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September 25, 2012

Obama’s Clarion Call on Stopping Iran at the 2012 United Nations General Assembly

Listed in: Israel, Fact Sheets, NJDC News

On September 25, 2012, President Barack Obama addressed the 2012 United Nations General Assembly. President Obama made it clear he is squarely committed to preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, and that he echoes the concerns of most Jews on a variety of issues impacting Israel and the Jewish people.

Excerpts of the President’s speech appear below and can be downloaded here as a pdf.

On preventing a nuclear-armed Iran:

Time and again, [Iran] has failed to take the opportunity to demonstrate that its nuclear program is peaceful, and to meet its obligations to the United Nations.

Let me be clear: America wants to resolve this issue through diplomacy, and we believe that there is still time and space to do so. But that time is not unlimited. ... Make no mistake: a nuclear-armed Iran is not a challenge that can be contained. It would threaten the elimination of Israel, the security of Gulf nations, and the stability of the global economy. It risks triggering a nuclear-arms race in the region, and the unraveling of the non-proliferation treaty. That is why a coalition of countries is holding the Iranian government accountable. And that’s why the United States will do what we must to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

On efforts to scapegoat and delegitimize Israel:

It is time to marginalize those who—even when not resorting to violence—use hatred of America, or the West, or Israel as a central principle of politics. For that only gives cover, and sometimes makes excuses, for those who resort to violence.

On fostering peace between Israelis and Palestinians, and on those who reject Israel’s right to exist:

Among Israelis and Palestinians, the future must not belong to those who turn their backs on the prospect of peace. Let us leave behind those who thrive on conflict, and those who reject the right of Israel to exist. The road is hard but the destination is clear—a secure, Jewish state of Israel; and an independent, prosperous Palestine. Understanding that such a peace must come through a just agreement between the parties, America will walk alongside all who are prepared to make that journey.

On Holocaust denial:

The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam. Yet to be credible, those who condemn that slander must also condemn the hate we see when the image of Jesus Christ is desecrated, churches are destroyed, or the Holocaust is denied. ... It is time to heed the words of Gandhi: ‘Intolerance is itself a form of violence and an obstacle to the growth of a true democratic spirit.’  Together, we must work towards a world where we are strengthened by our differences, and not defined by them. That is what America embodies, and that is the vision we will support.