Israel impatient, still mulling Iran strike

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was to visit Capitol Hill Tuesday after sitting down with President Obama Monday to talk about Iran.

(AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

(CBS) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was to visit Capitol Hill Tuesday after sitting down with President Obama Monday to talk about Iran.

Monday's discussion was important for both leaders.

Mr. Obama and Netanyahu agree that Iran must not be allowed to build a nuclear weapon, but the president wants time to let sanctions and diplomacy work.

When the two spoke to reporters Monday, Netanyahu never mentioned diplomacy.

And Monday night, in a speech to American Jewish supporters, he signaled impatience with the president's preferred solution. "(Israel has) waited for diplomacy to work, we've waited for sanctions to work. We cannot afford to wait much longer. ... I will never let my people live in the shadow of annihilation."

Administration sources say Netanyahu told Mr. Obama in private that Israel hasn't made a decision yet on whether to attack Iran's nuclear facilities.

Speaking to thousands at the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC (the American Israel Public Affairs Committee), the prime minister made it clear Israel will go its own way if it decides military action is necessary. Said Netanyahu: "When it comes to Israel's survival, we must always remain the masters of our fate."

Bombs could not stop Iran from getting nukes
Obama to Netanyahu: U.S. will "always have Israel's back"
McCain: Sanctions not deterring Iran from nukes

It was a far more combative tone than Netanyahu had struck earlier Monday in his meeting with Mr. Obama, who tried to persuade Netanyahu not to attack Iran.

"The prime minister and I prefer to resolve this diplomatically," the president said. "We understand the costs of any military action."

Mr. Obama predicted there would be difficult months ahead.

The Israelis aren't saying whether Netanyahu agreed to hold off on military action. But Netanyahu told the president that, to Iran, there is little difference between the U.S. and Israel.

"For them," Netanyahu remarked, "you're the great Satan, we are the little Satan; for them, we are you and you are us, and you know something, Mr. President? At least on this last point, I think they're right. We are you, and you are us -- we're together."

To drive home his point, Netanyahu gave Mr. Obama a copy of the biblical book of Esther, which tells of a Persian ruler in what is now Iran who ordered the execution of all the Jews in his kingdom -- but the Jews prevailed in battle.

As he gave the gift, the prime minister is reported to have told the president, "Even back then, they wanted to wipe us out."

© 2012 CBS Interactive Inc.. All Rights Reserved.


Join the Conversation!

To comment, the following rules must be followed:

  • No Obscenity, Profanity, Vulgarity, Racism or Violent Descriptions
  • No Negative Community Comparisons
  • No Fighting, Name-calling, or Personal Attacks
  • Multiple Accounts are Not Allowed
  • Stay on Story Topic

Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content, but the station is under no legal obligation to do so.
If you believe a comment violates the above rules, please use the Flagging Tool to alert a Moderator.
Flagging does not guarantee removal.

Multiple violations may result in account suspension.
Decisions to suspend or unsuspend accounts are made by Station Moderators.
Links require admin approval before posting.
Questions may be sent to webmaster@wvlt-tv.com. Please provide detailed information.

powered by Disqus

WVLT VOLUNTEER TV

6450 Papermill Drive Knoxville, TN 37919 Phone - (865) 450-8888; Fax - (865) 450-8869
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2014 WVLT-TV Inc. - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 141606983 - local8now.com/a?a=141606983