Israel Speaks

(call to order and intro begin at 22:20)

Wow. I mean, WOW.

I have heard some great speeches in my time. Some years ago, I posted on this blog Ronald Reagan’s 1964 speech supporting Republican Presidential nominee Barry Goldwater. I was personally present at the steps of the Sydney Opera House in 1986 to hear Pope John Paul the Great, and four years later to hear Nelson Mandela speak to the Australian people as a free man. In 1997, along with millions around the world, I watched with sadness as Earl Spencer eulogized his recently-deceased sister.

The speech above, delivered only hours ago by Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu to a joint sitting of the U.S. Houses of Congress, ranks right up there with the greatest I have heard. Delivered of a clear mind, singular of purpose and free of any self-doubt, to a nation itself convulsed with self-doubt and self-loathing, was shocking in its contrast. You can see why President Obama tried to stop it happening. How is he now going to gainsay that?

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19 Responses to Israel Speaks

  1. Ozboy says:

    Nice summary here by John Hinderaker at Powerline.

    House Democrats not pleased at all, at all

  2. Ozboy says:

    Even better summary here by Ben Shapiro at Breitbart. Hope GE gets engaged with this.

    Truly, a speech for the ages.

  3. catweazle666 says:

    Am Yisrael Chai!

    Indeed. And I sense they are growing rather tired of being misrepresented – Oz:

  4. Ozboy says:

    The Qu’ardian has worked itself up into a towering rage. Oh dear…

  5. Ozboy says:

    How serious is this? Apart from the pending deal on nuclear weapons between Obama and Iran (note I don’t say the United States and Iran), there is the ongoing persecution and murder of Jews in Western Europe by Islamist terrorists. I noted in a previous blog that France’s Education Ministry declared that Jewish children could no longer be guaranteed safety in France’s public schools. Yet socialist French President Hollande expressed outrage at this declaration by Netanyahu two weeks ago, which stated the bleeding obvious, as well as exhorting all European Jews to flee to Israel.

    We send our condolences to the Danish community, as well as the Jewish community in Denmark. Jews have been murdered again on European soil only because they were Jews and this wave of attacks is expected to continue, incluning murderous anti-semitic attacks. Of course, Jews deserve protection in every country but we say to Jews, to our brothers and sisters: Israel is your home. We are preparing and calling for the absorption of mass immigration from Europe, we call on the absorption of mass immigration from Europe. And I would like to tell all European Jews and all Jews wherever they are: “Israel is the home of every Jew”.

    Dangerous times.

  6. Ozboy says:

    Here’s another link to Netanyahu’s historic speech to Congress, this time without the long trail-in.

    Although I have to admit on reflection, his theatrical entrance resembled that of a boxing champ into Caesar’s Palace, surrounded by minders and security. He wouldn’t have looked out of place wearing a satin robe and hood, eight-ounce gloves and sparring at the air 😆

  7. myrightpenguin says:

    The left is spinning Netanyahu’s speech before Congress as interfering in American foreign policy, but the bit they leave out from that spin is that Obama and other nations are working on a deal with Iran (in Geneva) while cutting Israel out from the information loop (or at least trying), let alone direct participation, and this is an issue that of course is directly important for Israel’s security and future. They may feel that Israel is a roadblock to a deal, but a bad deal is a deal that should not be agreed.

    There is deja vu here remembering Clinton’s “deal” with North Korea back in the 1990s. If being generous to Obama one could say with ISIS, Iran, etc. he is just kicking cans down the road for future Presidents to solve. Theories that come into play when not being so generous are pretty well established now.

    A future President who is nothing like the present one. Good luck trying to elect him – Oz:

  8. meltemian says:

    God, I miss Reagan!

    As a young liberal-left hippy, I hated him. Years later, I grew up – Oz

  9. Ozboy says:

    Great cartoon the other day in The Economist:


  10. izen says:

    @-Wow. I mean, WOW.

    Really ?!

    You did not find it long on rhetorical principles and short on pragmatic engagement? Pre-election froth mainly I think, with the GOP delighting in the attack on Obama. Although he is ironically the most reluctant and most ‘conservative’ participant in the international effort to deal with nuclear proliferation in Iran. Most of the other parties in the negotiations are much less obstructionist to reaching an agreement.

    The other irony is the fulminations against any nuclear capability, even if internationaly monitered and constrained, by a State which has the worst record on nuclear proliferation without international oversight.

    But if you like inspirational speeches, here is an oldie but goodie…grin

    (embedded video for you – Oz)

    Or for the text….

    Perhaps if it was Izen that the Iranians were threatening to wipe off the face of the earth, he might be somewhat more circumspect…

    Short on pragmatic engagement? Netanyahu enumerated the modifications he urged the United States to make to the deal with Iran; both conditions and duration. If Iran and certain other states were less nakedly hostile to Israel you might have a point. But surely the right to self-defence is as much a principle among nations as among individuals, particularly when the individuals are distinguished by their nationality so obviously as they are in Israel? Oz

  11. Ozboy says:

    Maggie on Global Warming is actually rather cute. I’m not sure how much truth there is in the rumour that she was a backing singer on this (or maybe Izen was too):

  12. izen says:

    Well if izen was threatened by a neighbour who claimed that izen was a recent squatter who had evicted the previous occupants, except for a small fraction they kept locked in the basement, and that izen had gain possession of the house with the connivance of the police who had previously tried to interfere in the neighbour’s household killing the head of the household or trying to install their own puppet, and they accused Izen of stealing more garden from the neighbours in a series of violent dispute in which those same police clearly sided with izen…
    Then there is the accusation that izen has acquired enough dynamite to blow up the whole street and had threatened to use it {the Samson option} if the police, seen as corrupt by all the neighbours in the street did not support izen.

    izen would then conclude that the neighbour was attacking because of an unreasonable hatred of izen despite the historical evidence, and claim that any attempt purchase dynamite by the neighbour would require the police to evict the neighbour.

    Did anyone notice Netinyahu’s explicit reference to the book of Esther and the celebration of Purim?
    It’s a great story, full of dramatic irony and reversals, ending with the Jews killing thousands of Persians.

    The Hamas View of History makes for dramatic reading it’s true. It’s just that it is normally found on the fiction shelves at the local library.

    It neglects to mention, for example, that the previous “tenants” were in fact squatters themselves, living there on a dodgy lease originally set up by the Kray brothers, until they were finally carted off by the police. Whereas you had proof your family had lived there and owned the place since before the Tenancy Act was even written. Or that the rumoured dynamite had never actually been sighted by anyone, far less detonated. Or that most of your neighbours in your street had in fact become your allies because they could see as well as anyone which party was perpetuating the strife.

    And so on. We could, I suppose, extend the analogy to arbitrary lengths, but I should then turn you over to certain associates of mine far better acquainted than I with the history of the Middle East.

    And referring to a chapter of the Old Testament in which a Persian potentate threatens to wipe out thousands of Jews but ends up getting the tables turned on him is a little bit more subtle, wouldn’t you say, than a modern-day national leader publicly announcing his intention to wipe out another nation and murder all its citizens? Oz

  13. izen says:

    Yes the Middle East, as with any old street, has houses with a lot of history. All with skeletons in the cupboard.
    Equating a nation-state with a person or household makes as much sense in politics as it does in economics.

    As for the Old Testament story being a subtle point…

    Inter-ethnic conflict in the Persian empire was common, Xeres and most of the later rulers spent their time suppressing local uprisings and local tribal disputes.
    That one nation in the region has as part of its core religious text, and makes an annual holiday, of the occasion when they were successful in one of these ethnic-cleansing events seems odd rather than subtle.

    But then I find it peculiar that in the UK we burn the effigy of a Catholic every year and set off fireworks in celebration.

    I guess it depends how seriously you choose to take the rubrics of a faith, in comparison to its moral precepts. A bit like the Orangemen marching through Catholic quarters in Ulster. People in the modern age increasingly choose to shrug their shoulders and ignore it. But human development does not proceed at an equal rate at all times and places through history – Oz

  14. Ozboy says:

    Time for a little perspective I think. The world’s biggest photograph, a Hubble composite, released recently by NASA:

  15. Ozboy says:

    Well Bibi said in his address that his intention was not political. Sure, mate 😆 . No politician does anything without regard to the political implications. But if it was political, it appears to have done the trick.

  16. mad.madrasi says:

    Nice blog you’ve here. Personally I think Bibi squeaking through the vote yesterday, doesn’t auger well for the mid-east

    G’day MM, I see you have tracked me down from the cricket blog! Yes trouble is ahead for the Middle East, irrespective of who emerges victorious from the Israeli election. Netanyahu is the only leader there who clearly perceives the reality of the situation. His opponent is a stereotypical appeaser, who believes he can negate the hatred against his people by striking yet another deal – Oz

  17. Ozboy says:

    Way OT. but…

    You might remember back in August last year, I raised a “hypothetical” regarding another blogger against whom a number of accusations such as this had been levelled; accusations which, if true, called into serious question that blogger’s impartiality towards a topic which was hot in the news at the time, and in which he had become not merely a reporter, but an active player.

    I always felt a bit guilty of even mentioning the issue in these pages, knowing that mud sticks, and even if untrue, would constitute a negative judgement on my part. I did note at the time that blogger’s angry denials of the accusations.

    But now it appears he’s ‘fessed up. Even Andrew Bolt’s been onto it. I feel sorry for him nonetheless, as he has paid a heavy price, even if well deserved. But now his patient and thorough investigation into a former national leader will always have a question mark hanging over it. That being the case, I will drop that issue until such time as it becomes the subject of a court case, if ever.

  18. Ozboy says:

    Plenty of progressive types throw around the epithet “right-wing” against those with views with which they disagree; usually without ever understanding what right-wing actually means.

    But yesterday, one of the world’s greatest genuinely right-wing leaders passed away: Lee Kuan Yew, who in 1965 founded the modern state of Singapore, died in Singapore General Hospital after a long illness, aged 91. His son and current Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong, has declared a national week of mourning. According to the this article,

    Mr Lee was notable among other Asian leaders in that he expunged corruption and shaped an economy that gave Singapore a higher standard of living than that of Britain and the United States.

    He ruled with an iron-fist, jailing or driving his opponents into bankruptcy, crushing dissent and preventing freedom of speech.

    Many world leaders are expected to attend Mr Lee’s funeral.

    US President Barack Obama described Mr Lee as a visionary whose leadership built “one of the most prosperous countries” and his views and insights on “Asian dynamics and economic management were respected by many around the world”.

    Phil Robertson, deputy director in Asia for Human Rights Watch, said “Mr Lee’s “tremendous role in Singapore’s economic development is beyond doubt, but it also came at a significant cost for human rights – and today’s restricted freedom of expression, self-censorship and stunted multi-party democracy is also a part of his legacy that Singapore now needs to overcome.”

    It will be interesting to see who does and who does not show up at the funeral. He sure called it the way he saw it:

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