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Bibi's UN Speech, Tease and Fizzle Our Prime Minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, addressed the United Nations yesterday. Bibi is a very gifted speaker, and he's more knowledgeable about history and political science than most professors. I've heard him answer difficult questions without any opportunity or need to prepare, and of course he's not dependent on staff-written speeches displayed on a teleprompter.There were some good things in his UN speech, but there were also things I find very troubling.
In an address to the General Assembly earlier in the day, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel heatedly denounced President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran for frequently rejecting the Holocaust as a historical fact.Mr. Netanyahu also spent considerable time denying that Israel had committed war crimes during its three-week military attack on Gaza last winter, as it was recently accused of doing in a report by a fact-finding mission from the Human Rights Council. The problem is that Netanyahu gave facts but came to the wrong conclusions. Bibi should have tied all of these things up with a different conclusion.
Netanyahu blasted the international community for encouraging Israel to leave Gaza, and then condemning Israel in the Goldstone Report when it responded to the rocket attacks that resulted: “This biased and unjust report is a clear-cut test for all governments. Will you stand with Israel or will you stand with the terrorists? We must know the answer to that question now, and not later. Because if Israel is again asked to take more risks for peace, we must know today that you will stand with us tomorrow. Only if we have the confidence that we can defend ourselves can we take further risks for peace.”Prime Minister Netanyahu should have stated that Israel is no longer going to "take risks for peace." We have been doing it for decades and it has only brought us war, terrorism and condemnation. The world hasn't changed since Hitler's Nazi Germany began their systematic discrimination against Jews, which gradually built up to mass murder, the Holocaust. During that time, no foreign country condemned the Nazis nor defended the Jews of Germany and later of Europe. United States President Franklyn D. Roosevelt even sent back German Jews fleeing the Nazis.
Bibi's speech was a big tease. It fizzled, rather than concluding with a strong message. What a wasted opportunity and what a waste of potential leadership. Bibi is proving no better than his predecessors.