Netanyahu: Militant Islam Aims to ‘Dominate World;’ State Dept.: 'No' It Doesn't

By Patrick Goodenough | September 30, 2014 | 4:20 AM EDT

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu points to a photo he says shows Hamas rocket launchers located in a residential neighborhood of Gaza, as he addresses the U.N. General Assembly in New York on Monday, Sept. 29, 2014. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

(CNSNews.com) – The Obama administration does not share Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s view that the forces of militant Islam, whether Sunni or Shi’ite, have in common an ultimate goal “to dominate the world,” a State Department spokeswoman said Monday.

In a hard-hitting speech at the United Nations, the Israeli leader said that entities such as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS/ISIL), Hamas, the Iranian regime, Hezbollah, al-Qaeda and Boko Haram share that eventual goal.

Jen Psaki was asked at the State Department daily briefing later whether the administration agreed with Netanyahu’s argument that those various groups “are all part of the same kind of militant Muslim – Islamic attempt to rule the world.”

“We would not agree with that characterization, no,” she replied.

Asked about Netanyahu’s specific correlation of ISIS and Hamas, Psaki said that while both were U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organizations, ISIS “poses a different threat to Western interests and to the United States. And that’s just a fact.”

“We don’t believe that Prime Minister Netanyahu or anyone else from Israel is suggesting that the United States launch a military campaign against Hamas, so we certainly – they are both designated terrorist organizations under the United States designations, but certainly we see differences in terms of the threat and otherwise.”

In his speech, Netanyahu said, “You know the famous American saying, ‘All politics is local.’ For the militant Islamists, ‘All politics is global.’ Because their ultimate goal is to dominate the world.”

He said many of the countries supporting the effort against ISIS now, opposed Israel for confronting Hamas just weeks ago.

“They evidently don’t understand that ISIS and Hamas are branches of the same poisonous tree,” he said. “ISIS and Hamas share a fanatical creed, which they both seek to impose well beyond the territory under their control.”

Beyond Hamas’ immediate goal to destroy Israel, as laid out in its charter, Netanyahu said, it’s broader objective was also the creation of a caliphate.

“Hamas shares the global ambitions of its fellow militant Islamists. That’s why its supporters wildly cheered in the streets of Gaza as thousands of Americans were murdered on 9/11. And that’s why its leaders condemned the United States for killing Osama bin Laden, whom they praised as a holy warrior. So when it comes to their ultimate goals, Hamas is ISIS and ISIS is Hamas.”

He went on to say that both ISIS and Hamas also had in common what “all militant Islamists share in common,” whether al-Qaeda and its various affiliates, Boko Haram in Nigeria, Hezbollah in Lebanon, al-Shabaab in Somalia, al-Nusra in Syria or the Mahdi Army in Iraq.

“Some are radical Sunnis, some are radical Shi’ites. Some want to restore a pre-medieval caliphate from the 7th century, others want to trigger the apocalyptic return of an imam from the 9th century. They operate in different lands, they target different victims – and they even kill each other in their quest for supremacy,” Netanyahu said.

“But they all share a fanatic ideology. They all seek to create ever expanding enclaves of militant Islam where there is no freedom and no tolerance – where women are treated as chattel, Christians  are decimated, and minorities are subjugated, sometimes given the stark choice: convert or die.”

Netanyahu turned to Iran, highlighting its involvement in terrorism around the world in recent years, accusing President Hasan Rouhani of “doublespeak” and warning against any negotiated deal with Tehran that would leave intact its “nuclear military facilities.”

“To defeat ISIS and leave Iran as a threshold nuclear power is to win the battle and lose the war.”

Psaki said later Monday that the U.S. was confronting both the ISIS threat and the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran “because we feel both are important.”

Patrick Goodenough
Patrick Goodenough
Spencer Journalism Fellow