Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke at AIPAC yesterday, and before congress today, reiterating the key themes of his speech. Netanyahu talks of the link between Israel and America, specifically in the conceptual and moral components of democracy: America owes its democratic ideals to Israel; the foundational truth that all humans are equal before God, created in the image of God comes only from Israel, the nation that proclaimed it thousands of years ago, among dominant, slave-holding nations.
Today, Israel, among all the nations of the Middle East, actually believes in democracy; and, there is a difference between democracy and mere elections, where after those elections women still can't own or drive a car, where churches are still being bombed, where journalists and others are imprisoned or terrorized. In short, Israel is not the problem with the Middle East; it is a place actually attempting the cure [and being hated for it]. It is a clear speech presenting powerful truths, delivered by a great statesman. Netanyahu grasps the essential issues of the Middle East with a clarity that seems to elude many of our elected officials in America. Friends, hatred of Israel is at an all time high; hatred of Jews is at a level not seen since Hitler. Leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood openly declare that they are called to finish what Hitler started; heads of Islamic states openly call for the eradication of Israel -- in our time! and without much of a whisper from most media organizations here in the U.S.A. It is time to stand with Israel, for freedom, with light, against darkness.
Take a moment and listen to the speech. Part one is below, and part two here. The transcript is here. Here is a brief highlight:
Israel wants peace because we know the pain of terror and the agony of war.
We want peace because we know the blessings peace could bring to us and to our Palestinian neighbors.
But if we hope to advance peace with the Palestinians, then it is time that we admitted another truth.
This conflict has raged for nearly a century because the Palestinians refuse to end it.
They refuse to accept the Jewish state.
This is what this conflict has always been about.
To deny that truth is to deny reality in the Middle East, and consign the region to endless conflict. Remember this eternal and spiritual truth: Peace with someone who seeks your destruction is not peace; it is surrender. It is true in spiritual terms, and vastly truth in national terms.
Which brings a question: If the essential and underlying reality in Middle East conflict is so simple, why do so many apparently intelligent people in this country not 'get it?' Scott Johnson answers it this way, referencing Saul Bellow:
The truth of Netanyahu's observations stares us in the face every day. Saul Bellow's aphorism, originally formulated in this context, has come to look like an eternal verity: "A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep."
Powerful words. Think about them... A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep.
Here is the video of Prime Minister Netanyahu, part one:
Note: A great tip of the hat to Powerline blog for the video and original post.
UPDATE: Here's a link to the address to Congress -- fantastic address.