Israeli defense minister during summit in Broward: Iran is ‘biggest threat’

Israeli Defense Minister Benjamin Gantz visits Hollywood to deliver an address at the Israeli-American Council.

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz delivered a speech on Friday during a summit in Broward County.

Gantz said he met with U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, and U.S. Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, who reinstated President Joe Biden’s support of Israel.

“Iran is first and foremost the biggest threat to global and regional peace and stability, and only then is it a threat to Israel,” Gantz said. “Israel is the only country in the world, that has a country, Iran, seeking its destruction and building the means to do it.”

Gantz spoke during the Israeli-American Council, which held its national summit with more than 2,000 attendees on Thursday and Friday at the Diplomat Beach Resort in Hollywood. He also reiterated Israel has an obligation to respond to hate crimes against Jews around the world.

Gantz said Israel has a “moral, strategic and operational” obligation to maintain military superiority adding that anti-Semitism is increasingly being presented as anti-Zionism.

“The absurd part is its promotion in the name of progress and liberalism. The oldest form of hatred has been given a makeover and it’s now being fueled with the help of social media and the spread of misinformation,” Gantz said.

Gaetz also said Israel’s goal is to be able to “extend its hand in peace” and to deepen relations with partners and “even our Palestinian neighbors.”

Meanwhile, in Vienna, negotiations with Iran to recover the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action resumed on Thursday. Former President Donald Trump withdrew from the nuclear deal in 2018. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Iran’s “only path out” of U.S. sanctions is “through nuclear compliance.”

“If diplomacy cannot get on track soon, and if Iran’s nuclear program continues to accelerate, then we will have no choice but to take additional measures to further restrict Iran’s revenue-producing sectors,” Psaki said.

On Tuesday, a Dutch appeals court in The Hague upheld a lower court’s decision to throw out a civil case against Gantz over the fatal airstrike in Gaza that killed six members of the Ziada family in 2014.

About the Authors:

Michael Putney came to Local 10 in 1989 to become senior political reporter and host of "This Week In South Florida with Michael Putney." He is Local 10's senior political reporter. 

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.