Bibi: Iran will ex­ploit with­drawals

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - BY DANIELLA PELED

OP­PO­SI­TION LEADER Binyamin Ne­tanyahu has warned that any Is­raeli with­drawals from the West Bank will re­sult in a power vac­uum that Iran will ex­ploit through proxy or­gan­i­sa­tions.

“The prom­ise of ad­di­tional Is­raeli with­drawals to­day is that if the IDF moves out, Ha­mas moves in — and so does Iran,” he told a Jerusalem press con­fer­ence on Wed­nes­day.

“We can stick to po­lit­i­cal cor­rect­ness and pre­tend this is not go­ing to be the case but it will be, be­cause of the en­demic weak­ness in Pales­tinian lead­er­ship and so­ci­ety.”

The Ira­nian quest for power was “not a lo­cal prob­lem, but a global prob­lem. Their goals are un­lim­ited,” he told re­porters at the Is­rael Project event.

“We, the civilised com­mu­nity of na­tions, must do ev­ery­thing in our power to pre­vent Iran be­com­ing a nu­clear power.

“Iran is gal­lop­ing to de­velop nu­clear weapons,” Mr Ne­tanyahu con­tin­ued, point­ing out that Ira­nian Pres­i­dent Mah­moud Ah­ma­nine­jad had just an­nounced that Iran would be de­vel­op­ing 6,000 new cen­trifuges at its nu­clear plant in Natanz.

“If it looks like a nu­clear pro­gramme, walks like a nu­clear pro­gramme, smells like a nu­clear pro­gramme, then it’s not a duck — it’s a nu­clear pro­gramme.”

Ear­lier in the day, Ma’ariv news­pa­per re­ported that Mr Ne­tanyahu had told an au­di­ence at Bar Ilan univer­sity that the 9/11 at­tacks had helped Is­rael.

“We are ben­e­fit­ing from one thing, and that is the at­tack on the Twin Tow­ers and Pen­tagon, and the Amer­i­can strug­gle in Iraq,” he was quoted as say­ing, adding that they had “swungAmer­i­can pub­lic opin­ion in our favour”.

Clar­i­fy­ing th­ese re­marks at the later press con­fer­ence, he said: “I was re­fer­ring to the shift in pub­lic opin­ion that had taken place in re­sponse to Septem­ber 11 and other events. The in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity be­gan to ap­pre­ci­ate the larger threat men­ac­ing all free so­ci­ety.”

PHOTO: VICKY AL­HAD­EFF

Warn­ing: Binyamin Ne­tanyahu

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