Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu gave his annual address to the UN General Assembly yesterday (text here, video below). There is something thrilling about hearing the truth about important matters blurted out before a largely unfriendly audience that knows every word is true. In this crowd Netanyahu is the little boy who cried that the emperor has no clothes. Whether in text or video form, the speech in its entirety is worth your time.
The speech is interesting throughout, from beginning to end. It is mercifully free of cliches and claptrap. It is historically informed.
Netanyahu promotes Israel. He talks up Israel’s friends. He talks down Israel’s enemies. He skillfully uses humor as a solvent. He powerfully condemns Palestinian incitement. He warns against the Iranian threat. He decries militant Islam. He even mentions Minnesota. (Thank you, Prime Minister Netanyahu.)
He is morally serious. He is a great spokesman for his country. He is in every relevant respect the un-Obama.
Quotable quote: “Ladies and Gentlemen, the UN, begun as a moral force, has become a moral farce….Today’s automatic majority against Israel at the UN reminds me of the story, the incredible story of Hiroo Onada. Hiroo was a Japanese soldier who was sent to the Philippines in 1944. He lived in the jungle. He scavenged for food. He evaded capture. Eventually he surrendered, but that didn’t happen until 1974, some 30 years after World War II ended. For decades, Hiroo refused to believe the war was over. As Hiroo was hiding in the jungle, Japanese tourists were swimming in pools in American luxury hotels in nearby Manila. Finally, mercifully, Hiroo’s former commanding officer was sent to persuade him to come out of hiding. Only then did Hiroo lay down his arms. Ladies and Gentlemen, Distinguished delegates from so many lands, I have one message for you today: Lay down your arms.”
One more: “Are the half million slaughtered Syrians helped by your condemnation of Israel? The same Israel that has treated thousands of injured Syrians in our hospitals, including a field hospital that I built right along the Golan Heights border with Syria. Are the gays hanging from cranes in Iran helped by your denigration of Israel? That same Israel where gays march proudly in our streets and serve in our parliament, including I’m proud to say in my own Likud party. Are the starving children in North Korea’s brutal tyranny, are they helped by your demonization of Israel? Israel, whose agricultural knowhow is feeding the hungry throughout the developing world? The sooner the UN’s obsession with Israel ends, the better. The better for Israel, the better for your countries, the better for the UN itself.”
And a little humor: “If UN habits die hard, Palestinian habits die even harder. President Abbas just attacked from this podium the Balfour Declaration. He’s preparing a lawsuit against Britain for that declaration from 1917. That’s almost 100 years ago – talk about being stuck in the past. The Palestinians may just as well sue Iran for the Cyrus Declaration, which enabled the Jews to rebuild our Temple in Jerusalem 2,500 years ago. Come to think of it, why not a Palestinian class action suit against Abraham for buying that plot of land in Hebron where the fathers and mothers of the Jewish people were buried 4,000 years ago? You’re not laughing. It’s as absurd as that. To sue the British government for the Balfour Declaration? Is he kidding? And this is taken seriously here?”