Netanyahu Says 9/11 Good for Israel – Ahmadinejad Calls 9/11


By Haaretz Service and Reuters

Photo of Benjamin Netanyahu
Benjamin Netanyahu

The Israeli newspaper Ma’ariv on Wednesday reported that Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu told an audience at Bar Ilan university that the September 11, 2001 terror attacks had been beneficial for Israel.

“We are benefiting from one thing, and that is the attack on the Twin Towers and Pentagon, and the American struggle in Iraq,” Ma’ariv quoted the former prime minister as saying. He reportedly added that these events “swung American public opinion in our favor.”

Netanyahu reportedly made the comments during a conference at Bar-Ilan University on the division of Jerusalem as part of a peace deal with the Palestinians.

Meanwhile, Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad cast doubt over the veracity of the September 11 attacks Thursday, calling it a pretext to invade Afghanistan and Iraq.

“Four or five years ago, a suspicious event occurred in New York. A building collapsed and they said that 3,000 people had been killed but never published their names,” Ahmadinejad told Iranians in the holy city of Qom.

“Under this pretext, they [the U.S.] attacked Afghanistan and Iraq and since then, a million people have been killed only in Iraq.”

Speaking Wednesday at a news conference on the Iran threat, Netanyahu compared Ahmadinejad to Adolf Hitler and likened Tehran’s nuclear program to the threat the Nazis posed to Europe in the late 1930s.

Netanyahu said Iran differed from the Nazis in one vital respect, explaining that “where that [Nazi] regime embarked on a global conflict before it developed nuclear weapons,” he said. “This regime [Iran] is developing nuclear weapons before it embarks on a global conflict.”

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Clinton vows ‘massive’ U.S. retaliation if Iran attacks Israel

By Shmuel Rosner, Haaretz Correspondent

Speaking at the Democratic Presidential debate Wednesday, U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton threatened to launch a “massive retaliation” if Iran decided to attack Israel.

“I think that we should be looking to create an umbrella of deterrence that goes much further than just Israel,” she responded to a question on this matter. “Of course I would make it clear to the Iranians that an attack on Israel would incur massive retaliation from the United States,” the presidential hopeful added.

The Democratic debate was held five days before the crucial primary vote in Pennsylvania, and the two candidates were trying to make a last pitch to the voters. It was a contentious debate, and Clinton’s rival, Senator Barak Obama, was getting most of the attention.

Obama fielded tough questions dealing with past controversies, including the one surrounding controversial remarks made by the pastor of the senator’s church, Reverend Jeremiah Wright.

On the question of Iran Obama took a softer stance than his rival, saying “I think it is very important that Iran understands that an attack on Israel is an attack on our strongest ally in the region” and that “I would consider an attack unacceptable, and the United States would take appropriate action.”

Washington ‘speechless’ after Ahmadinejad 9/11 comment
from Agence France Press

The United States said Wednesday it was “speechless” after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad voiced doubts about the accepted version of the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington.

“I am not sure what you say about a statement like that. It leaves one speechless,” said State Department spokesman Sean McCormack.

“It is just misguided, misinformed rhetoric,” McCormack said.

“I cannot tell whether or not it is something that he truly believes or if this is just an attempt to try to shake up public opinion in Iran or elsewhere,” McCormack said.

Earlier Wednesday, Ahmadinejad called the 9/11 attacks a “suspect event” in a speech at a public rally in the holy city of Qom.

“Four or five years ago a suspect event took place in New York,” Ahmadinejad said, in an address carried live on state television.

“A building collapsed and they said that 3,000 people had been killed, whose names were never published.”

“Under this pretext they (the United States) attacked Afghanistan and Iraq and since then a million people have been killed,” said the Iranian president.

This was the third time in just over a week that Ahmadinejad has publicly raised doubts about the September 11 airborne attacks on New York and Washington carried out by Al-Qaeda militants which killed nearly 3,000 people.

He raised the theme for the first time at a ceremony on April 8, Iran’s national day marking its disputed nuclear program, which the West fears could be used to make nuclear weapons.

The president of Iran at the time of the 9/11 attacks, Mohammad Khatami, strongly condemned the assault. Tehran did not oppose the US-led invasion of Afghanistan that toppled the Taliban regime, which was hostile to the Iranian government.

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