David Byers and James Hider
February 21, 2009
Binyamin Netanyahu described Iran as the greatest threat that Israel has ever faced and failed to mention stalled talks with the Palestinians after he was asked to be the country’s new Prime Minister today.
In a speech made outside the residence of President Shimon Peres, the Likud leader said that protecting Israel would be his greatest responsibility as leader, and condemned “formidable” challenges posed by the Islamic Republic.
However, he did not once mention the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace process or a two-state solution throughout his address, omissions that will cause concern within an Obama administration determined to advance the peace process.
The Likud leader held a brief press conference alongside President Peres after he was appointed to form a coalition government, despite only finishing a close second in Israel’s election.
“Iran is seeking to obtain a nuclear weapon and constitutes the gravest threat to our existence since the war of independence,” Mr Netanyahu said.