanaticism and conspiracy, but by reason and curiosity.
I think the relevant question is this: it’s not whether this fanaticism will be defeated. It’s how many lives will be lost before it’s defeated.
We’ve seen that happen before too.
Some 70 years ago, the world saw another fanatic ideology bent on world conquest. It went down in flames. But not before it took millions of people with it. Those who opposed that fanaticism waited too long to act. In the end they triumphed, but at an horrific cost.
My friends, we cannot let that happen again.
At stake is not merely the future of my own country. At stake is the future of the world. Nothing could imperil our common future more than the arming of Iran with nuclear weapons.
To understand what the world would be like with a nuclear-armed Iran, just imagine the world with a nuclear-armed Al-Qaeda.
It makes no difference whether these lethal weapons are in the hands of the world’s most dangerous terrorist regime or the world’s most dangerous terrorist organization. They’re both fired by the same hatred; they’re both driven by the same lust for violence.
Just look at what the Iranian regime has done up till now, without nuclear weapons.
In 2009, they brutally put down mass protests for democracy in their own country. Today, their henchmen are participating in the slaughter of tens of thousands of Syrian civilians, including thousands of children, directly participating in this murder.
They abetted the killing of American soldiers in Iraq and continue to do so in Afghanistan. Before that, Iranian proxies killed hundreds of American troops in Beirut and in Saudi Arabia. They’ve turned Lebanon and Gaza into terror strongholds, embedding nearly 100,000 missiles and rockets in civilian areas. Thousands of these rockets and missiles have already been fired at Israeli communities by their terrorist proxies.
In the last year, they’ve spread their international terror networks to two dozen countries across five continents – from India and Thailand to Kenya and Bulgaria. They’ve even plotted to blow up a restaurant a few blocks from the White House in order to kill a diplomat.
And of course, Iran’s rulers repeatedly deny the Holocaust and call for Israel’s destruction almost on a daily basis, as they did again this week from the United Nations.
So I ask you, given this record of Iranian aggression without nuclear weapons, just imagine Iranian aggression with nuclear weapons. Imagine their long range missiles tipped with nuclear warheads, their terror networks armed with atomic bombs.
Who among you would feel safe in the Middle East? Who would be safe in Europe? Who would be safe in America? Who would be safe anywhere?
There are those who believe that a nuclear-armed Iran can be deterred like the Soviet Union.
That’s a very dangerous assumption.
Militant Jihadists behave very differently from secular Marxists. There were no Soviet suicide bombers. Yet Iran produces hordes of them.
Deterrence worked with the Soviets, because every time the Soviets faced a choice between their ideology and their survival, they chose their survival.
But deterrence may not work with the Iranians once they get nuclear weapons.
There’s a great scholar of the Middle East, Prof. Bernard Lewis, who put it best. He said that for the Ayatollahs of Iran, mutually assured destruction is not a deterrent, it’s an inducement.
Iran’s apocalyptic leaders believe that a medieval holy man will reappear in the wake of a devastating Holy War, thereby ensuring that their brand of radical Islam will rule the earth.
That’s not just what they believe. That’s what is actually guiding their policies and their actions.
Just listen to Ayatollah Rafsanjani who said, I quote:  ”The use of even one nuclear bomb inside Israel will destroy everything, however it would only harm the Islamic world.”
Rafsanjani said: “It is not irrational to contemplate such an eventuality.”
Not irrational…
And that’s coming from one of the so-called moderates of Iran.
Shockingly, some people have begun to peddle the absurd notion that a nuclear-armed Iran would actually stabilize the Middle East.
Yeah, right…
That’s like saying a nuclear-armed Al-Qaeda would usher in an era of universal peace.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I’ve been speaking about the need to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons for over 15 years.
I spoke about it in my first term in office as Prime Minister, and then I spoke about it when I left office. I spoke about it when it was fashionable, and I spoke about it when it wasn’t fashionable.
I speak about it now because the hour is getting late, very late. I speak about it now because the Iranian nuclear calendar doesn’t take time out for anyone or for anything. I speak about it now because when it comes to the survival of my country, it’s not only my right to speak; it’s my duty to speak. And I believe that this is the duty of every responsible leader who wants to preserve world peace.
For nearly a decade, the international community has tried to stop the Iranian nuclear program with diplomacy.
That hasn’t worked.
Iran uses diplomatic negotiations as a means to buy time to advance its nuclear program.
For over seven years, the international community has tried sanctions with Iran. Under the leadership of President Obama, the international community has passed some of the strongest sanctions to date.
I want to thank the governments represented here that have joined in this effort. It’s had an effect. Oil exports have been curbed and the Iranian economy has been hit hard.
It’s had an effect on the economy, but we must face the truth. Sanctions have not stopped Iran’s nuclear program either.
According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, during the last year alone, Iran has doubled the number of centrifuges in its underground nuclear facility in Qom.
At this late hour, there is only one way to peacefully prevent Iran from getting atomic bombs. That’s by placing a clear red line on Iran’s nuclear weapons program.
Red lines don’t lead to war; red lines prevent war.
Look at NATO’s charter: it made clear that an attack on one member country would be considered an attack on all.  NATO’s red line helped keep the peace in Europe for nearly half a century.
President Kennedy set a red line during the Cuban Missile Crisis. That red line also prevented war and helped preserve the peace for decades.
In fact, it’s the failure to place red lines that has often invited aggression.
If the Western powers had drawn clear red lines during the 1930s, I believe they would have stopped Nazi aggression and World War II might have been avoided.
In 1990, if Saddam Hussein had been clearly told that his conquest of Kuwait would cross a red line, the first Gulf War might have been avoided.
Clear red lines have also worked with Iran.
Earlier this year, Iran threatened to close the Straits of Hormouz. The United States drew a clear red line and Iran backed off.
Red lines could be drawn in different parts of Iran’s nuclear weapons program. But to be credible, a red line must be drawn first and foremost in one vital part of their program: on Iran’s efforts to enrich uranium. Now let me explain why:
Basically, any bomb consists of explosive material and a mechanism to ignite it.
The simplest example is gunpowder and a fuse. That is, you light the fuse and set off the gunpowder.
In the case of Iran’s plans to build a nuclear weapon, the gunpowder is enriched uranium. The fuse is a nuclear detonator.
For Iran, amassing enough enriched uranium is far more difficult than producing the nuclear fuse.
For a country like Iran, it takes many, many years to enrich uranium for a bomb. That requires thousands of centrifuges spinning in tandem in very big industrial plants. Those Iranian plants are visible and they’re still vulnerable.
In contrast, Iran could produce the nuclear detonator – the fuse – in a lot less time, maybe under a year, maybe only a few months.
The detonator can be made in a small workshop the size of a classroom. It may be very difficult to find and target that workshop, especially in Iran. That’s a country that’s bigger than France, Germany, Italy and Britain combined.
The same is true for the small facility in which they could assemble a warhead or a nuclear device that could be placed in a container ship. Chances are you won’t find that facility either.
So in fact the only way that you can credibly prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, is to prevent Iran from amassing enough enriched uranium for a bomb.
So, how much enriched uranium do you need for a bomb? And how close is Iran to getting it?
Let me show you. I brought a diagram for you. Here’s the diagram.
This is a bomb; this is a fuse.
In the case of Iran’s nuclear plans to build a bomb, this bomb has to be filled with enough enriched uranium. And Iran has to go through three stages.
The first stage: they have to enrich enough of low enriched uranium.
The second stage: they have to enrich enough medium enriched uranium.
And the third stage and final stage: they have to enrich enough high enriched uranium for the first bomb.
Where’s Iran? Iran’s completed the first stage. It took them many years, but they completed it and they’re 70% of the way there.
Now they are well into the second stage. By next spring, at most by next summer at current enrichment rates, they will have finished the medium enrichment and move on to the final stage.
From there, it’s only a few months, possibly a few weeks before they get enough enriched uranium for the first bomb.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
What I told you now is not based on secret information. It’s not based on military intelligence. It’s based on public reports by the International Atomic Energy Agency. Anybody can read them. They’re online.
So if these are the facts, and they are, where should the red line be drawn?
The red line should be drawn right here…………..
Before Iran completes the second stage of nuclear enrichment necessary to make a bomb.
Before Iran gets to a point where it’s a few months away or a few weeks away from amassing enough enriched uranium to make a nuclear weapon.
Each day, that point is getting closer. That’s why I speak today with such a sense of urgency. And that’s why everyone should have a sense of urgency.
Some who claim that even if Iran completes the enrichment process, even if it crosses that red line that I just drew, our intelligence agencies will know when and where Iran will make the fuse, assemble the bomb, and prepare the warhead.
Look, no one appreciats our intelligence agencies more than the Prime Minister of Israel. All these leading intelligence agencies are superb, including ours. They’ve foiled many attacks. They’ve saved many lives.
But they are not foolproof.
For over two years, our intelligence agencies didn’t know that Iran was building a huge nuclear enrichment plant under a mountain.
Do we want to risk the security of the world on the assumption that we would find in time a small workshop in a country half the size of Europe?
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The relevant question is not when Iran will get the bomb. The relevant question is at what stage can we no longer stop Iran from getting the bomb.
The red line must be drawn on Iran’s nuclear enrichment program because these enrichment facilities are the only nuclear installations that we can definitely see and credibly target.
I believe that faced with a clear red line, Iran will back down.
This will give more time for sanctions and diplomacy to convince Iran to dismantle its nuclear weapons program altogether.
Two days ago, from this podium, President Obama reiterated that the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran cannot be contained.
I very much appreciate the President’s position as does everyone in my country. We share the goal of stopping Iran’s nuclear weapons program. This goal unites the people of Israel.  It unites Americans, Democrats and Republicans alike and it is shared by important leaders throughout the world.
What I have said today will help ensure that this common goal is achieved.
Israel is in discussions with the United States over this issue, and I am confident that we can chart a path forward together.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The clash between modernity and medievalism need not be a clash between progress and tradition.
The traditions of the Jewish people go back thousands of years.  They are the source of our collective values and the foundation of our national strength.
At the same time, the Jewish people have always looked towards the future. Throughout history, we have been at the forefront of efforts to expand liberty, promote equality, and advance human rights.
We champion these principles not despite of our traditions but because of them.
We heed the words of the Jewish prophets Isaiah, Amos, and Jeremiah to treat all with dignity and compassion, to pursue justice and cherish life and to pray and strive for peace.
These are the timeless values of my people and these are the Jewish people’s greatest gift to mankind.
Let us commit ourselves today to defend these values so that we can defend our freedom and protect our common civilization.
Thank you.