Benjamin Netanyahu, prime minister of Israel, holds up Nazi documents during his speech at the 64th session of the General Assembly at United Nations headquarters, Thursday, Sept. 24, 2009. (AP Photo)

Benjamin Netanyahu, prime minister of Israel, holds up Nazi documents during his speech at the 64th session of the General Assembly at United Nations headquarters, Thursday, Sept. 24, 2009. (AP Photo)

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Over the years, I’ve heard Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu deliver a lot of speeches. But none so powerful as this.

It reminded me of President Bush’s speech to the U.N. in September 2002 when he challenged the world community to effectively hold Saddam Hussein accountable for dozens of violations of international law or risk irrelevance.

Today, Netanyahu challenged the world to stop Iran from acquiring weapons of genocide, or risk losing all moral legitimacy.

President Bush’s speech led to a war with Iraq. I suspect Prime Minister Netanyahu knows full well a war is likely coming with Iran. I pray that a peaceful solution can be found. But if Israel must go it alone — without the world’s help — Netanyahu wants to be on record for having clearly explained the issues and stakes.

Full transcript of the speech.

In the meantime, some highlights:

  • The Prime Minister laid down the gauntlet with Iran, and the world.
  • He commended the nations whose leaders and diplomats either boycotted or walked out of Ahmadinejad’s speech yesterday for their “moral clarity.”
  • He also shamed those who stayed and those U.N. leaders who gave the Iranian leader — who calls the Holocaust “a lie” while publicly threatening to annihilate the Jewish people in the not-too-distant future — a platform to spew his vile beliefs.
  • “To those who gave this Holocaust denier a hearing, I say on behalf of my people, Have you no shame? Have you no decency?”
  • Must-see video clip of Netanyahu’s speech.
  • He showed the world original Nazi documents explaining the Holocaust that were given him by the German government and repeatedly asked world leaders, “Are these a lie?”
  • He noted that President Obama recently visited a Nazi death camp in Europe and asked whether Obama gave validation to “a lie.”
  • Netanyahu urged the world to stop Iran now from getting the Bomb, and warned the failure to do so could lead to incalculable suffering and damage.
  • He challenged the U.N. for its anti-Semitic and anti-Israel “Goldstone Commission” report. The report charges the Jewish state with war crimes for defending her people from eight years of 10,000-plus rockets and missiles raining down from Gaza. What’s more, he challenged the U.N. to reject the commission’s report and thus side with Israel, or accept the report and side with and reward the Hamas terrorists in Gaza. He asked how Israel could possibly take more “risks for peace” if the world condemned Israel for defending herself from terror attacks launched from the last swath of land offered to the Palestinians in the name of peace.

Here are the first press reports coming in from Israeli papers:

* Haaretz: Netanyahu slams UN, challenges it to confront Iran

* Jerusalem Post: Netanyahu scolds UNGA for turning blind eye to terror

* Ynet News: PM to UN: Iran fueled by fundamentalism — During General Assembly address, Netanyahu slams Ahmadinejad’s Holocaust denial; ‘Is this a lie?’ he says while brandishing Auschwitz death camp plans. PM also criticizes UN for failing to condemn Hamas fire on Israel

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