Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the annual gathering of world leaders at the UN General Assembly on Monday, warning the international community of the growing threat of militant Islam.
The prime minister jumped right in to tackling the issue of the increasing visibility and violence wrought by Islamist terrorists across the globe.
“Our hopes and the world’s hope for peace are in danger. Because everywhere we look, militant Islam is on the march,” Netanyahu said. “It’s not militants. It’s not Islam. It’s militant Islam.”
Netanyahu made clear that all people, regardless of race or religion, were threatened by Islamist terrorists. “Typically, its first victims are other Muslims, but it spares no one. Christians, Jews, Yazidis, Kurds – no creed, no faith, no ethnic group is beyond its sights. And it’s rapidly spreading in every part of the world,” he explained.
The prime minister reiterated that the “ultimate goal” of militant Islamists is to “dominate the world.” Likening the growth and strength of militant Islamists to cancer, Netanyahu warned, “left unchecked, the cancer grown, metastasizing over wider and wider areas. To protect the peace and security of the world, we must remove this cancer before it’s too late.”
Netanyahu singled out ISIS and Hamas, two terror organizations, who have proclaimed time and again that they “seek to impose” a caliphate run by Sharia law on the entire world. “So when it comes to their ultimate goals, Hamas is ISIS and ISIS is Hamas,” he said.
From Boko Haram in Nigeria to al-Qaeda across Malaysia and the Middle East, Netanyahu explained that all Islamist terror groups “all share a fanatic ideology.”
“They all seek to create ever-expanding enclaves of militant Islam where there is no freedom and no tolerance – where women are treated as chattel, Christians are decimated, and minorities are subjugated, sometimes given the stark choice: convert or die. For them, anyone can be an infidel, including fellow Muslims,” he said.
On Iran, Netanyahu warned that the Islamic Republic is the one place where “militant Islam will have the power to realize its unbridled ambitions.” The prime minister called out Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani, who Netanyahu said “shed crocodile tears over what he called ‘the globalization of terrorism’.”
Iran is a well-known sponsor of “global terror.” Recently, Iranian military leaders boasted of how they provided most of the weapons used by Hamas against Israel during the recent 50-day conflict against terrorists in the Gaza Strip.
“Maybe he should spare us those phony tears and have a word instead with the commanders of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards. He could ask them to call off Iran’s global terror campaign, which has included attacks in two dozen countries on five continents since 2011 alone,” Netanyahu stated.
The prime minister urged world leaders to impose heavier sanctions on the Islamic Republic and “fully dismantle” its nuclear program. He warned that should Iran possess the ability to produce nuclear weapons, there is no doubt that the weapons would end up in the hands of ISIS.
Netanyahu rightfully defended Israel’s actions during Operation Protective Edge, where “Hamas fired thousands of rockets at Israel, many of them supplied by Iran.” He highlighted Hamas’s use of Palestinian civilians as human shields, as well as the use of “UN schools, private homes, mosques, even hospitals to store and fire rockets at Israel.”
The prime minister slammed Israel’s critics who “fueled libelous charges that Israel was deliberately targeting civilians.”
“We deeply regret every single civilian casualty…No other country and no other army in history have gone through greater lengths to avoid civilian casualties among the civilian population of their enemies,” Netanyahu said.
Netanyahu applauded the “brave soldiers of the IDF” who “deserve not condemnation, but admiration. Admiration from decent people everywhere.”
However, the highlight of Netanyahu’s speech came when the prime minister called out the UN Human Rights Council for its hypocritical treatment of Israel right at the UN itself.
“By investigating Israel rather than Hamas for war crimes, the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has betrayed its noble mission to protect the innocent. In fact, what it’s doing is to turn the laws of war upside-down. Israel, which took unprecedented steps to minimize civilian casualties, Israel is condemned. Hamas, which both targeted and hid behind civilians – that a double war crime – Hamas is given a pass.”
“The Human Rights Council is thus sending a clear message to terrorists everywhere: Use civilians as human shields. Use them again and again and again. You know why? Because sadly, it works,” Netanyahu stated. “By granting international legitimacy to the use of human shields, the UN’s Human Rights Council has thus become a Terrorist Rights Council, and it will have repercussions.”
Netanyahu questioned why “nearly half” of the UNHRC’s resolutions “have been directed against Israel, the one true democracy in the Middle East – Israel. Where issues are openly debated…where human rights are protected…and minorities live in a genuinely free society.”
With no shame, Netanyahu said, “The Human Rights…that’s an oxymoron, the UN Human Rights Council, but I’ll use it just the same, the Council’s biased treatment of Israel is only one manifestation of the return of the world’s oldest prejudices…It’s called anti-Semitism.”
“For centuries the Jewish people have been demonized with blood libels and charges of deicide. Today, the Jewish state is demonized with the apartheid libel and charges of genocide,” Netanyahu said, referring to a speech given by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at the UN General Assembly.
Highlighting the irony of an organization that allows “a man who wrote a dissertation of lies about the Holocaust, and who insists on a Palestinian free of Jews, Judenrein,” Netanyahu questioned why Abbas would be allowed to “stand at this podium and shamelessly accuse Israel of genocide and ethnic cleansing.”
As the threat of anti-Semitism rears its ugly head among “polite society,” Netanyahu vowed that the Jewish people would “defend ourselves against our enemies” and “will expose their lies against us in the court of public opinion.”
“Israel will continue to stand proud and unbowed,” he added.
Closing off his speech and driving his point home, the prime minister echoed the ancient Biblical words of the prophet Isaiah, who “taught us nearly 3,000 years ago in Jerusalem to speak truth to power:”
“For the sake of Zion, I will not be silent. For the sake of Jerusalem, I will not be still. Until her justice shines bright, and her salvation glows like a flaming torch.”
“Let’s light a torch of truth and justice to safeguard our common future,” said Netanyahu.
To watch the full speech, click here.