JERUSALEM: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday he was hopeful the election of US President Donald Trump would end the world’s “deafening silence” on Iranian aggression.
Speaking to dozens of diplomats from around the world ahead of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Netanyahu warned that Iranian officials were pushing for the extermination of Jews.
“The greatest danger we face, of the hatred of the Jewish people and the Jewish state, comes from the east, from Iran,” he said.
The country’s leaders routinely call “to wipe out every Israeli,” he added, but the international community’s response is a “deafening silence”.
“I believe it will change because I spoke a few days ago to President Trump and he spoke about the Iranian aggression, he spoke about Iran’s commitment to destroy Israel, he spoke about the nature of this nuclear agreement and the danger it poses.”
Trump opposed the nuclear agreement signed by Israel’s arch-foe Iran and world powers, including the United States, in 2015 and has said he wants to undo it.
Netanyahu was also strongly against the agreement, arguing it would not prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and that the lifting of sanctions would allow the country to finance proxy militants in the Middle East.
However, some in Israel’s defence establishment have reportedly told Netanyahu he should not push Trump to undo the agreement since Iran was so far in compliance and lifting it could have unpredictable consequences.
Also at Thursday’s event, Netanyahu told the diplomats there was growing anti-Semitism in Europe.
“It is true that governments have shown responsibility, on the whole, in taking this up,” he said.
“But it is also true that this hatred is bubbling, coming out of the cracks.”
He however did not mention the outburst in anti-Semitism linked to Trump supporters in the United States during the billionaire businessman’s presidential campaign.
Trump’s nominee for US ambassador to Israel David Freidman, a hardline Israel supporter and defender of settlements in the occupied West Bank, did not appear to be in attendance on Thursday.