Prime Minister Yair Lapid tells UN General Assembly that Iran will only be stopped with credible military threat
Israel’s Prime Minister Yair Lapid addresses the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly at the UN headquarters in New York City on September 22, 2022. / (photo credit: TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images))
The future Palestinian state that will exist next to Israel must be peaceful and not terror-based, Prime Minister Yair Lapid told the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday afternoon, just before returning to Israel.
“If that condition is met then the best path forward is “an agreement with the Palestinians, based on two states for two peoples,” Lapid said.
This “is the right thing for Israel’s security, for Israel’s economy and for the future of our children.”
His statement about a future Palestinian state and his affirmation of a two-state resolution to the conflict, markers the strongest language that an Israeli premier has used with regard to Palestinian sovereignty since the days of former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. It is the first since 2016 that an Israeli leader has spoken of the two-state solution when addressing the UNGA.
“Despite all the obstacles, still today a large majority of Israelis support the vision of this two-state solution. I am one of them,” Lapid said.
“We have only one condition: That a future Palestinian state will be a peaceful one.
That it will not become another terror base from which to threaten the well-being, and the very existence of Israel,” Lapid said.
“Peace is not a compromise. It is the most courageous decision we can make.
Lapid arrived in New York on Tuesday morning to join the world leaders gathered for the high-level opening sessions of the 77th UNGA. He arrived at a time when it appeared that US President Joe Biden’s efforts to revive the 2015 Iran deal had come to a standstill. In his meetings with the world leaders and the in his speech to the plenum, Lapid said that the time had come to abandon that document and to negotiate a new deal.
“The only way to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, is to put a credible military threat on the table,” Lapid said.
“And then – and only then – to negotiate a Longer and Stronger deal with them.
“It needs to be made clear to Iran, that if it advances its nuclear program, the world will not respond with words, but with military force.
“Every time a threat like that was put on the table in the past, Iran stopped, and retreated,” Lapid said.
He linked Iran’s threats to annihilate the Jewish state with Holocaust in which six million Jews were killed.
Lapid swore that Israel would do everything it could to safeguard its citizens and to stop Iran destroying its state.
‘We will do whatever it takes: Iran will not get a nuclear weapon. We will not stand by while there are those who try to kill us. Not again. Never Again,” he said.
Lapid charged that was fueling global and regional terrorism, particularly against Israel and that the UN had failed to act when faced with this threat.
“Iran has declared time and time again that it is interested in the “total destruction” of the State of Israel.
“And this building is silent,” Lapid said evoking the accusation often made against the global community that also stood silent during the Holocaust.
This is not the only way the United Nations had failed Israel, Lapid said. It has allowed its institution to be used as a platform by which to spread falsehoods against the Jewish state.
Israel is not a “guest in this building,” Lapid said, explaining that “Israel is a proud sovereign nation” and “an equal member of the United Nations.
The United Nations actions toward Israel could be construed as antisemitism, Lapid said.
“Antisemitism is the willingness to believe the worst about the Jews, without questioning. Antisemitism is judging Israel by a different standard than any other country,” Lapid said.
He ended on a note of hope by referencing the Abraham Accords, under whose rubric Israel normalized ties with four Arab countries, the United Arab Emirates, Morocco, Bahrain and Sudan in 2020.
He called on other Muslim and Arab countries to also normalize ties with Israel.
Israel seeks peace with our neighbors.
“We call upon every Muslim country — from Saudi Arabia to Indonesia — to recognize that, and to come talk to us. Our hand is outstretched for peace.”