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Evoking the Holocaust, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu characterized an Iranian acquisition of nuclear weapons as an “existential threat” to Israel (Screencap: Facebook)

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In a speech at the Yad Vashem Memorial Museum during Israel’s official Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that Israel would take measures to defend itself if the Iran nuclear deal was renewed.

“A deal with Iran that threatens us with annihilation will not obligate us,” Netanyahu warned. 

“Unlike in the past, today there is no one in the world that will deprive us of the right and the might to defend ourselves from an existential threat. The nuclear deal with Iran is once again on the table. Such deals with extreme regimes are worthless.” 

Netanyahu characterized an Iranian acquisition of nuclear weapons as an “existential threat” to Israel, cautioning even allies that his country was willing to fight.

“I say to our closest friends too: ‘A deal with Iran that paves Iran’s path to a nuclear weapon, a weapon that threatens us with annihilation, will not obligate us.’ Only one thing will obligate us: to prevent those who wish to destroy us from carrying out their plans.”

His speech comes at a moment when there is much speculation that US President Joe Biden could bring the United States back into the fold of the 2015 deal, initially conceived by the Obama administration. Biden has stated that he is ready to reverse the decision of his predecessor, Donald Trump to withdraw from the agreement and reimpose unilateral sanctions, deeply concerning Israel’s security interests.

Israel considers Iran to be an enemy state, citing the Ayatollah’s constant calls for Israel’s destruction, its support for anti-Israel militant groups in Lebanon and Gaza and its military presence in neighboring Syria. 

Echoing the memory of the Holocaust, “The Jewish people were defenseless in the face of the Nazis but are no longer so, and have every right to defend themselves from their enemies,” the 71 year old leader said.

Israel believes that Iran was not genuine in its implementation of the deal and worked toward a nuclear weapon while pledging not to do so; Tehran denies such ambitions.

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Netanyahu also eviscerated the International Criminal Court’s “outrageous” decision to investigate Israel for alleged war crimes against Palestinians. “The Jewish people were defenseless in the face of the Nazis but are no longer so, and have every right to defend themselves from their enemies” he argued.

The central theme of Holocaust Remembrance Day 2021 is “Until The Very Last Jew: Eighty Years Since The Onset Of Mass Annihilation”. Among the events planned is Zikaron BaSalon, in which half a million Israelis will hear directly from Holocaust survivors, at living room meetings across the Holy Land.

“During the Holocaust, we had neither the power to defend ourselves nor the sovereignty to do so,” Netanyahu reminded the crowd.

“Today we have a state, we have a defense force, and we have the full and natural right as the Jewish people’s sovereign state to defend ourselves from our enemies,” he boomed.

As tensions with Iran escalate, Israel has in recent months forged ties with Bahrain, Morocco and the United Arab Emirates, where Jewish communities were for the first ever time holding public Holocaust ceremonies.

“In these very moments, a museum in Dubai is holding a memorial event for Holocaust victims,” Netanyahu noted. “Who would have believed? … These are indications of a welcome change in the ties between Arabs and Jews, outside of Israel and inside the country too,” he said.

Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremonies will continue on Thursday, in memory of the six million Jews who perished.

Avi Kumar is a historian of Sri Lankan descent who lives in New York.

He has a unique spin on current affairs.

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Thank you for choosing TheJ.Ca as your source for Canadian Jewish News.

We do news differently!

Our positioning as a Zionist News Media platform sets us apart from the rest. While other Canadian Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas, TheJ.Ca is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

But we can’t do it alone. We need your HELP!

Our ability to thrive and grow in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters like you.

Monthly support is a great way to help us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make to support Jewish Journalism.

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Happy reading!

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