Excerpted from JPOST: Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu stressed Sunday that he would not diverge from his warnings against Iran’s disputed nuclear ambitions.
In a trade of barbs with his predecessor Ehud Olmert over Israel’s approach to the Iran issue, Netanyahu said he would continue to defend Israeli interests.
“In contrast to others, when I see that the vital security interests of Israeli citizens are at stake, I will not shut up,” he said following critical remarks made by Olmert. However, Netanyahu highlighted Israel’s relations with the US. “We always remember that the US has been, remains and always will be Israel’s greatest friend”.
“It is very easy to keep quiet. It is easy to receive pats on the shoulder from the international community, to bow one’s head, but I am committed to the security of my people,” he stated. “I am committed to the future of my country, and in contrast to periods in the past, we have a loud and clear voice among the nations and we will make it heard in order to warn – in time – against dangers”.
Earlier Sunday, Olmert lashed out at Netanyhau, accusing him of publicly attacking the US, and in particular President Barack Obama, over the American role in reaching an interim nuclear deal in Geneva last Sunday. Olmert compared Netanyahu’s criticism of the US to a declaration of war, and he suggested a different approach to Israel’s diplomatic role in preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.
“We have declared war on the US. That cannot be disputed,” he said, adding that Israel needs to be kept from anything that might be interpreted as a “fight” with its closest ally.