Netanyahu cites Holocaust lesson in dealing with Iran

JERUSALEM Tue Jan 24, 2012 12:22pm EST

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gestures as he speaks during a special session marking the International Holocaust Remembrance Day in the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, in Jerusalem January 24, 2012. REUTERS/Baz Ratner

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gestures as he speaks during a special session marking the International Holocaust Remembrance Day in the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, in Jerusalem January 24, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Baz Ratner

Related Topics

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, citing the lessons of the Nazi Holocaust and the danger a nuclear-armed Iran, said on Tuesday that Israel must not shy from acting alone to thwart any threat to its existence.

Addressing parliament ahead of International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27, Netanyahu praised a European Union decision on Monday to place sanctions on Iranian oil exports.

"But on this day of international cooperation and an important achievement against Iran, I want to remind everyone of the main lesson of the Holocaust against our people - that ultimately when there is threat to our existence, we must not leave our fate in the hands of others," he said.

"When it is a question of our fate, it is our obligation to rely only on ourselves."

Israel has said a nuclear-armed Iran would pose a threat to the existence of the Jewish state and that all options were on the table in dealing with Tehran, which insists it is enriching uranium for electrical generation.

Israel's main ally, the United States, has voiced concern that Israel could attack Iran preemptively and deepen instability in an already volatile region. Last week, Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak said any decision about such a strike was "very far off."

In the speech, Netanyahu repeated his long-standing call for tougher sanctions against Iran coupled with a "credible military option" to dissuade Tehran from building nuclear weapons.

He signaled, however, that Israel was not about to give up on international diplomatic efforts to curb Iran's atomic ambitions.

Netanyahu said that one lesson of the Holocaust, in which 6 million Jews were killed during World War Two, was that Israel must "forge as many alliances in the world as possible" to act against any existential threat.

But he added: "We must not bury our heads in the sand. The Iranian regime calls openly for the destruction of Israel, and plans the destruction of Israel and acts for the destruction of Israel. The lesson says that the nations of the world must be awoken."

(Editing by Alison Williams)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see
Comments (5)
Yeah Netanyahoo, we’ve heard that line being repeated more than 6 million times before. You want to live in peace so does your neighbours the only problem is you keep threatening your Arab neighbours with consequences over and over again. Why don’t you start with your own backyard the Palestian people. It’s sad that you have to invoke the poor souls who were killed by an awful german regime of nazis. May peace be upon those who were slaughtered so inhumanely in WW11. Do not use this an excuse to further your own agenda, the unfortunate part is the “abusee” has become the “abussor”.

Jan 24, 2012 2:55pm EST  --  Report as abuse
rob1990 wrote:
What happened 70 years ago has no relevance in this situation. WW2, namely Germany, was Christian. They persecuted Jews, Roma, Gypsies, Russians, Poles, everybody. Except somewhere along the lines they left out the millions of Russian civilians who died and so all we here is “The holocaust only targeted Jews”. The holocaust was a direct result of WW2, it was an after thought when they realised they couldn’t keep millions of prisoners fed and watered.

Why should we help those that couldn’t defend themselves and willingly or forcefully boarded trains to be exterminated? 6 million just walked to their deaths because they wouldn’t put up a fight. That right there is them abandoning their freedom, forfeiting if you will.

Better yet, why should we help those same people who are doing the same thing to the Palestinians? The Jews were planted in the middle east because nobody wanted them. And then they get there and the prove to us why nobody wants them. They only wanted to destroy the Palestinians, and hey, with their friend the USA they had free reign over everything. We sent them guns, tanks, jets…nuclear weapons.

I’m sure somebody will call me an “anti-semitist”, but if they are entitled to their opinion and point of view, so am I. Religion will only bring the world to it’s knees again, and it is an outdated and totally irrelevant to modern society. If we want to advance, we must get rid of this burden from the past. Hell, if we ever want a form of “peace” around the world, it has to go.

Jan 24, 2012 4:43pm EST  --  Report as abuse
AlfredReaud wrote:
I wonder if the Prime Minister ever heard of Godwin’s Law.

Jan 24, 2012 6:19pm EST  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.