'State of Israel bestows light upon humanity'

Dr. Hagai Ben-Artzi, Netanyahu's brother-in-law, praises PM's speech at UN after criticizing him in recent years.

Shimon Cohen,

Netanyahu addressing UN
Netanyahu addressing UN

Last week, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu addressed the United Nation's General Assembly, in a speech which received some rare bipartisan praise.

Arutz Sheva spoke with the Netanyahu's brother-in-law, Dr. Hagai Ben-Artzi, a frequent critic of the Prime Minister. Today, he joins in the praises.

Dr. Ben-Artzi began by recognizing media outlets who conveyed the Prime Minister's remarks without interpretations or voice translations, which often disrupt the message's flow, but instead left the speech alone or with subtitles.

On the Prime Minister's words themselves, Ben-Artzi, who as noted has often voiced harsh and relentless criticism, says "This time the Prime Minister took a step forward in the right direction, and I am not talking about the strategic issue and the Iranian issue that he has been talking about for years, or about Israel's standing in the world," Ben-Artzi said.

חגי בן ארצי בסרטבא
צילום: חזקי ברוך

"This time he did not settle for a verse from the Bible as window dressing at the end of the speech. Rather, he quoted extensively from the prophecy of Isaiah about the Children of Israel returning to their land and becoming a light unto the nations. He quoted and spoke the sentence that in my opinion is the most important that an Israeli prime minister can say: 'See that the words of the prophets are being fulfilled in our days, and the State of Israel is the fulfillment of the prophet's words, and we truly do bring light and progress and blessings to humanity as foretold by the prophet Isaiah.'

"I was very happy about this," says Ben Artzi, noting that Netanyahu referenced the Cave of the Patriarchs in his speech as an historical fact, and also deflected UNESCO's claims that ignore the facts of history. "None of this is new, though. What's new this time is when he speaks of the State of Israel as the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy. It is no longer history but a religious issue."

Ben-Artzi adds that Netanyahu "devoted most of his speech to Iran. Why do they attack us? We did not do anything to them. They have no interest in the Palestinians, so why is the destruction of Israel Iran's objective? It is a religious matter, the 'accursed people' who rejected Jesus and Muhammad and was sentenced to eternal exile returns to the Holy Land and Jerusalem, a fact that drives them crazy and undermines the foundations of Islam and Christianity. Rabbi Soloveitchik emphasized this in his famous essay Kol Dodi Dofek and others.

"Therefore, to deal with the entire Iranian attack on us we must focus not only on the military aspect, but on the religious aspect, which is powerful and could have influence. See that what is written in the Bible is realized through the State of Israel, like the ingathering of the exiles."

Ben-Artzi continues to suggest for Netanyahu his next speech's outline, which should continue the spirit of his last speech: "In the next speech he must talk about the ingathering of the exiles and the flowering of the desert. The people of Israel are returning and establishing a state. What is written in the Bible is coming true before our eyes. This is proof of the will of God. How will you fight against a revelation of God's will? I told him these things more than twenty years ago and I'm glad he does it after twenty years.

"Talk to the Iranians and to the whole world in religious language, because what concerns the Iranians is the religious issue. I will continue to turn to Naftali Bennett and urge him to follow the path that the Prime Minister began more powerfully. This is our strongest argument: What has been happening here for the past hundred years has been one long chain of supernatural miracles in fulfillment of what is written in the Bible."

In his opinion "if Naftali Bennett speaks this language explicitly, fearlessly talking about how God is revealed in history with everything spread out openly," this will also bring political gain, since polls show that "65 percent of the public declare themselves haredi, religious, or traditional, that is to say that they believe in the Bible and in the role of the Jewish people, and out the secular remaining third, 70 percent believe in God.

"It means that what you see happening in the State of Israel is Divine revelation. Therefore, this small paragraph in the Prime Minister's words pleased me, because it finally contains the beginning of the most decisive and significant statement that could emerge from the State of Israel."