Survivors Savor Netanyahu’s Speech to Congress

It was more than Congress that savored Netanyahu's speech and rose to its feet in adulation.

Jack Engelhard,

OpEds Jack Engelhard
Jack Engelhard
צילום: מתוך האתר האישי

He came. He spoke, and against a backdrop of political bickering, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered.

The living were attentive. The ghosts were listening.

The gist of his message was that a nuclear Iran is a threat to Israel, the United States, the Middle East and the entire world.

The deal in the works between President Obama and the ayatollahs must be stopped for the safety and security of civilization.

America is being duped by professional con artists.

Netanyahu cited Iran as “the foremost sponsor of global terrorism.” He evoked Haman as the ancestor of today’s murderous Persian imams.

Then it was Queen Esther who helped save the day. But for generations thereafter the Jewish people were scattered and defenseless.

But this time there’s a difference. "The days when the Jewish people remained passive in the face of genocidal enemies - those days are over!"

There was mighty applause for that, and for this:

 "We've restored our sovereignty in our homeland. For the first time in two thousand years we the Jewish people can defend ourselves.”

At the conclusion of his address, Netanyahu issued a veiled portent to action: “Even if Israel has to stand alone, Israel will stand alone.”

This was a good speech, a strong speech, Netanyahu at his best, but it was more than Congress that savored it and rose to its feet in adulation.

Netanyahu was speaking to me and to my generation that survived the Holocaust, and what a thrill it was to behold an American Congress so warmly greet an Israeli prime minister. We remember those days when there were no Israeli prime ministers.

We remember a time when there was no Israel. So imagine. Imagine what it feels like to be presented with a miracle straight into your living room.

An Israeli prime minister speaks – and the world listens.

Think of the road from that place to this, as I did when hardly listening to every single word, being so wrapped up in the emotion of it all.


Our brothers and sisters who died in Hitler’s death camps – did they hear?
What my parents Noah and Ida would have given to share this image with me! There was that time up in the Pyrenees, the Gestapo at our heels, and our French Underground guides leaving us adrift. Mother, now wearing all her worldly goods, and Father clutching a suitcase and me on his back, Sarah, 11 years-old, wondering what’s next – and it’s my mother who asks the question, “Now where do we go?”

Could she have imagined Israel!

Our brothers and sisters who died in Hitler’s death camps – did they hear?

There was that time back in 1948 in Montreal when Father returned with the Yiddish paper, tears in his eyes.

“What’s wrong?” I asked. A father who saved his own family and the lives of so many others, such a man does not cry.

“Look,” he said. “A Jewish soldier.” Please go here if you want more to this story. There is so much more to the story of the Jewish people.

We all have so much to tell.

The man who stood before Congress today, he has his own story. Look it up. He was a hero with the IDF.

What of Yonatan, his brother? “Yoni” commanded the raid on Entebbe, every part of it successful except that “Yoni” fell in battle.

This was an extremely important speech delivered today.

For some of us, it was given by a man we never expected to see – the prime minister of the Jewish State of Israel.

That was the most important part of all.

Jack Engelhard writes a regular column for Arutz Sheva. The new thriller from the New York-based novelist, The Bathsheba Deadline, a heroic editor’s singlehanded war on terror and against media bias. Engelhard wrote the int’l bestseller Indecent Proposal that was translated into more than 22 languages and turned into a Paramount motion picture starring Robert Redford and Demi Moore. Website: www.jackengelhard.com




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