As if no agreement had been signed between the world powers and Iran, and with the same old threatening rhetoric, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dedicated a large part of his speech on Dec.18 at the Likud Party convention to the Iranian nuclear program. His bottom line hasn’t changed either: Israel will not accept a nuclear bomb.
This was an anachronistic speech, lacking in vision, and most of all, detached from the international reality created after the signing of the Iranian Geneva deal on Nov. 24. The significance of the interim agreement is that in the next few months, at least until negotiations over a final agreement, the world powers are giving diplomacy a chance, calming the tone and halting the threats. Only in Netanyahu’s world has time been frozen. Not only on the Iranian front, but also on the Palestinian question. Netanyahu spoke as if US-sponsored negotiations haven’t been taking place in the last few months and declared, with a nod to the extreme right, “We won’t stop building the land for a minute.”