Sunday, January 21, 2007
Netanyahu: Aim to bring down Hamas
Opposition leader says Israel should aim to bring down Hamas government, urges Jewish community to promote awareness of Iranian threat
"Opposition leader MK Benjamin Netanyahu (Likud) on Sunday told the Herzliya Conference that Israel should aim for the overthrow of the Hamas government, which he described as a part of the axis of radical Islamic forces threatening the country's security. Only by toppling the Hamas government can Israel and the Palestinians hope to achieve peace and good neighborly relations, Netanyahu added.
Netanyahu expressed concern that the strengthening of radical Islamic forces was met with silence, and warned against the consequences of the realignment, which he called “a dangerous move”.
‘Expose Iranian regime’s ugliness’
The Likud leader called on the international community to stop investing in Iran in order to prevent genocide. Netanyahu said it was best to minimize talks about Israel's self-defense capabilities, but added that it was time to launch an international campaign "to isolate and delegitimize Iran." He said that the "extremist regime" in Tehran "is sowing the seeds for its own destruction."
"Iran is vulnerable, it doesn't allow economic growth," said Netanyahu. He cited growing voices within Iran opposing Ahmadinejad's regime. "Most doors can be closed in the face of Ahmadinejad… The key is the delegitimizing of the regime, with economic and political pressure," Netanyahu said.
"I want to call on the world that didn't stop the Holocaust last time to stop the Holocaust this time," he added.[There we Go Again! Milk The Holocaust!]
Comparing modern day Iran to Nazi Germany, Netanyahu said, "In 1937, we didn't have a state. Today, we have a state and can defend ourselves against Iran's anti-Semitism, not only militarily, but also through public opinion. Iran can be stopped."
He also urged the Jewish community to do its share in recruiting international support. “No one will stand behind the Jews if they do not stand up for themselves,” Netanyahu said.
According to Netanyahu, it was a small but significant effort that would expose the Iranian regime in “all its ugliness” and convince people to expel it. He said that the initiative was already picking up speed, and announced that he would visit the British Parliament next week in order to promote further awareness of the Iranian threat.
'Prepare backup military solution'
Speaking to Ynetnews, Knesset Member Effie Eitam (National Union-National Religious Party) was less shy than Netanyahu when it came to discussing Israel's military options.
"I think its now beyond a shadow of a doubt that Iran is accelerating a project for a nuclear bomb, planned at aimed at the State of Israel, and to bring the whole democratic free world on its knees," he said.
"If we can stop Iran by a focused international effort, everyone will bless that. But parallel to that, Israel must make sure a military solution is clearly prepared, and must be affected if the point of no return is passed, as a last resort."
"Israel is capable of dealing with this problem militarily," Eitam said, adding that the ideal scenario would involve a US-led military coalition. "But if that effort will fail, Israel can, and has to defend itself (alone)."
Raanan Gissin, a senior advisor to former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, and currently a Strategic Consultant at the Interdisciplinary Center, told Ynetnews he was optimistic over the chances of dealing with the Iranian threat through an international coalition of "potential victims" of Iran's destructive policies.
"Iran is very sensitive over its international stance. A coalition of potential victims who want to stop and isolate Iran can come together," Gissin said. He added that such a coalition could see Israel take the lead of a coalition which included Egypt, Jordan, and the Gulf States, united against the Iranian threat.
Gissin expressed skepticism over reports that Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei was pushing Ahmadinejad to soften the country's nuclear stance, saying it was an "illusion" designed to play for time. "