I have opposed Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on many occasions but when he does something right, brave and very courageous, I am the first to commend him. His controversial decision to speak in front of the US Congress next week is an example of such an act. In my opinion, it is the greatest thing the Prime Minister has done since taking office, close to seven years ago!
Many people, both in Israel and throughout the United States are worried about souring relations with President Obama and the US administration. These critics claim that this speech is arousing unnecessary tensions between our two countries and causing a rift between us. To them, I have a very simple answer; this act by Prime Minister Netanyahu will accomplish the complete opposite! It will bring respect to Israel – and not just from the USA – but from around the world. It will bring honor to the Jewish Nation and will invigorate our people with positive energy.
Allow me to explain why I feel this way. In September 1993 the Prime Minister of Israel, Yitzchak Rabin, signed the infamous “Oslo Accords” on the White House lawn with Yasser Arafat and US President Bill Clinton. Since that time, we did exactly what was requested of us from the world community; We brought the PLO back to Israel and made Arafat the President of the “Palestinian People”. We threw 8,000 of our fellow Jews out of their homes in the beautiful Southwest coastal region of Israel and destroyed their homes, businesses, shuls, Yeshivot and even dug up their graves. We divided the Biblical heartland of Israel into sections and gave away holy cities such as Shechem and Betlechem and we forbid Jews from building in 80% of that land. We divided many parts of the holiest city of Jerusalem and forbade Jews from praying on the site where Abraham bound Isaac and where the Temples stood for over 800 years. Even though things are very tough financially in Israel, and many Jews go to sleep hungry at night, we spent over one TRILLION shekels since the beginning of that failed process just to try to make it work. In short; we did everything that was asked of us by the world community… and it got us nowhere.
In Israel, 2,000 Jews are dead since the handshake of September 1993 and 100,000 are wounded and nobody – but nobody – believes in this ridiculous peace dream any more.
Around the world; Anti-Semitism is at a post WWII high. In many modern countries, such as France, Rabbis are actually instructing their male followers not to wear “kippot” in the street or look “too Jewish” for fear of being attacked. American universities have become dangerous places for Jews to study and every Chabad House around the world looks like Fort Knox.
This does not make any sense! Israel has done everything the world asked for yet the world responds with hate??? Don’t they know about our heroic humanitarian efforts after the tragedies in Haiti and the Philippines? Don’t they know how civilized our army is, even to the point of risking the lives of IDF soldiers in order to minimize civilian casualties when fighting Hamas and Hezbollah? Doesn’t the world see how hard we work to protect Moslems who wish to pray on the Temple Mount, even to the point of arresting our own Rabbis and Knesset Members?
Please excuse me but I have to stop for a minute. I am typing these words and actually laughing as they appear on my screen. This very serious article is looking like a Purim skit and if it weren’t 100% true – and tragic – it would indeed win awards for its humor. OF COURSE the world sees everything I just listed above. The problem is that they see it and they interpret it – not as strength, faith, caring, compassion and sacrificing for peace – they see it as WEAKNESS, APOLOGIES, LACK OF JUSTICE and even ATHEISM! They view Israel, and Jews worldwide, as feeble, guilt-ridden, unfortunate souls who will do anything for acceptance and love. Finally, when they see Israeli leaders on television, they laugh – yes, they laugh. They laugh at their cowardice and their naivety. They laugh at their foolishness and political correctness and they laugh because nobody believes a word they say!
Let’s get back to the speech before Congress. Prime Minister Netanyahu could have done what so many had done before. In the name of peace, he could have “folded his cards” and politely apologized to President Obama. He could have come out with a strong statement and read it, together with Secretary of State John Kerry. Finally, he could have made his speech – the exact one he will make in front of Congress – at the AIPAC Policy Conference, which will be held the SAME WEEK as the Congressional speech! Had he made the speech to AIPAC, he would have created no controversy, no tension and been under no pressure from the US administration!
This is exactly why I am supporting Prime Minister Netanyahu in this endeavor. Yes, he could have done any or ALL of the suggestions above… but he chose NOT TO!! The reason is clear – because had he gone “the easy way”, the way most Israeli leaders have chosen to act up until now, he would have caused damage to the Jewish nation by – ONCE AGAIN – showing the world weak, apologetic and cowardly leadership. By standing tall… and strong… and brave… and looking President Obama in the eye and NOT giving in, he awakens the sleeping giant of Jewish pride and independence. He teaches the world a very important lesson: that Israel will not fulfill every wish of theirs – because it has done nothing for us but strengthen the anti-Semite. He follows the heroic example of David Ben Gurion who declared the state of Israel AGAINST the wishes of US President Truman. He follows the heroic example of Levi Eshkol who attacked the Old City of Jerusalem AGAINST the wishes of US President Johnson and he follows the heroic example of Menachem Begin who bombed Iraq’s nuclear reactor AGAINST the wishes of US President Reagan. These acts – in 1948, 1967and 1981 – brought respect to Israel. It REDUCED anti-Semitism around the world because when Israel stands strong and does what is best for her, the world responds with honor and dignity.
I humbly ask, that each and every one of you do the same. Support the Prime Minister of Israel in this brave and courageous act and send a message to him – and to the entire world – that Israeli leaders have started to return to the days of old, when strength, pride and faith in G-d were the most important factors. This is as simple as ABCD; Applaud Bibi’s Congress Decision! Do it now!!