Yesterday, a great leader, a man of courage of conviction, spoke up in defense of his nation before the Congress of the United States of America. It was not the President of these United States, Barack Hussein Obama (mm mmm mmmm). It was the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu. Here are some excerpts of of his dynamic speech:
We recognize that a Palestinian state must be big enough to be viable, to be independent, to be prosperous. All of you — and the president too — have referred to Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people, just as you’ve been talking about a future Palestinian state as the homeland of the Palestinian people. Well, Jews from around the world have a right to immigrate to the one and only Jewish state, and Palestinians from around the world should have a right to immigrate, if they so choose, to a Palestinian state.
And here is what this means. It means that the Palestinian refugee problem will be resolved outside the borders of Israel.
You know, everybody knows this. It’s time to say it. It’s important.
And as for Jerusalem, only a democratic Israel has protected the freedom of worship for all faiths in the city. (Applause.) Throughout the millennial history of the Jewish capital, the only time that Jews, Christians and Moslems could worship freely, could have unfettered access to their holy sites has been during Israel’s sovereignty over Jerusalem.
Jerusalem must never again be divided. Jerusalem must remain the united capital of Israel.
I know this is a difficult issue for Palestinians. But I believe that, with creativity and with good will, a solution can be found.
So this is the peace I plan to forge with a Palestinian partner committed to peace. But you know very well that in the Middle East, the only peace that will hold is the peace you can defend. So peace must be anchored in security.
In recent years, Israel withdrew from south Lebanon and from Gaza. We thought we’d get peace. That’s not what we got. We got 12,000 rockets fired from those areas on our cities, on our children, by Hezbollah and Hamas. The U.N. peacekeepers in Lebanon, they failed to prevent the smuggling of this weaponry. The European observers in Gaza, they evaporated overnight. So if Israel simply walked out of the territories, the flow of weapons into a future Palestinian state would be unchecked, and missiles fired from it could reach virtually every home in Israel in less than a minute.
I want you to think about that, too. Imagine there’s a siren going on now and we have less than 60 seconds to find shelter from an incoming rocket. Would you live that way? Do you think anybody can live that way? Well, we’re not going to live that way either.
The truth is that Israel needs unique security arrangements because of its unique size. It’s one of the smallest countries in the world. Mr. Vice President, I’ll grant you this: It’s bigger than Delaware. It’s even bigger than Rhode Island. But that’s about it. Israel under 1967 lines would be half the width of the Washington Beltway.
Now, here’s a bit of nostalgia. I came to Washington 30 years ago as a young diplomat. It took me a while, but I finally figured it out: there is an America beyond the Beltway.
But Israel under 1967 lines would be only nine miles wide. So much for strategic depth. So it’s therefore vital — absolutely vital — that a Palestinian state be fully demilitarized, and it’s vital — absolutely vital — that Israel maintain a long-term military presence along the Jordan River.
Solid security arrangements on the ground are necessary not only to protect the peace; they’re necessary to protect Israel in case the peace unravels, because in our unstable region, no one can guarantee that our peace partners today will be there tomorrow. And my friends, when I say tomorrow, I don’t mean some distant time in the future; I mean tomorrow.
Peace can only be achieved around the negotiating table.
The Palestinian attempt to impose a settlement through the United Nations will not bring peace. It should be forcefully opposed by all those who want to see this conflict end. I appreciate the president’s clear position on these — on this issue.
Peace cannot be imposed. It must be negotiated.
But peace can only be negotiated with partners committed to peace, and Hamas is not a partner for peace. Hamas — Hamas remains committed to Israel’s destruction and to terrorism. They have a charter. That charter not only calls for the obliteration of Israel, it says: Kill the Jews everywhere you find them.
Hamas’ leader condemned the killing of Osama bin Laden and praised him as a holy warrior. Now, again, I want to make this clear:
Israel is prepared to sit down today and negotiate peace with the Palestinian Authority. I believe we can fashion a brilliant future for our children. But Israel will not negotiate with a Palestinian government backed by the Palestinian version of al-Qaeda. That we will not do.
So I say to President Abbas: Tear up your pact with Hamas! Sit down and negotiate. Make peace with the Jewish state. And if you do, I promise you this: Israel will not be the last country to welcome a Palestinian state as a new member of the United Nations; it will be the first to do so.
My friends, the momentous trials over the last century and the unfolding events of this century attest to the decisive role of the United States in defending peace and advancing freedom. Providence entrusted the United States to be the guardian of liberty. All people who cherish freedom owe a profound debt of gratitude to your great nation. Among the most grateful nations is my nation, the people of Israel, who have fought for their liberty and survival against impossible odds in ancient and modern times alike. I speak on behalf of the Jewish people and the Jewish state when I say to you, representatives of America: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for your unwavering support for Israel. Thank you for ensuring that the flame of freedom burns bright throughout the world.
May God bless all of you, and may God forever bless the United States of America.
Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you.
Compare and contrast the following examples of apologies given by the President of the United States in his first four months of office as they relate to foreign policy and national security issues, to the outstanding example of leadershhip and statesmanship given yesterday by Prime Minister Netanyahu.
Apology to France and Europe (“America Has Shown Arrogance”) Speech by President Obama, Rhenus Sports Arena, Strasbourg, France, April 3, 2009.
So we must be honest with ourselves. In recent years we’ve allowed our Alliance to drift. I know that there have been honest disagreements over policy, but we also know that there’s something more that has crept into our relationship. In America, there’s a failure to appreciate Europe’s leading role in the world. Instead of celebrating your dynamic union and seeking to partner with you to meet common challenges, there have been times where America has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive.
Apology to the Muslim World (“We Have Not Been Perfect”) President Obama, interview with Al Arabiya, January 27, 2009.
My job to the Muslim world is to communicate that the Americans are not your enemy. We sometimes make mistakes. We have not been perfect. But if you look at the track record, as you say, America was not born as a colonial power, and that the same respect and partnership that America had with the Muslim world as recently as 20 or 30 years ago, there’s no reason why we can’t restore that.
Apology for the War on Terror (“We Went off Course”) President Obama, speech at the National Archives, Washington, D.C., May 21, 2009.
Unfortunately, faced with an uncertain threat, our government made a series of hasty decisions. I believe that many of these decisions were motivated by a sincere desire to protect the American people. But I also believe that all too often our government made decisions based on fear rather than foresight; that all too often our government trimmed facts and evidence to fit ideological predispositions. Instead of strategically applying our power and our principles, too often we set those principles aside as luxuries that we could no longer afford. And during this season of fear, too many of us–Democrats and Republicans, politicians, journalists, and citizens–fell silent.
In other words, we went off course. And this is not my assessment alone. It was an assessment that was shared by the American people who nominated candidates for President from both major parties who, despite our many differences, called for a new approach–one that rejected torture and one that recognized the imperative of closing the prison at Guantanamo Bay.
I would ask if we could arrange a swap of national leaders, but I couldn’t do that to Israel. God’s chosen people have suffered enough.