Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appealed directly to the American Jewish community Tuesday afternoon to oppose the nuclear agreement with Iran.
The deal gives Iran two paths to a bomb, Netanyahu told the more than 10,000 people who tuned into the web address put together by the Jewish Federations of North America and member organizations of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. “Iran could get to the bomb by keeping the deal, or Iran could get to the bomb by violating the deal.”
He spent much of his talk pushing back on criticisms levied against him by supporters of the deal. He specifically attacked the allegations made that war is the alternative to the deal reached by the P5+1 nations and Iran on July 14.
“We in Israel don’t want war, we want peace,” said Netanyahu. “The claim that we oppose this deal because we want war isn’t just false, it’s outrageous.”
The alternative to the current deal, he said, is no deal or a better deal. He refuted the claims that he wouldn’t accept any deal and that he had offered no alternative.
Netanyahu said that if the United States maintains its sanctions, the rest of the world will “come around” given the size of the United States’ economy compared to Iran’s.
“Don’t let the world’s foremost terrorist regime get its hands on the world’s most dangerous weapons,” Netanyahu concluded. “Oppose this bad deal.”
The White House countered the Israeli prime minister’s points, sending off infographics from the new @TheIranDeal Twitter account using the #JFedTalk hashtag during the talk. Marie Harf, senior advisor for strategic communications at the State Department, jumped into the online conversation tweeting out from her own account: “Fact: If we walk away from @TheIranDeal, we walk away alone. #JFedTalk.”
According to a White House email, President Barack Obama was scheduled to meet with American Jewish communal leaders Tuesday afternoon to discuss the Iran nuclear deal.