Netanyahu doesn’t surrender

I just watched Prime Minister Netanyahu’s UN speech again. I liked it even more than the first time.

I liked the way he kept referring to ‘Jews’ and ‘the Jewish People’. Israel is not just a arbitrary construct based on geography. The Holocaust that Ahmadinejad denies didn’t happen to arbitrary people, it happened to Jews (I don’t deny that Hitler killed a lot of non-Jews, but the machinery of extermination was built for the Jews, who were murdered only because of their genes).

The Jewish people are not foreign conquerors in the Land of Israel. This is the land of our forefathers.

Inscribed on the walls outside this building is the great Biblical vision of peace: “Nation shall not lift up sword against nation. They shall learn war no more.” These words were spoken by the Jewish prophet Isaiah 2,800 years ago as he walked in my country, in my city, in the hills of Judea and in the streets of Jerusalem.

I liked the way he stood firm on his demand for recognition as a Jewish state:

We ask the Palestinians to finally do what they have refused to do for 62 years: Say yes to a Jewish state. Just as we are asked to recognize a nation-state for the Palestinian people, the Palestinians must be asked to recognize the nation state of the Jewish people.

This is the absolute bottom line, far more important than delineation of borders or the settlement issue. The fact that the Arabs have never accepted a Jewish state in the Land of Israel has been the cause of the conflict since the beginning, and is what drives it today.

Netanyahu clearly understands — as so many Jews, even some Israelis, do not — that  the real and only adequate  justification for the existence of the state of Israel lies in its being the state of the Jewish people. Give up on this point, and you might as well book passage back to Poland, Russia, Morocco, Iraq, etc. and let it be replaced with yet another Arab craptocracy.

Finally, he made one other demand:

The Palestinians should have all the powers to govern themselves except those handful of powers that could endanger Israel. That is why a Palestinian state must be effectively demilitarized. We don’t want another Gaza, another Iranian backed terror base abutting Jerusalem and perched on the hills a few kilometers from Tel Aviv.

Is this so unreasonable?

The Arab reaction was predictable. Robert Spencer summarized it thus:

In Saudi Arabia, the state newspaper Al-Nadwa lamented that “every paragraph of Netanyahu’s speech makes us more pessimistic.” In Jordan, the pro-government newspaper Al-Rai huffed: “Netanyahu offered rotten merchandise. Nobody will buy it.” Mohammed Sobeih, the Arab League’s undersecretary general for Palestinian affairs, said that while “extremists in Israel” might like the speech, it was “too far from what peace needs.” The President of Lebanon, Michel Suleiman, said that the speech was “intransigent when it comes to dealing with peace or regarding the solution for Palestinian refugees.”

And that was just the beginning. Others charged that Netanyahu had brought the region closer to armed conflict. Hosni Mubarak, President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, said that Netanyahu’s call to “recognize Israel as a Jewish state complicates things further and scuttles the possibilities for peace.” Apparently an Arab state is just fine, but a Jewish state, no. Lebanese Druze leader Walid Jumblatt, meanwhile, asserted that Netanyahu delivered “a war speech that practically torpedoed and crippled all possibilities for a compromise,” and that “makes the region susceptible to great dangers that might explode in different directions.”

Palestinian Saeb Erekat complained that Netanyahu’s speech “left nothing for negotiations….Netanyahu wants to put us in a situation where he looks like he offered something, and we said no.” And he attempted to cast the onus back upon Netanyahu: “Netanyahu’s speech was very clear. He rejects the two-state solution.” He warned about Netanyahu’s crafty rhetoric: “I hope that the world will not be fooled by this gentleman using the term ‘come and negotiate’ and ‘a Palestinian state.’ He actually tonight destroyed the two-state solution and destroyed the permanent settlement negotiations.”

“Netanyahu,” said Yasser Abed Rabbo, a senior aide to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, “is defying the world. The international community should reply by pressure to isolate Netanyahu and his policies and force Israel to submit to the peace process.”

They are absolutely hysterical with anger because they thought that President Obama was their guy, and he would force the Israelis to finally give up. They thought that the delegitimization campaign they orchestrated by activating the antisemitic Europeans with their boycott/divestment strategy, as well as the laughable “United Nations Human Rights Council” with its cut-and-paste report on the Gaza war, had weakened Israel to the point of cooperating in its own dismemberment.

But look: Netanyahu spoke like the leader of a nation, a proud and fully legitimate nation that can and will defend itself. He didn’t surrender! How dare he?

The Arabs, in their supreme self-righteousness, switch rapidly back and forth from squealing about their victimization and demanding intervention, to threatening mayhem.

Now let them face an Israel with a leader who is confident of the justice of his position, an Israel which is prepared to wait as long as necessary — and to make the Palestinians wait as long as necessary — for a settlement which will finally establish what should have been established in 1948: that the Jewish people, like Germans, Russians, even Palestinians, have a right to self-determination in their land.

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2 Responses to “Netanyahu doesn’t surrender”

  1. Grandma says:

    This is like a recurring nightmare. Peace talks, rockets, peace talks, rockets……………on and on and on.
    I thought Netanyhu’s speech was rather mild. The Arab reaction could have been predicted by a ten-year-old child. They react with condemnation, but do they give SOLUTIONS? It almost seems as though they are trying to provoke Israel into war or is it just arrogance?
    What if the situation were reversed? What if Saudi Arabia was surrounded by Jewish States and told to give up parts of their land? What would their reaction be?
    Netanyahu is right to ask for a demilitarized Gaza. Japan was told to demilitarize after WWII. It had to be done for the sake of peace and to assure its neighbors there would be no future aggression. It worked beautifully.

  2. Robman says:

    Bibi’s speech was excellent. The key issue now is how Obama will react to the combination of that, plus the Arab reaction. We will see his true colors in this. I’m not exactly optimistic.

    The Palis will never accept a demilitarized state. They will persuasively argue before the world community that without an army, without control of their air space, what kind of sovereignty is that? The example of Japan noted by “Grandma” is accurate, but does not apply here. That is because world opinion unanimously accepted that Japan was the aggressor and deserved such limitations. The Palis and their backers – despite the objective absurdity of such claims – have convinced much relevant world opinion that Israel is the “aggressor”.

    Bibi is on the right track emphasizing the recognition issue. My only minor criticism of his speech is that he was not more adamant on this score. This needs to be front and center in the debate; every supporter of Israel, every member of their government, who has a microphone in their face needs to stress this issue first and foremost.

    In this way, we can begin the process of what I call “counter delegitimization”. Israel and her supporters must use the recognition issue as the basis for delegitimizing the PA as the sole representatives of Palestinian national aspirations. Operationally, this can be done through Congress. Representative Ros-Lehtinin (R, FL), the ranking Republican on the House Foriegn Affairs Committee, has recently released a statement demanding that the U.S cut off all aid to the PA unless they recognize Israel as a Jewish state. This is the starting point.

    Fast forward to the end game:

    A genuine peace will have the following elements:

    -PA discredited and delegitimized as sole representatives of Palestinian people as a national entity.

    -Acceptance by the world community of Jordan as actual Palestinian state. Why not? The Palis use the principle of “majority rule” to make their claims on the West Bank…so why is this very same principle utterly ignored right next door in Palestinian majority Jordan?

    -Jordan is “encouraged” to institute democratic reforms that ultimately lead to a “Europeanization” of their political system: Monarchy remains but is reduced to ceremonial role; real power in hands of Palestinian majority in democratic, parliamentary system. In this way, Jordan becomes “de jure” Palestinian state, in addition to present status as “de facto” Palestinian state.

    -West Bank is divided between Israel and Jordan, with Palestinian majority portions contiguous with Jordan annexed to the same, and Jewish majority areas contiguous with Israel/Jerusalem treated likewise with respect to Israel. ENTIRE West Bank, however, becomes a demilitarized zone, per arrangements with Egypt regarding Sinai.

    -Gaza reverts to Egyptian control, per pre-1967 arrangements, and remains demilitarized along with the rest of the Sinai. They created the mess there, they can clean it up.

    I know what I describe above would be very difficult to accomplish, and is impossible under Obama, because he is essentially on the side of the Arabs. But through Congress, his policies can be stalled until a more sympathetic administration replaces him in 2012. And one will. That is about the only ray of hope in this whole sorry scenario: Obama is almost certainly a one-term president, and there is a good chance that whoever replaces him will be as or more pro-Israel than any past U.S. president….unless Obama finds a way to permanently fracture the U.S.-Israeli relationship, which I don’t put past that SOB Saudi stooge.