Israel wants to cooperate with the global powers on the Iran nuclear crisis but will do whatever is necessary to prevent Iran from launching a “second Holocaust.” That was the stark message delivered by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Berlin last week, even as Iran’s nuclear fuel levels approach the threshold for nuclear weapons. Iran would also need the capability to deliver nuclear weapons—such as via a warhead or bomb—technology it is not believed to possess yet. Still, that nuclear threshold looms.
“The Jewish people will not allow a second Holocaust. The Jewish state will do everything necessary to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. Period,” said Netanyahu in a press conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz last Thursday, according to an Israeli press release.
“Of course, we’d like to do that with the concert and support and cooperation of the civilized powers of the world, the United States, the E3 [United Kingdom, France and Germany]… We have to act against it now. We have to communicate to Iran that it should not cross that [nuclear] threshold or there will be heavy consequences. But again, Israel will do what Israel needs to do to defend itself against those who want to annihilate the Jewish state.”
Netanyahu doubled-down on that warning on Sunday, with a press release quoting him as telling the Israeli cabinet meeting that “as opposed to the past, today when we face the extremist regime in Tehran, which seeks to obliterate us from the face of the earth, we do everything necessary to defend ourselves.”
The ongoing strong words from Netanyahu come as Iran continues to make progress towards nuclear weapons capability. The major world powers want a resumption of the nuclear deal in which Iran would self-restrict its own nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief, but so far talks on a renewed deal have failed. Meanwhile, the Islamic Republic’s ability to enrich uranium for nuclear fuel has crossed well past civilian use and is approaching the 90% purity level needed for nuclear weapons.
“I think we need to take a strong stance today against Iran and its quest to cross into a nuclear threshold, and become a threshold state, basically a state that can produce nuclear weapons with the expressed desire to annihilate Israel,” said Netanyahu. “They say ‘Death to Israel; Death to the United States,’ and a danger to everyone in between. Everyone in between is Germany, the [European Union].”
Netanyahu delivered his comments on Thursday the same day he visited the location where the final group of Berlin Jews were sent to the death camp. “When you have such a fanatic ideology, that seeks to destroy the Jewish people completely, erase them from the face of the earth… We had no defense at the time,” said Netanyahu. “Today there is a fanatical regime that seeks to erase the one and only Jewish state, with over six million Jews in it, from the face of the earth. We have a defense and Israel will do what we have to do to defend ourselves.”
Despite the dire words, Netanyahu had hopeful comments as well—pointing to discussions around Israel providing the Arrow 3 missile defense system to Germany.
“This is a point of historical importance,” said Netanyahu on Thursday. “Seventy-eight years ago we were nothing, we were wind-tossed leaves sent to the ovens of destruction. Now, less than 80 years later, the representative of a sovereign Jewish state is talking to the leader of a new Germany, a different Germany, about having Israeli, the Jewish state’s defensive systems protect the skies of Germany.
“Germany is helping Israel; Israel is helping Germany.”
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, March 19, 2023)