The Prime Minister’s Office on Friday night released a clip of Benjamin Netanyahu drafting text for the address on Iran’s nuclear program he is set to deliver to a meeting of both houses of Congress on Tuesday.
The clearly staged footage, showing Netanyahu writing text with a thick blue pen, was screened on Israel’s Channel 2.
Earlier Friday, Netanyahu said flatly that he was headed to Washington next week in a bid to stop the emerging nuclear deal between Iran and international world powers, an agreement he has said poses a potential existential threat to Israel.
In his most direct statements to date against the deal, Netanyahu told Kol Barama, a haredi radio station, that he was “going to the US to try to stop the emerging agreement that is a danger to the State of Israel.”
Israel’s Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon told Channel 2 that the looming deal was a “bad” one, and that there was a “vast gulf” between the Israeli government and the Obama Administration when it came to the Iran issue.
“This is an historic moment,” Ya’alon said, and Netanyahu was obligated to seek to win over Congress. History would judge the Israeli leadership badly, he said, “if we don’t stand up for ourselves.”
“It is my duty as Israeli prime minister, and as one who looks out for the future of the Jewish people, to do everything possible to convince the sole body [Congress] capable of perhaps preventing such a deal,” Netanyahu said.
“When the issue at hand is our very existence, what is expected of a prime minister? Should he bow down and accept the danger for the sake of a relationship?” he asked.
A nuclear Iran is much more dangerous to Israel than disagreements with the United States, added Netanyahu.