Leaders denounce Iran’s nuclear ambitions, reaffirm support for Israel at Washington summit
July 17, 2012 Leave a comment
By Dena Weiss and Jack Sztrigler, TIP Fellows
Washington, July 17 — World and national leaders decried Iran’s nuclear ambitions and reaffirmed that Israel and America stand together in their values during a panel discussion on Tuesday at the Christians United for Israel Washington Summit.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, speaking to the crowd via satellite, began his remarks by noting that Israel stands out as an “island of liberty, stability and freedom in the Middle East.”
Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) said, “The modern state of Israel embodies the ideals and principles that also define America: personal freedom and human rights.”
The panelists also discussed at length the importance of supporting Israel against its biggest threat, Iran.
Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice president of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, said the world should listen when Iranian leaders declare they want to get rid of the West.
The panelists talked about the danger Iran would pose if allowed to acquire nuclear weapons. “We cannot live with a nuclear Iran,” Lieberman said. “A nuclear-armed Iran would be a terrible threat to the United States and Israel.”
Erick Stakelbeck, a news correspondent and terrorism analyst for the Christian Broadcasting Network, noted Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s successful efforts to use the Iranian proxy, Hezbollah, to deepen the Islamic republic’s ties to Latin American countries that are geographically closer to the United States. One example he gave was Venezuela. “Where Iran goes, Hezbollah follows,” he said.