tv Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu CSPAN March 9, 2013 11:05am-11:20am EST
conference. ehud, i want to thank you for the years of service for israel's security. thank you, ehud and i want to recognize ambassadors oren and prosser, michael, and ron, thank you both for the terrific service you are doing for israel every day. [applause] and finally, i want to thank all of you who have come from far and wide to be here today to express your support for israel. as you know, i was hoping to speak to you in person, but unfortunately, i had to stay in israel to do something a lot more enjoyable, putting together a coalition government. what fun. if i could offer a free piece of advice, do not adopt israel's system of government. [laughter] you know, every system has its pluses and minuses, but believe me, it is a lot easier finding common ground between two parties than it is to find common ground among 10 parties. you think you have a difficulty working out your politics? believe me, his is harder, but despite the difficulties, i intend to form a strong and stable government in the days ahead and the first thing that my new government will have the privilege of doing is to warmly welcome president obama to israel. [applause]
i look forward to the president's visit. it will give me an opportunity along with the people of israel to express our appreciation for what he has done for israel. the president and i agreed to focus our discussion on three main issues -- first, iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons, second, the deteriorating situation in syria, and third, the need to find a responsible way to advance peace with the palestinians. on the first point, iran has made it clear that it will continue to defy the will of the international community. time after time, the world's leading powers have tabled proposals to resolve the iranian nuclear issue peacefully, but i have to tell you the truth. diplomacy has not worked.
iran ignores all these offers. it is running out the clock. it has used negotiations, including the most recent ones, to buy time to press ahead with its nuclear program, so thus far, the sanctions have not stopped the nuclear program either. sanctions have hit the iranian economy hard. that is true but iran's leaders grit their teeth and they move forward. iran enriches more and more uranium. it installs faster and faster centrifuges. it still has not crossed the red line i drew in september, but iran is getting closer to that redline and it is putting itself in a position to cross that line very quickly once it decides to do so. ladies and gentleman, to prevent iran from developing nuclear weapons, we cannot allow iran to cross that red line. [applause] we have to stop its nuclear
enrichment program before it is too late, and i have to tell you, from the bottom of my heart, with the clarity of my brain, words alone will not stop iran. sanctions alone will not stop iran. sanctions must be coupled with a clear and credible military threat if diplomacy and sanctions fail. [applause] i deeply appreciate something that president obama has said repeatedly. you heard vice president biden said it again. israel must always be able to defend itself by itself against any threat to its existence. [applause] the jewish people know the costs of being defenseless against those who would exterminate us.
we will never let that happen again. [applause] you know, joe biden described his meeting with golda meir. she said to him, our secret weapon is we have no other place to go. well, we have our place under the sun, and ladies and gentlemen, we shall defend it. the rebirth of israel is one of the greatest events in history. i think churchill said that it transcends generations. it transcends centuries. he said it is significant in the perspective of thousands of years. we never lose sight of the perspective. we shall always defend the one and only jewish state. [applause]
the second issue i intend to discuss with president obama is the situation in syria. over the last two years, over 70,000 syrians have been killed. hundreds of thousands have been wounded and maimed. millions have been forced to flee their homes. besides this humanitarian crisis of great tragedy, syria could soon become a strategic crisis, one of monumental proportion. you see, syria is a very poor country, but it has chemical weapons, antiaircraft weapons, and many other of the world's more deadly and sophisticated arms, and as the syrian regime collapses, the danger of these weapons falling into terrorist groups is very real. terror groups such as hezbollah and al-qaeda are trying to seize these weapons as we speak.
you know, they are like a pack of hyenas feeding off of a carcass and the carcass is not even dead yet. these terror groups are committed to israel's destruction. they repeatedly attack the united states. they are global terrorist organizations that can perpetrate terror attacks anywhere around the world. you have seen them in cyrus, and bulgaria, everywhere. this is why we have a common interest in preventing them from obtaining these deadly weapons. i know that here too president obama fully appreciates israel's need to defend itself and i look forward to discussing with him ways to address this challenge to our common security. the third issue i intend to discuss with president obama is our common quest for peace. israel seeks a peace with our palestinian neighbors, a peace that will and our conflict once and for all. now that peace must be grounded in reality and it must be grounded in security.
israel withdrew from lebanon. we withdrew from gaza. we gave up territory. we got terror. we cannot allow that to happen a third time. israel is prepared for a meaningful compromise, but as israel's prime minister, i will never compromise on our security. [applause] we must work together to find a realistic path forward and i think that path has to be a measured step-by-step process in which we work to advance a verifiable, durable, and defensible peace. it has to be defensible because in the middle east, especially in this middle east, a peace you cannot defend will not hold for five minutes. it has to be verifiable because as we move from one step to another, we have to make sure that we cannot only defend ourselves but also that our
neighbors are actually telling their people, educating their children to live in peace. this is something we desperately want. we yearn for peace. we pray or peace and with president obama, we shall work for peace. [applause] i look forward to discussing with president obama when he comes here later this month all these issues, but in addition, i will have a chance to show president obama a different side of israel, israel that has become a technological marvel, teaming with innovation, an israel that each day pushes the boundaries of medicine and science to end of human imagination, an israel that has one of the world's most vibrant cultures and one of the world's most dynamic peoples, israel, the modern jewish state, an oasis of liberty and progress in
the heart of the middle east ease where these have yet to take root. that is the israel all of you know. that is the israel all of you love. that it the israel that so many americans love and that is the israel that will never stop standing shoulder-to-shoulder with a country that has been the greatest force for good the world has ever known, he united states of america. god bless america, god bless israel, and god bless the american-israel alliance. god bless you all. thank you. [applause]>> this week on newsmakers, the top democrat on the house ways and means committee talks about tax reform, the future of social security and medicare and how congress is addressing unemployment and spending cuts.
join us sunday on c-span. >> the alamo, our environment. journalism, panels and discussions, live in this weekend on tv starting today. at 4:30, what animals can teach us about health and healing. tomorrow, live starting at 1 p.m. on afghanistan, followed by social security. panels from the tucson festival of books, live this weekend on c-span two. >> now, the commanders of u.s. social operations on defense funding for military programs in 2014. general james madison testified about troop levels in
afghanistan. the threat of a nuclear iran. from the senate of armed services committee, this is about three hours. >> good morning, everybody. this morning's hearing is the first of the commanders to receive testimony on the military strategy and operational requirements in areas of responsibility. our witnesses are two extraordinary military leaders, commander of u.s. central command, and commander of u.s. special operations command. on behalf of our members,
please pass along to the men and women serving our sincere gratitude for their dedication and their sacrifices. we also thank their families. their support is essential to the well-being of their loved ones and our nation. this is your third and last hearing before this committee. this committee has favorably reported your successor to the full senate. we want to thank you for your more than 40 years of military service and your distinguished leadership of our armed forces. this year is posture hearing with the commanders are being held under the specter of budget sequestration. this threatens to impose cuts on military forces unrelated to our national security requirements. sequestration is having an operational impact, with the
defense department postponement of the appointment of uss harry truman aircraft carrier to the persian gulf. i hope these people will address risks with sequestration and expiration of a continued resolution. our transition strategy in afghanistan is entering a clinical phase in the coming months. excuse me. afghan forces will move into the lead throughout afghanistan beginning this spring. this transition has been underway for some time. afghan forces are already in charge of security for more than 85% of the afghan people. this shift to an afghan security lead is exemplified by the statistic that in 2012,
afghan forces for the first time suffered more casualties in coalition forces. these forces are stepping up. coalition forces are shifting to a support role. deploying security forces teams to advise and assist units throughout the end of 2014. the mission ends. casualties are down. during the one-month stretch from mid-january to mid february of this year, forces suffered no fatalities. it seems the bad news out of afghanistan is splashed across the headlines while good news barely makes a ripple. a report found only one of 23 afghan brigades is rated independent very yet when senator reid and i visited afghanistan in january a