Netanyahu Vows Strong Response to Ahmadinejad

Israeli Leader Will Address Verbal Attacks From Iran

By Reuters

Published September 26, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday promised a tough response at the United Nations to the latest verbal attacks on Israeli by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and said he was determined to stop Iran developing nuclear weapons.

Before boarding a flight to New York to address the annual U.N. General Assembly, Netanyahu issued an open letter to Israelis marking the end of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, the most sacred holiday in the Jewish calendar.

“On the question of Iran, we are all united in the goal of preventing Iran from achieving nuclear weaponry. On the day on which we pray to be inscribed in the Book of Life, a stage was given to the tyrannical regime of Iran which seeks at every opportunity to sentence us to death,” Netanyahu said.

“On Yom Kippur eve, sacred to the Jewish people, the Iranian tyrant chose to call publicly before all of the world for us to vanish. This is a black day for those who chose to remain in the auditorium and hear these hateful words.”

The Israeli leader did not name any U.N. member state in particular. The United States delegation chose not to attend Ahmadinejad’s General Assembly speech, while other allies of Israel walked out.

“In statements I will make before representatives of the nations at the U.N. General Assembly, they will hear our response. As prime minister of Israel, the state of the Jewish people, I am working in every way in order that Iran does not have nuclear weaponry,” Netanyahu said.

“History proves that those who wanted to wipe us off the map failed in that objective, while the Jewish people overcame all obstacles.”

Jews believe that between Rosh Hashana (the Jewish new year) and Yom Kippur, God decides who will be inscribed in the Book of Life, meaning who will not die in the coming year.

Ahmadinejad’s speeches in the U.N. forum included a prediction that Israel would be “eliminated”.

On Wednesday, with Israelis observing a solemn silence for Yom Kippur, he told the Assembly that Iran was under a “continued threat by the uncivilized Zionists to resort to military action against our great nation”.

Iran denies working in secret to develop nuclear weapons, saying that it is building a peaceful atomic power capability. Israel and its main ally the United States have repeatedly said they will not permit Tehran to build the bomb.

Netanyahu’s senior advisers privately shrug off Ahmadinejad’s incendiary rhetoric, saying he has no policy-making role in Iran’s nuclear development programme.

On Tuesday, U.S. President Barack Obama told the U.N. Assembly that time was running out to find a diplomatic solution to the Iranian nuclear issue. “The United States will do what we must to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon,” he said.

That statement went no further than his previously stated position, appearing to ignore calls from Netanyahu urging that Washington must now set clear red lines for Iran, beyond which military action would be taken.

Relations between the men are strained. Netanyahu’s office said Obama had declined a request to meet this week, but the two leaders were expected to speak by telephone.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • "We know what it means to be in the headlines. We know what it feels like when the world sits idly by and watches the news from the luxury of their living room couches. We know the pain of silence. We know the agony of inaction."
  • When YA romance becomes "Hasidsploitation":
  • "I am wrapping up the summer with a beach vacation with my non-Jewish in-laws. They’re good people and real leftists who try to live the values they preach. This was a quality I admired, until the latest war in Gaza. Now they are adamant that American Jews need to take more responsibility for the deaths in Gaza. They are educated people who understand the political complexity, but I don’t think they get the emotional complexity of being an American Jew who is capable of criticizing Israel but still feels a deep connection to it. How can I get this across to them?"
  • “'I made a new friend,' my son told his grandfather later that day. 'I don’t know her name, but she was very nice. We met on the bus.' Welcome to Israel."
  • A Jewish female sword swallower. It's as cool as it sounds (and looks)!
  • Why did David Menachem Gordon join the IDF? In his own words: "The Israel Defense Forces is an army that fights for her nation’s survival and the absence of its warriors equals destruction from numerous regional foes. America is not quite under the threat of total annihilation… Simply put, I felt I was needed more in Israel than in the United States."
  • Leonard Fein's most enduring legacy may be his rejection of dualism: the idea that Jews must choose between assertiveness and compassion, between tribalism and universalism. Steven M. Cohen remembers a great Jewish progressive:
  • BREAKING: Missing lone soldier David Menachem Gordon has been found dead in central Israel. The Ohio native was 21 years old.
  • “They think they can slap on an Amish hat and a long black robe, and they’ve created a Hasid." What do you think of Hollywood's portrayal of Hasidic Jews?
  • “I’ve been doing this since I was a teenager. I didn’t think I would have to do it when I was 90.” Hedy Epstein fled Nazi Germany in 1933 on a Kinderstransport.
  • "A few decades ago, it would have been easy to add Jews to that list of disempowered victims. I could throw in Leo Frank, the victim of mob justice; or otherwise privileged Jewish men denied entrance to elite universities. These days, however, we have to search a lot harder." Are you worried about what's going in on #Ferguson?
  • Will you accept the challenge?
  • In the six years since Dothan launched its relocation program, 8 families have made the jump — but will they stay? We went there to find out:
  • "Jewish Israelis and West Bank Palestinians are witnessing — and living — two very different wars." Naomi Zeveloff's first on-the-ground dispatch from Israel:
  • This deserves a whistle: Lauren Bacall's stylish wardrobe is getting its own museum exhibit at Fashion Institute of Technology.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.