• September 26, 2009

Nuclear-armed Israel slams non-nuclear Iran

Nuclear-armed Israel slams non-nuclear Iran

Hardline Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the UN General Assembly Thursday that Iran’s alleged quest for nuclear weapons was the greatest danger the world faces, in what observers say is an untrue hypocritical remark.

Nuclear-armed Israel is the only country in the Middle East that actually has nuclear weapons.

Although Israel was created by a UN resolution over 60 years ago, it is known for its defiance of the international community, especially when concerning UN resolutions on it’s illegal occupation of Arab land.

The hardliner also used his address to the annual meetings of heads of state and government to blast the United Nations for its report criticizing Israel for using excessive force in its assault on the Gaza Strip eight months ago.

He unleashed a tirade against the findings of the UN probe into the Gaza assault, and warned it could affect how Israel reacts in the future towards the Palestinians.

He linked Israel’s willingness to make future concessions to the Palestinians, to how other nations react to the report.

While the UN investigation found that both Israel and Palestinian groups had committed war crimes and possible crimes against humanity, it reserved some of its harshest language for the actions taken by Israel against the civilian population in the densely-populated Gaza Strip.

Netanyahu also addressed Israel’s conflict with the Palestinians, saying again that he would accept a demilitarized Palestinian state alongside Israel, in reference to what is seen by critics as a ‘non-State’.

However, he offered no olive branches to the Palestinians and did not refer to calls by the Palestinians and the US to freeze illegal Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank and annexed Palestinian East Jerusalem.

A lone Palestinian delegate walked out as Netanyahu defended Israel’s December-January assault on the Gaza Strip that killed 1,400 mainly civilian Palestinians.

Netanyahu devoted much of his speech to Iran and its President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who he did not name, instead referring to him as “this man.”

He assailed the UN saying that allowing Ahmadinejad to address the assembly on Wednesday was a “disgrace.”

Israel’s prime minister slammed nations that did not join a walkout of Ahmadinejad’s UN speech.

Earlier Thursday Sweden defended the EU decision not to walk out, saying Ahmadinejad did not cross a “red line.”

“There were certain criteria set for when the EU would leave the room and those criteria were not fulfilled,” spokeswoman Cecilia Julin said.

The criteria agreed in New York before the Iranian leader spoke included denying the Holocaust, which Ahmadinejad did not do.

Iran insists it has the right to develop nuclear technology, which it says is aimed at generating energy for its growing population.

Although Iran has oil, it is still dependent on petrol imports to meet about 40 percent of domestic consumption.

Observers say due the strong Jewish and pro-Israel lobbies in the US and some European countries, these countries have taken a hypocritical stance in relation to nuclear issues in the region.

Tehran had repeatedly protested against Israeli and US war threats, warning them that it would retaliate in the event of any strike against Iran.

Ahmadinejad is not liked in Tel Aviv because of his strong criticism of the long and brutal Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories.

Ahmadinejad has repeatedly called for a democratic one-state solution for the Middle East conflict, which means that that Israel as a “colonial entity” or a “racist sate” will be “wiped off the map” and replaced by a state where Jews and Arabs live side by side peacefully and equally.

But Israeli officials and their media pundits kept misquoting the Iranian president, who has recently suggested that he even accepted the two-state solution, if it brings justice to all Palestinians.

After wiping Palestine off the map, Israel currently occupies the Palestinian West Bank and East Jerusalem; the Lebanese Shabaa Farms and the Syrian Golan Heights.

Israel is also imposing a blockade (land, air, and sea) on the Palestinian Gaza Strip, where 1.5 million people are facing a humanitarian crisis. The besieged Strip is still considered under Israeli occupation.