PM Netanyahu addresses UN General Assembly

PM Netanyahu's address to the UN General Assembly

    Copyright: UN Photo/Evan Schneider
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    PM Netanyahu addresses UN General Assembly PM Netanyahu addresses UN General Assembly Copyright: UN Photo/Evan Schneider
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: Thank you, Mr. President.

    I feel deeply honored and privileged to stand here before you today representing the citizens of the State of Israel. We are an ancient people. We date back nearly 4,000 years to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. We have journeyed through time. We've overcome the greatest of adversities.

    And we re-established our sovereign state in our ancestral homeland, the land of Israel.

    The Jewish people's odyssey through time has taught us two things: Never give up hope, always remain vigilant. Hope charts the future. Vigilance protects it.

    Today, our hope for the future is challenged by a nuclear-armed Iran that seeks our destruction. But I want you to know: that wasn't always the case. Some 2500 years ago, the great Persian King Cyrus ended the Babylonian exile of the Jewish people. He issued a famous edict in which he proclaimed the right of the Jews to return to the Land of Israel and rebuild the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. That's a Persian decree, and thus began an historic friendship between the Jews and the Persians that lasted until modern times.

    But in 1979, a radical regime in Tehran tried to stamp out that friendship. As it was busy crushing the Iranian people's hopes for democracy, it also led wild chants of "Death to the Jews!" Now, since that time, Presidents of Iran have come and gone. Some presidents were considered moderates, others hardliners. But they've all served that same unforgiving creed, that same unforgetting regime – that creed that is espoused and enforced by the real power in Iran, the dictator known in Iran as the Supreme Leader, first Ayatollah Khomeini and now Ayatollah Khamenei. President Rouhani, like the presidents who came before him is a loyal servant of the regime. He was one of only six candidates the regime permitted to run for office. Nearly 700 other candidates were rejected.

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