Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke yesterday at the 14th annual International Conference on Counter-Terrorism in Herzliya, Israel. He speaks as both a student of terrorism and a the leader of a country on the front line against the perpetrators of terrorism, so as always his remarks have a special interest. The text is posted here. The video is below.
In his introductory remarks, Netanyahu addressed himself to United States Ambassador Dan Shapiro and the American people, on the occasion of the anniversary of 9/11:
As you know, Ambassador Shapiro speaks perfect Hebrew, but I want to say a few words in English to you and to the people of the United States.
We remember that day thirteen years ago and we mourn with you on this day for the thousands who lost their lives in that horrific attack. All of Israel mourned on September 11th. In Gaza, they were dancing on the roofs. They were handing out candy. That’s the moral divide. We mourn; they celebrate the death of thousands of innocents. And then when the US took out Bin-Laden, I speaking for virtually the entire country congratulated President Obama. In Gaza, Hamas condemned the US and called Bin-Laden a “holy warrior”, a holy warrior of Islam. That’s the moral divide. We celebrate; they mourn the death of an arch-terrorist.
Now that moral divide has never been clearer than it is today because Hamas, like al-Qaeda and its affiliates al-Nusra or its new growth ISIS or Boko Haram, al-Shabab, Hezbollah supported by Iran – all are branches of the same poisonous tree. All present a clear and present danger to the peace and security of the world and to our common civilization.
I believe that the battle against these groups is indivisible and it’s important not to let any of these groups succeed anywhere because if they gain ground somewhere, they gain ground everywhere. And their setbacks are also felt everywhere. If they gain ground, if they were to succeed, they would return humanity to a primitive early medievalism. I say early medievalism because my father, my late father was a great historian of the Middle Ages and I’d be giving them too much compliment – early medievalism, primitive early medievalism where women are treated as chattel, as property and gays are stoned and minorities persecuted if they’re left alive at all.
And these groups must be fought, they must be rolled back and they must ultimately be defeated….
In his peroration, Netanyahu calls for clarity and courage, both of which are in deficient supply among our leaders in the United States. I think that readers will find these remarks of interest in their entirety, if only for their grasp of the situation in which we find ourselves.