Netanyahu Equates Hamas and ISIS in Another Controversial U.N. Speech

Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at the 69th United Nations General Assembly on September 29, 2014 in New York City. The annual event brings political leaders from around the globe together to report on issues meet and look for solutions.
Photo: Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu had his turn at the U.N. General Assembly on Monday, and like his Palestinian counterpart, he didn’t pull any punches. Speaking before gathered international leaders, Netanyahu returned Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas’s war-crimes charges, and drew parallels between ISIS and Hamas.

Netanyahu’s address came just three days after Abbas accused Israel of waging a “war of genocide” while standing at that same podium. In return, Netanyahu said that the real war crimes were committed by the Hamas militants who used civilian bystanders as human shields. At one point, he raised a photo purportedly showing children playing around an al-Qassem Brigades rocket launcher.

He quickly switched to an external focus, condemning world leaders who “evidently don’t understand that ISIS and Hamas are branches of the same poisonous tree.”

Hamas’s immediately goal is to destroy Israel, but it has a broader objective,” Netanyahu said. “When it comes to its ultimate goals, Hamas is ISIS, and ISIS is Hamas.” The Syrian rebels on his back porch, however, aren’t ISIS but rather the al-Nusra Front, whose errant fire has already crossed into Israel.

Netanyahu also gave an odd shout-out to Derek Jeter, saying, “To say Iran doesn’t practice terrorism is like saying Derek Jeter never played shortstop for the New York Yankees.” Despite international efforts to repair relations with the isolated nation, Netanyahu has remained steadfast in his opposition to any sort of nuclear developments in Iran, and has reiterated Israel’s right to defend itself.

And, of course, he slid in a reference to Hitler: “Nazis believed in master race, Islamist militants believe in a master faith,” Netanyahu said.

Activists, meanwhile, responded by urging Netanyahu to “put a border on it,” in reference to the anthem by Queen Bey.

Netanyahu Equates Hamas and ISIS in U.N. Speech