Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the America-Israel Public Affairs Committee’s annual conference on March 2nd. He defended his upcoming and highly controversial speech to Congress, and argued that the US and Israel are strategically and sentimentally close enough to weather even major disagreements.
Netanyahu often uses during high-profile speeches — he famously wielded a cartoon bomb to convey Israel’s red lines for Iranian uranium enrichment during a 2012 address to the United Nations. Today was no different, and the Israeli Prime Minister used the above map to show how Iran and its militant proxies are present “on five continents.”
The map includes some high-profile cases of Iranian perfidy. Bulgaria’s marked for the 2012 Hezbollah bombing of a bus of Israeli tourists in the resort city of Burgas, while Nigeria’s pointed out for a Hezbollah cell and business network that was uncovered in 2013 and sanctioned by the US Treasury last week.
Other points on the map are a bit more obscure. The Egypt marker seems to refer to the arrest of 49 alleged Hezbollah operatives in Cairo in 2009. And the map omits a couple of big points: Argentina, which was the site of Hezbollah’s deadliest external operation — the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center that killed 85 people — is omitted, along with Syria, where the militant group is leading an offensive along the Israeli-Syrian disengagement line in the Golan Heights.
But the map still conveys one of Netanyahu’s main points during his visit to the US: Israel is facing a sophisticated enemy in Tehran with an international reach and aggressive ambitions against his country. And it shows how Hezbollah really is one of the world’s most international terrorist groups — an organisation with operatives and revenue streams on every continent.
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