Netanyahu: Israel Must be Master of Its Own Fate

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WASHINGTON -- When it comes to Iran, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wants America and the world to know the Jewish state will decide how it deals with the growing nuclear threat.

With security guards close by his side, Israel's leader told more than 10,000 people at Washington, D.C.'s American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference he'll never let his people live in the shadow of annihilation.

"My friends, we deeply appreciate the great alliance between our two countries," the prime minister said. "But when it comes to Israel's survival we must always remain the masters of our fate."

Some analysts say Netanyahu's words confirm that it's not "if" but "when" Israel will strike Iran.

"Israel has patiently waited for the international community to solve this," Netanyahu said. "We've waited for diplomacy to work; we've waited for sanctions to work. None of us can afford to wait much longer."

His speech to the pro-Israel lobby followed a long White House meeting Monday with President Obama. The main topic of the meeting: stopping Iran's quest to build a nuclear weapon.

Watch Netanyahu's full AIPAC speech below:

"Our commitment to the security of Israel is rock solid," the president assured Israel's leader.

"We still think there's a window that allows for a diplomatic resolution to this issue," Obama added. "But ultimately the Iranian regime has to make a decision to move in that direction, a decision that they have not made thus far."

Netanyahu also pointed out why the United States has a stake in this fight.

"You know, for them you're the great Satan, we're the little Satan," Netanyahu told Obama. "For them, we are you and you are us."

But Obama said he wanted to avoid setting off the powder keg that is the Middle East.

"We do not want to see a nuclear arms race in one of the most volatile regions in the world," he said. "We do not want the possibility of a nuclear weapon falling into the hands of terrorists."

Meanwhile, some called the timing of Israel's consideration of a strike against Iran prophetic.

This week, Jews celebrate Purim, recounting the story of how Jews living in Persia (Iran) were saved from annihilation, as recorded in the biblical Book of Esther.

"I want you to think about what it would mean to have nuclear weapons in the hands of those -- those radicals who lead millions of people in chants of "death to America" and "death to Israel," Netanyahu warned.

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Jennifer Wishon

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Jennifer Wishon is the White House correspondent for CBN News based in the network’s Washington, D.C. Bureau.  Before taking over the White House beat, Jennifer covered Capitol Hill and other national news, from the economy to the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Follow Jennifer on Twitter @JenniferWishon and "like" her at Facebook.com/JennWishon.