Washington, DC – Yesterday at the UN General Assembly, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu again chose to ignore Israel’s real strategic existential threat and instead to focus on Iran.
Netanyahu could have taken up the challenge posed by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who recommitted to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and by President Donald Trump, who belatedly expressed a personal preference for such an outcome.
Israeli security and policy experts have repeatedly asserted that the ongoing conflict with the Palestinians is the only existential threat to Israel’s future as a liberal democracy and a national homeland for the Jewish people.
Rather than offering a vision to resolve the conflict and moving to seriously engage with the Palestinian leadership in peace negotiations, Netanyahu again chose saber-rattling, as he does every year at his UNGA speech. Yet again, tragically, Netanyahu chose belligerent populism over constructive diplomacy, serving his electoral interests rather than the national security interests of Israel.
Israel has legitimate concerns regarding Iran and its nuclear ambitions.
The international community has worked out a mechanism to address Iran’s nuclear quest. If in fact Israel has discovered a new nuclear facility in Tehran, Israel should submit its evidence to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for inspections. The inspection and verification mechanisms enshrined in the Iran nuclear deal are the best tools to prevent the emergence of a nuclear Iran.
As the sister-organization of the Israeli peace movement Shalom Achshav (Peace Now), Americans for Peace Now will continue to focus American and international attention on what really ails Israel and threatens its future – its conflict with the Palestinians.