Friday, September 23, 2011

Benjamin Netanyahu's Speech Today at the UN: An Answer to Those Who Urge Unilateral Surrender

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is one of the most demonized men on the planet today and also one of the world's greatest statesman. With a community organizer in the White House and faceless bureaucrats running the European Union into the ground, surely Netanyahu deserves the title "Leader of the West."

Here are some excerpts from his speech. I post them here in the faint hope that some who normally only hear anti-Zionist propaganda from the left-leaning media and intellectual elites of our culture will read them (and click through to the entire speech) and get the other side of the story for once.

At the beginning of the speech and all the way through, he pleads with the Palestinians to come to the negotiating table and make peace.

Ladies and gentlemen, Israel has extended its hand in peace from the moment it was established 63 years ago. On behalf of Israel and the Jewish people, I extend that hand again today. I extend it to the people of Egypt and Jordan, with renewed friendship for neighbors with whom we have made peace. I extend it to the people of Turkey, with respect and good will. I extend it to the people of Libya and Tunisia, with admiration for those trying to build a democratic future. I extend it to the other peoples of North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, with whom we want to forge a new beginning. I extend it to the people of Syria, Lebanon and Iran, with awe at the courage of those fighting brutal repression.

But most especially, I extend my hand to the Palestinian people, with whom we seek a just and lasting peace. (Applause.)

But he sadly notes the absurd anti-Israel prejudice that has been on display at the United Nations for many years:

Ladies and gentlemen, in Israel our hope for peace never wanes. Our scientists, doctors, innovators, apply their genius to improve the world of tomorrow. Our artists, our writers, enrich the heritage of humanity. Now, I know that this is not exactly the image of Israel that is often portrayed in this hall. After all, it was here in 1975 that the age-old yearning of my people to restore our national life in our ancient biblical homeland -- it was then that this was braided -- branded, rather -- shamefully, as racism. And it was here in 1980, right here, that the historic peace agreement between Israel and Egypt wasn't praised; it was denounced! And it's here year after year that Israel is unjustly singled out for condemnation. It's singled out for condemnation more often than all the nations of the world combined. Twenty-one out of the 27 General Assembly resolutions condemn Israel -- the one true democracy in the Middle East.

Well, this is an unfortunate part of the U.N. institution. It's the -- the theater of the absurd. It doesn't only cast Israel as the villain; it often casts real villains in leading roles: Gadhafi's Libya chaired the U.N. Commission on Human Rights; Saddam's Iraq headed the U.N. Committee on Disarmament.

You might say: That's the past. Well, here's what's happening now -- right now, today. Hezbollah-controlled Lebanon now presides over the U.N. Security Council. This means, in effect, that a terror organization presides over the body entrusted with guaranteeing the world's security.

You couldn't make this thing up.

So here in the U.N., automatic majorities can decide anything. They can decide that the sun sets in the west or rises in the west. I think the first has already been pre-ordained. But they can also decide -- they have decided that the Western Wall in Jerusalem, Judaism's holiest place, is occupied Palestinian territory. . . .

He takes on directly the mainstream media narrative of what is blocking peace and demolishes it effectively:

And the world around Israel is definitely becoming more dangerous. Militant Islam has already taken over Lebanon and Gaza. It's determined to tear apart the peace treaties between Israel and Egypt and between Israel and Jordan. It's poisoned many Arab minds against Jews and Israel, against America and the West. It opposes not the policies of Israel but the existence of Israel.

Now, some argue that the spread of militant Islam, especially in these turbulent times -- if you want to slow it down, they argue, Israel must hurry to make concessions, to make territorial compromises. And this theory sounds simple. Basically it goes like this: Leave the territory, and peace will be advanced. The moderates will be strengthened, the radicals will be kept at bay. And don't worry about the pesky details of how Israel will actually defend itself; international troops will do the job.

These people say to me constantly: Just make a sweeping offer, and everything will work out. You know, there's only one problem with that theory. We've tried it and it hasn't worked. In 2000 Israel made a sweeping peace offer that met virtually all of the Palestinian demands. Arafat rejected it. The Palestinians then launched a terror attack that claimed a thousand Israeli lives.

Prime Minister Olmert afterwards made an even more sweeping offer, in 2008. President Abbas didn't even respond to it.

But Israel did more than just make sweeping offers. We actually left territory. We withdrew from Lebanon in 2000 and from every square inch of Gaza in 2005. That didn't calm the Islamic storm, the militant Islamic storm that threatens us. It only brought the storm closer and make it stronger.

Hezbollah and Hamas fired thousands of rockets against our cities from the very territories we vacated. See, when Israel left Lebanon and Gaza, the moderates didn't defeat the radicals, the moderates were devoured by the radicals. And I regret to say that international troops like UNIFIL in Lebanon and UBAM (ph) in Gaza didn't stop the radicals from attacking Israel.

We left Gaza hoping for peace.

We didn't freeze the settlements in Gaza, we uprooted them. We did exactly what the theory says: Get out, go back to the 1967 borders, dismantle the settlements.

And I don't think people remember how far we went to achieve this. We uprooted thousands of people from their homes. We pulled children out of -- out of their schools and their kindergartens. We bulldozed synagogues. We even -- we even moved loved ones from their graves. And then, having done all that, we gave the keys of Gaza to President Abbas.

Now the theory says it should all work out, and President Abbas and the Palestinian Authority now could build a peaceful state in Gaza. You can remember that the entire world applauded. They applauded our withdrawal as an act of great statesmanship. It was a bold act of peace.

But ladies and gentlemen, we didn't get peace. We got war. We got Iran, which through its proxy Hamas promptly kicked out the Palestinian Authority. The Palestinian Authority collapsed in a day -- in one day.

President Abbas just said on this podium that the Palestinians are armed only with their hopes and dreams. Yeah, hopes, dreams and 10,000 missiles and Grad rockets supplied by Iran, not to mention the river of lethal weapons now flowing into Gaza from the Sinai, from Libya, and from elsewhere.

Thousands of missiles have already rained down on our cities. So you might understand that, given all this,Israelis rightly ask: What's to prevent this from happening again in the West Bank? See, most of our major cities in the south of the country are within a few dozen kilometers from Gaza. But in the center of the country, opposite the West Bank, our cities are a few hundred meters or at most a few kilometers away from the edge of the West Bank.

So I want to ask you. Would any of you -- would any of you bring danger so close to your cities, to your families? Would you act so recklessly with the lives of your citizens? Israel is prepared to have a Palestinian state in the West Bank, but we're not prepared to have another Gaza there. And that's why we need to have real security arrangements, which the Palestinians simply refuse to negotiate with us.

Israelis remember the bitter lessons of Gaza. Many of Israel's critics ignore them. They irresponsibly advise Israel to go down this same perilous path again. Your read what these people say and it's as if nothing happened -- just repeating the same advice, the same formulas as though none of this happened.

And these critics continue to press Israel to make far-reaching concessions without first assuring Israel's security. They praise those who unwittingly feed the insatiable crocodile of militant Islam as bold statesmen. They cast as enemies of peace those of us who insist that we must first erect a sturdy barrier to keep the crocodile out, or at the very least jam an iron bar between its gaping jaws.

So in the face of the labels and the libels, Israel must heed better advice. Better a bad press than a good eulogy, and better still would be a fair press whose sense of history extends beyond breakfast, and which recognizes Israel's legitimate security concerns.

There is much more. Read it here.

The fact is that Israel wants peace and is willing to make peace as long as (1) the other side is willing to recognize the permanent legitimacy of Israel as a Jewish state and (2) reasonable security arrangements can be made. If the Palestinians are not willing to make peace on this basis, they should be ostracized, de-funded, not recognized, pressured and vilified by the world community until they capitulate to reason.

5 comments:

Gordonhackman said...

Dr. Carter,

Someone named Stephen has left a rather intemperate rant in two comments on your earlier post about "Secular Politics Infiltrating the Church." Since it's several posts back now, I wasn't sure you had seen it, but I'd love to hear you respond to it.

Gordon

Craig Carter said...

Gordon,
I thought it was basically incoherent and I'm not sure where to start. But maybe I'll give it a try.

Gordonhackman said...

Yes. I thought it was pretty infantile and self-important. I also couldn't help but notice the irony at the end of it all when, after spending two whole comments engaging in sophomoric ranting and sloppy reasoning, he asked for people to respond to him in an academic manner and to keep their comments specific and verifiable. Also, I'd really like to know what it is about leftists and the inability to use paragraph breaks.

I tried to respond to him a little, but though you would probably be better equipped than me. I'll understand if you choose not to invest the time though. Thanks for responding to me.

Steve said...

I'm right here, guys. Good to see people chatting about me, and Gordon, i'll do better to leave paragraph breaks for you, pal. Us lefties, what's up with that?!

As I mentioned in a later post, my rant WAS all over the place. I'd hoped to provide some balance towards the hatred I perceived on these posts and in the comments, but I was upset, and I was basically throwing paint at the wall, so my apologies. I went for a run and spent some time in prayer, and all is good.

Craig, you supported the Bush fundraiser (as a former Seminary student at Tyndale, I opposed it), so i have a question for you. There are a lot of "libertarians" on this site. (I put that in quotes because I don't think they fully understand libertarianism, but I digress.) Did you, and do you, support the Iraq occupation?
(I can tell you that I did at the time, back when I was still a conservative. Obviously, I think its an illegal occupation and colonialization now, but back then I didn't.) So where are you on that now?

Just curious. :)

In love
Stephen

Gordonhackman said...

Steve,

I apologize. I should not have said the unkind things I said here in my last comment. Not my finest hour. I was upset too, at what I perceived to be the ranty, accusatory, incoherent nature of your original comments on the other post.

We disagree with each other and that's fine. I disagree with you that what is presented here is hatred, but I don't see any reason to belabor the point.

I would go for a run too, if I were not sick.