Anti-Defamation League National Director Abe Foxman has little doubt that when the time comes the United States will stand with Israel in the setting of a clear red line on stopping Iran’s quest for a nuclear bomb.
Foxman, in an exclusive interview with Newsmax.TV, was commenting on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s remarks before the United Nations where he suggested a deadline for a military strike in the spring or summer of 2013.
Watch the exclusive interview here.
When asked if the United States will establish a clear-red-line as it relates to Iran, Foxman replied: “My feeling is that they will.”
“I just don’t think they’re ready at this point to make it public,” he said. “I found both the president’s speech and the prime minister’s speech at the United Nations this week coming a little bit closer. The rhetoric has been lowered. The noise level has been lowered a little bit. I am a lot more confident that behind the scenes there are serious discussions in terms of coordinating an approach.
“I’m not sure we’re going to see a statement from our government saying this is a red line but after the next meeting that is scheduled with Iran, we will see greater clarity of the American position and West position in terms of challenging Iran in terms of what they can and cannot do.”
In his speech, Netanyahu praised the warning President Barack Obama gave Iran in his earlier address to the United Nations and appeared to push back the timeline for a military strike.
“The prime minister made it very clear that nothing will happen, certainly not before the election,” Foxman said. “He set the time table in the U.N. speech yesterday by saying at most we have time until next spring 2013, maybe even the summer. So this is basically an opportunity to give conversations another shot.”
Foxman noted that the Israeli government issued a report this week saying sanctions are hurting the Iranian “economy, hurting it very, very, seriously.” While the sanctions have not yet forced Iran to stop its nuclear program, they are hurting, he added.
“Therefore, without saying it, Israel came to the same position saying let’s give diplomacy one more shot, let’s raise the ante with sanctions, crippling sanctions and if it doesn’t work by then, there’s still time until the spring and summer to take more drastic action,” Foxman said.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad also spoke before the United Nations and Foxman found his remarks typical.
“Well, it’s par for the course,” he said. “He is a hate monger. He is a bigot. He is a racist. And interestingly enough, this was the language that came after Secretary General Ban Ki-moon asked him to lower his rhetoric. But actually, his rhetoric at the U.N. was more or less a lot better than in the past. He saved his ugliness, incendiary bigotry, to outside the General Assembly.”
On other issues, Foxman said:
- That while he thinks the administration should at times be out there a little bit more vigorously,” America stands up “against attacks against religion – ours, certainly, Christian religion, Judaism. I have no complaints in term of this administration, previous administrations. The United States is unique.”
- Anti-Semitism is a “disease that’s out there and flourishes in instability, it flourishes on economic instability, certainly. It is used by politicians when they have issues that they can’t deal with . . . As long as there’s instability, the finger is being pointed to blame somebody. So Ahmadinejad blames all the ills on Zionists. Zionists read Jews. In Europe, we’re seeing economic dislocation, we’re seeing economic distress . . . Historically, unfortunately, the Jewish people have been on the top of the hit parade of scapegoats to be blamed.” If he knew how to ease anti-Israeli, anti-U.S. tensions in the Middle East he’d “run for president.” He added, “Let the world know, let our enemies know what our principles are, what our values are, when we will stand up and when we will, if necessary, fight for them. When there’s lack of clarity, when there’s lack of understanding of who we are, what we are and what we believe in, people take advantage, bigots take advantage, our enemies take advantage.”
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