Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Breaking News

Benjamin Netanyahu Takes Iran Campaign to Western Wall

Israeli Prime Benjamin Netanyahu took his campaign against a nuclear deal with Iran to Jerusalem’s sacred Western Wall on Saturday, on the eve of his departure to Washington to address Congress on the issue.

His rare pilgrimage to one of Judaism’s holiest sites was highly symbolic – and political – an apparent attempt by Netanyahu, two weeks before a national election, to portray a U.S. visit, that has brought relations with Washington to a new low, as crucial to Israel’s survival.

Using the perimeter wall of the destroyed Biblical Jewish temple as a backdrop and wearing a black skullcap, he said: “The agreement being formed between Iran and the powers, can endanger our existence.

“In the face of such an agreement we must unite and explain the dangers it poses to Israel, to the region and to the entire world.”

Netanyahu has come under almost unprecedented criticism from the U.S. administration and in Israel for his planned speech to Congress on Tuesday, as international talks with Iran are under way to secure a deal on Teheran’s nuclear program.

Washington hopes a deal with Iran will ensure the Islamic Republic is unable to develop nuclear weapons. Tehran denies it has any nuclear arms program and often points out that Israel is apparently the only country in the region with such weapons.

On Wednesday U.S. officials questioned Netanyahu’s judgment and said his outspoken condemnation of efforts to reach an Iranian deal had injected destructive partisanship into U.S.-Israeli ties.

“I respect U.S. President Barack Obama,” Netanyahu said at the Western Wall where earlier he placed his palms on the stones in whose crevices faithful place written messages to God.

“I believe in the strength of Israel’s relations with the U.S. and through them we shall overcome these differences, as well as those to come,” he said.

Republicans who control Congress invited Netanyahu without consulting Obama or other leading Democrats. The president said he would not meet Netanyahu because of the visit’s proximity to the Israeli election.

Engage

  • Events

    Haart to Haart

    Virtual

    Dec 7, 2022

    7 pm ET · 

    A conversation with Julia Haart and her son Shlomo, stars of Netflix's 'My Unorthodox Life,' about the new season and much more.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.