Whenever Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at AIPAC’s policy conference in Washington, as he did earlier this week, he devotes some part of his speech to basics that are too often neglected in discussions of Israel’s role in the Middle East. As always, Netanyahu’s speech is worth reading in its entirety.
I want to draw attention in particular to Netanyahu’s introductory point. It stands in stark contrast to anything one hears from President Obama or administration officials, ever, including such preening phonies as Samantha Power. Let’s take it from the top:
My friends, I’ve come here to draw a clear line.
You know that I like to draw lines — especially red ones. But the line I want to draw today is the line between life and death, between right and wrong, between the blessings of a brilliant future and the curses of a dark past.
I stood very close to that dividing line two weeks ago. I visited an Israeli army field hospital in the Golan Heights. Now, that field hospital wasn’t set up for Israelis. It was set up for Syrians. Israelis treated nearly a thousand wounded Syrians — men, women and a lot of children. They come to our border fence bleeding and desperate. Often they’re near death.
And on my visit I met two such Syrians, a shell-shocked father and his badly wounded 5-year-old boy. A few days earlier the man’s wife and baby daughter were blown to bits by Iranian bombs dropped by Assad’s air force. Now the grieving father was holding his little boy in his arms, and Israeli doctors were struggling to save the boy’s life.
I heard from them and from the other patients there what all the Syrians who’ve come to be treated in Israel are saying. They all tell the same story. They say, all these years, Assad lied to us. He told us that Iran was our friend and Israel was our enemy. But Iran is killing us, and Israel, Israel is saving us.
Those Syrians discovered what you’ve always known to be true: In the Middle East, bludgeoned by butchery and barbarism, Israel is humane; Israel is compassionate; Israel is a force for good.
That border, that runs a hundred yards east of that field hospital, is the dividing line between decency and depravity, between compassion and cruelty. On the one side stands Israel, animated by the values we cherish, values that move us to treat sick Palestinians, thousands of them, from Gaza. They come to our hospitals. We treat them despite the fact that terrorists from Gaza hurl thousands of rockets at our cities.
It’s those same values that inspire Israeli medics and rescuers to rush to the victims of natural disasters across the world, to Haiti, to Turkey, to Japan, the Philippines, to many other stricken lands.
Now, on the other side of that moral divide, steeped in blood and savagery, stand the forces of terror — Iran, Assad, Hezbollah, al- Qaida and many others. Did you ever hear about Syria sending a field hospital anywhere? Did you ever hear about Iran sending a humanitarian delegation overseas? No? You missed that memo? You know why? You know why you haven’t heard anything about that? Because the only thing that Iran sends abroad are rockets, terrorists and missiles to murder, maim and menace the innocent.
And what the — what the Iranian people — or rather, what the Iranian regime does abroad is just as — is similar to what they do to their own people. They execute hundreds of political prisoners, they throw thousands more into their jails, and they repress millions in a brutal theocracy.
Before he leaves the subject of Iran, Netanyahu takes this not very veiled swipe at the mullahs’ pal in the White House:
I said it here once, I’ll say it here again: If it looks like a duck, if it walks like a duck, if it quacks like a duck, then what is it?
Well, it ain’t a chicken — and it’s certainly not a dove. It’s still a nuclear duck. Unfortunately, the leading powers of the world are talking about leaving Iran with the capability to enrich uranium.
And they’re more than talking about it. They have already agreed to Iran’s continued enrichment capability in principle, in the fatuous Joint Plan of Action arrived at in Geneva this past November.
Whole thing here, video below.