Netanyahu hits at Iran deal 'disinformation'

2015-08-04 22:09
(Dan Balilty, AP)

(Dan Balilty, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Washington - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hit out at "disinformation" from supporters of the Iran nuclear deal on Tuesday, personally calling on US Jewish groups to thwart the White House-backed agreement.

In a webcast hosted by Jewish American groups and broadcast to 10 000 people, Netanyahu hit out at unnamed opponents who misrepresented the deal and Israel's stance against it.

His intervention coame amid a fierce battle with US President Barack Obama.

Netanyahu has infuriated the White House by actively opposing what Obama sees as a way to avoid a military conflagration with Iran and a signature foreign policy achievement of his presidency.

But Netanyahu insisted the dispute was "not about me and it is not about President Obama, its about the deal".

"The more people know about the deal the more they oppose it," he added, arguing that the "most outrageous" lie was that those opposing the deal wanted war.

He described that as "utterly false," saying that "we are the front lines".

"This is not a partisan issue in Israel. It should not be a partisan issue in the United States."

And he sought to reassure his audience that the United States and Israel would survive the latest policy rift, "as we have in the past".

The deal is designed to curb Iran's nuclear programme in return for international sanctions relief.

Netanyahu said that would not prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, but would "pave the way" for it and legitimise its leadership.

The webcast was hosted by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organisations and the Jewish Federations of North America.

Obama was himself expected to host Jewish leaders at the White House later on Tuesday.

Ferocious battle for public opinion

Obama has previously deployed chief lieutenants to make the diplomatic, military and technical case for the deal, ahead of a crunch vote in Congress.

A "no" vote would not automatically kill the deal, but it would force Obama to issue a veto and to rally enough Democratic votes to uphold it.

That has prompted a ferocious battle for public opinion, including within the Jewish community.

Key Democrats, such New York Senator Charles Schumer, have yet to voice their opinion on the deal in public.

Schumer's public agnosticism reflects the deep divisions the deal has caused with America's politically attuned Jewish community.

Groups like right-leaning AIPAC and left-leaning J-Street have engaged in a multi-million-dollar public relations face-off.

Meanwhile federations, individual organisations, Rabbis and Rabbinical assemblies are being pressed to take a stance.

With weeks to go before the congressional vote, lobbying efforts look set to intensify further.

Read more on:    benjamin netanyahu  |  barack obama  |  israel  |  us  |  iran  |  nuclear deal
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Lockdown For
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.