Benjamin Netanyahu slammed President Joe Biden’s administration during his final speech as Prime Minister on Sunday, saying the administration’s move to renew the Iran nuclear deal was akin to “US neglect of European Jews during the Holocaust.”
“The administration in Washington asked me not to discuss our disagreement on Iran publicly, but with all due respect, I can’t do that,” Netanyahu said. Those comments begin at 13:28 in the video of his full speech below:
The now former-Prime Minister said US working with Iran on a nuclear deal echoed former-President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s decision not to bomb the train tracks to Auschwitz when he had the chance.
“In 1944, at the height of the Holocaust, US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt refused to bomb the railway leading to the extermination camps and refused to bomb the gas chambers, which could have saved millions of our people. We hoped for others to save us, and they didn’t come. In the face of the threat of extermination, we were helpless,” Netanyahu explained. “Our voice was not heard among the nations. We had neither a state or an army. But today we do have a voice. We do have a state, and we do have defensive power.”
Netanyahu expressed concerns about Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s approach to Iran, saying he lacks “the international stature, the knowledge, the government [and] the public’s trust to be taken seriously when fighting the Iranian threat.”
“An Israeli prime minister has to be able to say no to the president of the US on matters that endanger our existence,” Netanyahu said. “I’ll be happy if this doesn’t come true, but from the moment the US returns to the Iran Deal, this government will not approve operations against Iran to stop their armament.”
According to Netanyahu, Iran is “celebrating” the new weak government in Israel, warning in English: “We’ll be back soon.”
He concluded the nearly 30-minute speech pledging to return to power.
“I have just one, modest request,” Netanyahu warned. “Try to ruin the economy that we are leaving you as little as possible so that we can fix it as quickly as possible when we return to power.”
The Jerusalem Post reported that Defense Minister Benny Gantz blasted Netanyahu for his comments, asserting that “no political move justified breaking ranks and creating a public dispute…with the US, our greatest friend.”
He promised to work with the Biden administration to strengthen US-Israel relations in order to ensure Iran does not obtain nuclear arms.
“We will make sure Israel has the military option to protect itself,” he added. “The policies that I led will continue and grow stronger in the current government.”
Bennett also condemned the US working with Iran, saying, “returning to the Iran Deal is a mistake that will once again give legitimacy to one of the most violent, darkest regimes in the world. Israel will not allow Iran to get nuclear weapons. Israel is not a party to the deal, and will maintain total freedom of action.”