Gillerman, who was only the second Israeli after Abba Eban to serve as vice president of the UN General Assembly, said the UN has three standards – one for democracy, one for totalitarian states and another for Israel.
Reviewing developments in the region, Gillerman said that “Israel today is in one of its most precarious situations and maybe even the most dangerous existentially ever in a dramatically changing world and neighborhood.”
The world has become so crazy, said Gillerman, that Russian President Vladimir Putin can be compared with the Pope, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani with Mother Theresa and Syrian President Bashar Assad with the head of the Red Cross.
In light of events in recent days Gillerman continued, US President Barack Obama is doing everything he can to prove that he deserved to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.
Although Obama is pleased with having (seemingly) resolved problems diplomatically, Gillerman surmised that the reaction of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was along the lines of “We’re watching Munich on the East River.”
Gillerman was convinced that Rouhani’s charm offensive had been effective to the extent that, “People are believing because they want to believe.” There was also the issue of America wanting to do business with Iran again plus the fact that the world is fed up with war “and wants peace even if it is an illusionary peace” he said.
The president of the United States was so eager to believe that he called the President of Iran, who had refused to shake hands with him, as he was on the way to the airport, Gillerman noted.
“It’s still the same Iran, the same empire of evil that is responsible for most of the terror attacks around the world and supports the butchery of Assad who killed thousands of his own people,” Gillerman declared, adding “Iran is highly dangerous.”
He recalled having once asked UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who is a South Korean, what it had been like living next to nuclear North Korea, and the latter had replied that it had been awful. The Secretary General had also told Gillerman that Iran was more dangerous than North Korea which had acquired nuclear arms out of desperation whereas Iran acquires them out of aspiration.
Egypt has lost its hegemony over the Arab world, and Iran wants to take over, said Gillerman, which is why the Saudis and the Gulf countries are more worried about Iran than Israel.
Because not everything that was discussed by Netanyahu and Obama has been made public, Gillerman guessed that Netanyahu had been the party pooper, bringing harsh realities to Obama’s attention. “Israel has always been the canary in the coal mine,” he said. Had he himself been in Netanyahu’s place, he said, he would have suggested to Obama that he ask the Iranians for a three months freeze on their nuclear projects, for the centrifuges to stop running, and for the uranium enrichment to stop so that talks could be held.
After all, if Obama could ask Israel for a freeze on settlement construction, he could certainly ask the Iranians for a freeze, Gillerman suggested.
Yet for all the chaos and uncertainty, Gillerman perceived what is currently happening as “a great victory for Netanyahu’s leadership and statesmanship.” The only reason that the Iranians are ready to talk, he opined, is because the sanctions worked. The sanctions should be sharpened and strengthened he said, so that Obama will not be seen as weakening in his resolve.
Gillerman attributed the imposition of the sanctions to the pressures exerted by Israel.