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Thursday, September 24, 2009

BiBi to the UN: Have You No Shame

The speech given earlier today by Benjamin Netanyahu to the United Nations was one of the best I've heard a politician given in all the years I've been following politics. While I have no doubt the speech will be universally lauded for its excellence, the question remains just how much of a difference it will make. That remains an open question. Netanyahu delivered a powerful indictment over holocaust denial, Iranian aggression, and the UN's utter apathy in the face of it all.

Netanyahu began by countering the absurd and vicious assertions by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that the Holocaust didn't happen. Netanyahu actually pulled out a copy of Hitler's final solution as proof that the Holocaust happened. If that wasn't enough, he then recounted how most of his wife's family died in the Holocaust. By allowing Ahmadinejad to speak, the UN legitimizes him and his hateful rhetoric. Netanyahu congratulated all those nation that left before and during Ahmadinejad's speech as standing up for humanity and moral clarity. To all who stayed, he delivered this pithy thought.

To those who gave this Holocaust denier a hearing, I say on behalf of my people. ... Have you no shame? Have you no decency.

Netanyahu detailed Iran's aggressive behavior toward Israel including calling for its destruction, supporting Hamas and supporting Hezbollah. Netanyahu pointed out that Iran is not merely a threat to Israel but to the rest of the world. He pointed out that all throughout history tyrants that targeted Jews eventually targeted the rest of the world.

Netanyahu went through the history of the creation of Israel. He pointed out that the words of Isaiah are printed on the entrance of the United Nations. Netanyahu pointed out that Isaiah, himself a Jew, said those from Judea in what is now Israel. That was all part of Netanyahu's reminder of the UN that Jews didn't just happen to find their way to Israel in 1948 but have historic ties to that land for several thousand years.

He pointed out that in 1947 the UN issued a charter that would create two states, one a Jewish state and the other an Arab state. He pointed out that the Jewish people accepted this charter while the Arabs rejected it and then attacked the newly formed Israeli nation in 1948.

Netanyahu left his most blunt and direct attack for UN's current policy. In righteous indignation, he condemned the UN's recent condemnation of Israel for its offensive in Gaza last January.

What a travesty, Israel justly defended itself against terror. Will you stand with Israel or will you stand with the terrorists?

Netanyahu pointed out that Hamas has used Gaza as the launching point for rocket attacks on nearby Israeli cities for the last eight years. In fact, Netanyahu made a historical comparison. He said only once in history had one nation targeted the civilian population of another and that was Germany's carpet bombing of London. By that logic, Netanyahu said, the UN would have written a report of condemnation of FDR and Winston Churchill had they been around in the early 1940's.

Netanyahu pointed out that the UN has never once written a report condemning Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran for their systematic targeting of civilians. They've never written one report condemning those three for launching attacks from schools, homes, and Mosques. Never once has the UN written a report of condemnation for any of the three hiding among civilians all while launching rockets haphazardly into Israeli civilian population.

In the irony of ironies, he called for two states living peacefully side by side just as the camera moved to a rep of Palestine leaving the hall. At one point, a representative of Nigeria could be seen with arms crossed leaning back in his seat, body language that indicates deep distrust and disfavor.

He called this a moment of truth and the jury being out on the UN. Will the UN continue to draw a moral equivalence between the democratic nation of Israel and the terrorists of Hamas?

Netanyahu's speech was powerful because it identified several simple truths. Ahmadinejad is a madman and a Holocaust denier, and yet, the UN, and the world community for that matter, refuses to confront him. If he gets nuclear weapons, that will be devastating for the world. Yet, the UN which is supposed to confront such evil fails to confront him all the while using every opportunity to condemn Israel.

While this speech was powerful, I don't know that it will ultimately make much of a difference. In my final senior speech in front of my fraternity, I called out all the racists in my fraternity, and there were many. Here's how I concluded my speech.

One last thing, when I first arrived here, many of you made comments about me being Jewish. At first, I figured it wasn't that big a deal because you weren't that mature, but since its been four years and you still haven't gotten over it. The only thing I can see is that to you I'm just another K%^E, just like Macias is just another S^&C, and Arnold's just another Ni$$er.

I became a bit of a rock star in the fraternity for the next week. Many of my frat brothers were genuinely sorry for what they had said. That said, none ultimately stopped being racist and most were ultimately left unchanged by the speech. If someone is weak and rotten that's how they'll be. That's how I see the UN and while this was a great speech I don't think that many in the UN will now see the light.


Reaganite Republican said...

Since the Israelis are the target of an Iranian extermination plan, they cannot afford the luxury of a Pollyana, cafe-debate world view like Barack thinks is so modern and "cool".

Israel can go-it-alone if she has to... the IDF probably has the military capacity already to not only bomb Iran, but win the wider Middle East war that is likely to result.

Unlike vs. Hezbollah in 2006, the Israelis will fight this one to win, and win BIG... vs. Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, and the rump Hamas. The IDF will go ALL-out too, with infantry and armor from day one.

Team Obama would be well-advised to keep an eye on the horizon anytime they're visiting their new pals in Tehran... for a formation of Israeli F-16's coming-in at Mach 2.

The Israelis did us all a huge favor in 1983, taking out Saddam's reactor in the face of world condemnation... and they'll they'll take care of business again. Unfortunately, Israel is used to such misguided and ignorant moralizing- same as they've dealt with for years.

As for Obama, polls show their populace has completely turned against him, they don't care what this smiley plastic mannequin has to say anymore... as he turns the US into an irrelevant, impotent bystander.

Sorry about him, Israel- normal Americans still support you.

Anonymous said...

There are substantial middle east problems that will never get addressed until both sides of the issue are fleshed out. Unfortunately that won't seem to happen anytime soon because of the delicate, frail and slow moving stature the UN takes when confronting problems. It's a shame and a joke but that's the truth. Weren't there peacekeepers in Lebanon a month ago when a Hezbollah weapons stash exploded? How did it get there under the watchful eyes of the UN peacekeepers...perhaps they look the other way when it's easy.

I think Netanyahu is right about Iran, a nuclear weapon in their hands is a worldwide travesty. Weren't the Iranians caught three weeks ago trying to secure nuclear missle shafts from Russia? The world is made no better by allowing them access to nuclear material.

Anonymous said...

Reaganite Republican's desire for the IAF to assassinate Obama for him aside, there are practical considerations at work here.

First, the high probability that Netanyahu will be out of office before Obama is out of office means, frankly, Obama doesn't really have to take him seriously. Remember, Likud didn't win the Israeli election (and for that matter Reaganite Republican, they didn't win America's election either). Kadima won the election. Netanyahu is only PM because he got neo-Kahanist Avigdor Lieberman to support him. And alliances between men like that don't last (just ask Ariel Sharon). You may be deluded enough to believe Kadima and Labour are surrender monkeys, but Lieberman isn't.

Second, I can understand if you're scared of Ahmadinejad. That stolen election was a watershed moment. The mullah's don't have as much stone cold control over the Revolutionary Guards as they may have had before, and its possible they could be loyal to Ahmadinejad, but Iran's President does not have control over the nuclear or missile programs. And those Mullahs are, like all fundamentalists Muslim and Christian, simply right-wing politicians masquerading as holy men. They would never overtly challenge the US, but they like the idea that the US can't attack them at will, either.