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Friday, October 04, 2013
From Israel: Maximum Effort
Prime Minister Netanyahu
approached the podium at the UN this week with courage and determination.
He spoke with impeccable logic and eloquence.
Following his talk, he remained in
the US an additional day in order to give numerous media interviews on the
subject of the dangers of Iran and the necessity of fully dismantling its
In other words, he is putting out
that maximum effort to alert the world to a critical danger.
In many quarters here in Israel his words were received with high praise
(all emphasis below added).
Wrote Boaz Bismuth in "The
speech the world needed to hear":
"Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not go the United
Nations with a set of gimmicks. The prime minister chose a serious, tough and
disillusioned speech; almost extraordinary during a time when the world seems to
be more interested in fantasy...Netanyahu took it upon himself on Tuesday to do
the unpleasant thing and show us the harsh reality that is the Iranian nuclear
not the speech the world wanted to hear, but it was the speech it needed to
hear. Netanyahu was not looking to make friends in his speech Tuesday.
He was looking to give the world the truth -- and the truth sometimes hurts.
Clearly, the world would rather live in the Iranian bubble, which Netanyahu came
to burst Tuesday."
While it is the opinion of Dr. Haim Shine,
in "Historical insight" that:
Netanyahu's words are in no need
of interpretation. His statements were clear and decisive. Their purpose
was to make it clear to the Iranians that the State of Israel has the ability to
deal with their nuclear program on its own, and will not hesitate to use the
full extent of its power...
"In my view,
Netanyahu is emerging as perhaps the only prime minister since the late
Menachem Begin, who, in addition to pragmatism, has historical insight.
He possesses a basic and fundamental understanding of the meaning of the return
to Zion in the modern era."
But it's here in Israel that
he's been most highly praised. We understand where he is coming
from. And even here there were pockets of criticism on the left - e.g.,
from Shelly Yachimovich, head of the Labor party.
Yes, there has been praise
in other places. I was surprised to see that Alan Dershowitz had
exceedingly good words for him -- calling his speech one of the important ever
delivered at the UN.
Sounds gracious, doesn't
it? But it isn't. Implied here is that Iranian leadership, now with
Rouhani in the president's seat, is no longer threatening Israel. But, gee, it
will take Netanyahu some time to catch on to this new state of
But there is no new state of
affairs. Not in terms of attitudes demonstrated beneath Rouhani's charming
words. Just before Rouhani came to the UN to deliver his conciliatory words, in
his country a military parade was held:
On the lead vehicle of a line
of trucks transporting Shahab-3 missiles, there appeared a banner that reads:
'Esraail baayad az beyn beravad' - "Israel Should Cease to
Darn right, Netanyahu's
skepticism is entirely justified. But there's no way that Obama is on
board for this realism.
Of great concern, in addition
to this, is the position the European community seems to be taking. First EU
foreign affairs head Catherine Ashton made a pathetic, appeasing statement
about wanting to project a positive attitude in negotiations with Iran.
Tough talk - carrying that big stick - simply is not politically correct in this
new world order. Heaven help us.
And now Lithuanian Foreign
Minister Linas Linkevicius, who currently holds the rotating position of EU
president, has announced that Western governments are thinking of reaching a
deal with Tehran that would allow some enrichment of uranium to continue
(ostensibly for peaceful purposes).
This is precisely what
Netanyahu warned against, saying if the Iranians have access to some enriched
uranium they will have the ability to parlay this into development of
nuclear weaponry. And so it's clear that many national leaders have no
desire to heed our prime minister's words. .
This is of a piece with Kerry's
position, that I last wrote about. Confronting Iran is just too tough, too
uncomfortable - better to make believe.
It's like blowing in the
We cannot fix all of
this. That repair lies with Heaven. But there are some things we can
do, and I believe each of us must put out our own maximum effort at this
time. This is especially so with readers in the US.
We delude ourselves if we
imagine we can affect the Obama administration directly. The goal is to reach
the public and elected representative in Congress.
Familiarize yourselves with
Netanyahu's major points. The full text of his speech is here:.
1) Let your elected
representatives in Congress know that you are demanding a US position that
requires full dismantling of Iran's nuclear capacity - that you consider
anything less to be foolish and dangerous.
represent this position wherever you can. Write letters to the editor. Do
op-eds in local papers. Talk about this with associates. Do talkbacks on
share this posting broadly.
shortly I will be switching gears, because Prime Minister Netanyahu will be
delivering his Bar Ilan talk on Sunday. This one addresses the situation
with the Palestinian Arabs and not Iran. And the prospects have many
on the part of the Arabs in this area (both Israel citizens and those coming out
of PA-controlled areas) has already increased and the Arabs are predicting a
third intifada if there is no agreement reached (which is going to be the case).
I have already indicated, there is considerable talk about an "interim"
agreement. But Tzipi Livni, negotiator for Israel, says she's working towards a
final agreement and has nothing regarding an interim understanding on the
his UN talk, Netanyahu devoted about two minutes to this subject. He says
he is prepared for concessions for true peace, but will not compromise Israel's
safety. If he is serious on this, there will be no compromises, because he
knows very well that the Palestinian Arabs are not serious. Reports are
that - much to the frustration of the PA - Israel is refusing to discuss borders
and is focusing on security.
just tonight I heard from someone who has contacts inside the government,
that the prime minister does not want to appear too negative, too much of a
naysayer, on this issue after how strong he was on Iran.
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