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Ron Radosh

Netanyahu Closes AIPAC with Powerful Rebuke of Iran, BDS Movement

March 4th, 2014 - 1:56 pm

by Ron and Allis Radosh

At the AIPAC final session this morning, the 14,000 delegates heard two powerful speeches. The first was delivered by Robert Menendez, the Democratic senator from New Jersey and chair of the Foreign Relations Committee, and the second was given by the prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu. He came to AIPAC a day after his meeting with President Barack Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry, and others in the administration.

Netanyahu’s speech took place not only after his meeting with the president, but two days after President Obama, in his interview with Jeffrey Goldberg, publicly chastised him. At that meeting, the president took what Goldberg termed a “sharper view.” Goldberg:

“[Obama argued] that if Netanyahu ‘does not believe that a peace deal with the Palestinians is the right thing to do for Israel, then he needs to articulate an alternative approach.’ He added,  ‘It’s hard to come up with one that’s plausible.’”

Netanyahu’s speech was made within that context. Without specifically addressing the president’s remarks, Netanyahu made it clear that it was both in the United States and Israel’s interest to maintain our alliance, and to stand together as one in addressing the threats facing both democracies. But when it came to specifics, both he and Menendez made clear their disagreement with Obama on one critical issue — Obama’s claim that he was right to “to fight a congressional effort to impose more time-delayed sanctions on Iran just as nuclear negotiations were commencing.”

He came to draw a red line, Netanyahu told AIPAC, “between life and death, right and wrong,” between the “blessings of a brilliant future and the curses of a dark past.” Israel, he stressed, was a humane, compassionate nation and a force for good in the world, one that comprehended the dividing line between “decency and depravity.” He recounted how Israeli field hospitals treated Palestinians from Gaza and refugees from Syria, while Iran sends rockets, terrorism and missiles abroad, executes political prisoners, and represses millions in the brutal theocracy run by the mullahs.

Quoting the head of Hezbollah, who said “Iran loves death and Israel loves life” and that was why Iran would win, Netanyahu responded that the first part of his statement was correct, but the second was wrong — Israel would win that fight.

Turning to Iran’s nuclear program, he asked how Iran can claim it wants only nuclear power while they are building ICBMs that could reach the United States and carry a nuclear payload.

Netanyahu presented Iran’s program as a danger both to the U.S. and to Israel, and why the goal is to get rid of its stockpiles, its centrifuges, and its heavy water reactors. All of those are not needed for electricity, and only for a military nuclear capability.

The world powers — and clearly he included the United States — seemed content, he said, with leaving Iran with the capacity to develop a nuclear weapon. Iran would then be able to rapidly develop that goal if an agreement fell apart, and could do so as the world looked elsewhere.

As the leader of Israel, he said he would see to it that the Jewish people would “never be brought to the brink of extinction again,” and that he would do what was necessary to defend “the Jewish state of Israel.”

Of course, he said — addressing both Kerry’s argument and Obama’s — Israel wants diplomacy to succeed. But Iran’s threat, he cautioned, “could not be eliminated by any agreement at all,” only one “that forces Iran to dismantle its nuclear capability.”

That goal could be achieved not by relieving pressure on Iran, but by adding pressure. He said Iran came to the table only when pressure was applied, and only more pressure — not less — would get them to abandon their goal of military nuclear capability. Lessening sanctions and pressure would make war more likely. “The greater the pressure on Iran,” he said, “the smaller the chance that force will have to be used.”

On the issue of negotiations with the Palestinian authority, Netanyahu agreed that peace would be good for both sides. It could lead to developing ties with the other Arab nations, many of whose rulers realize now that Israel is not their enemy. They, in conjunction with the Gulf states, would catapult the economic and social development of the entire region forward, resolving major problems of both water supply and energy.

On that point, he was agreeing with the argument made earlier by Secretary Kerry. The lives of millions in the Middle East, he said, would be made better.

Netanyahu’s goal was a durable peace obtained by mutual recognition of both a Jewish state and a Palestinian one, in which the rights of all citizens would be guaranteed. But for that to work, the Palestinians had to “stop denying history,” and must be “prepared to recognize a Jewish state,” since territorial issues could be resolved but the right of the Jewish people for a state of their own was something that was beyond dispute. The Palestinians had to abandon the fantasy of flooding Israel with refugees or amputating the country, giving regions that were part of Israel back to the Palestinians. They had to offer “no excuses and no delays,” Netanyahu stated, and thus had to offer recognition to a Jewish state.

That might take decades to filter down to the Palestinian people, and thus any agreement had to guarantee long-term security arrangements on the ground that would protect both Israel and the peace treaty. Israel must, he said, “look for the best and prepare for the worst.”

Netanyahu said that knowing that previous international peacekeepers left when the going got tough, and proved ineffective. He realized that peace would come under attack from Hezbollah, Hamas, and Iran, and thus they needed a force with which to defend their own Jewish homeland.

“I’m charged with protecting the security of my people, and I will never gamble with the security of the one and only Jewish state.” That force would be the IDF, since they would fight to defend their own homeland — unlike the so-called international peacekeepers who withdrew when threatened.

Turning to the BDS movement (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) he quipped that its letters should really stand for “Bigotry, Dishonesty, and Shame.” That movement, he said, would fail just as had the Arab boycott in Israel’s earlier days. But it needed to be vigorously opposed, because it was bad for peace and was just plain wrong. Its gullible fellow-travelers were supporting a movement whose leaders sought the dissolution of Israel, not peace or reconciliation. Its effect would be “to set back peace by hardening Palestinian positions.”

Moreover, BDS was “morally wrong.” Israel is a healthy democracy, in which its citizens regularly dissent and loudly make criticisms of Israeli policy within the country. It has a free press and protects all religions, including Christians, who are under attack elsewhere throughout the region.  BDS was not about criticism, but is an attempt to paint Israel as an illegitimate state, and is “nothing but a farce.”

At a time when other nations in the Middle East were sending academics to prison for their beliefs and hanging gays on cranes in public squares, BDS only called for sanctions on Israel, a nation in which professors are free to say and teach anything they want. It is the only nation that has full rights for gay people, has had women head three branches of government, and has a free press.

How, he asked, “can anyone fall for the BS in BDS?”

Netanyahu said he was not surprised, because throughout history people believed the most absurd things about Jews, and the most influential people had always spread lies about the Jewish people. The lies had become “ingrained in their consciousness,” and were part of “the long and dark chapter of anti-Semitism.” BDS thus had to be treated as we treat any form of anti-Semitism — be exposed and condemned. He supported those who argue that the BDS movement itself should be boycotted, and he applauded those who work to stop the BDS movement from succeeding.

America and Israel, he ended, have to stand together on the right side of history.

His speech was interrupted at many points by huge applause, and by many standing ovations. The largely Democratic members of AIPAC stood together with Republicans in defense of Israel and in support of the prime minister, whom the left-liberals, the members of J-Street, and the opponents of Israel regularly attack as a reactionary, a hawk, and a danger to Israel.

Those writers, who have recently argued that AIPAC’s role is diminishing and would be proved irrelevant, were clearly shortsighted. Its members were committed to intense lobbying and to keeping up the pressure on behalf of Israel and against those who seek its weakening or demise.

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Top Rated Comments   
Israel, go with God. Defend yourselves even though obama doesn't think you should. He is clearly a closet muslim.
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (8)
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AIPAC should call a spade a spae and Obama-Kerry a bunch of liers.When Kerry just threatened israel with a third violent intifada if israel doesn't comply with the PLO-PA demands what kind of friend is Kerry ? Just another lier-cheater-traitor ; a thousands miles from an honest broker ! On Iran BhO-Kerry are giving them all the time and license to produce nukes, or very-close to nukes installations.This is exactly as if Chamberlain gave the nazis the right to produce zyklon gas but with the " promise " not to use it against the jews.We are in agrotesque world where the globalist agenda of the NWO is applied step-by-step by the smiling BhO and his bunch.Those liers will take any step to get rid of israel because in their wicked mind there is much more business to do 80 millions of backward iranians and 500 millions of arabs than with 7 millions of well-educated israelis.The american jews who support BhO are very similar to the " Judenrat " jews who helped the nazis organize the murder of their fellow people.
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
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28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
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28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment

The Evil genie is out of the Bottle. It all began in 1967 when the Israeli Forces reclaimed all of Jerusalem but in a moment of weakness and misguided secular-Jewish largesse decided to allow the Muslim's Al Aksa Mosque to remain undisturbed on Temple Mount. Temple Mount is a Spiritual Vortex, given to the Jewish Nation to safeguard by the Holy ONE, the Omnipotent Force of all Forces in the Universe, with strict instructions as to what is allowed and forbidden on this most Awesome and powerful Spiritual Powerplant on planet earth. The Jewish People have no Spiritual claim to the Holy Land when they do not fulfill their 'part of the bargain', that is, their G-d given responsibility under the Covenant to serve as
Custodians of the Mount. In effect, fulfilling that responsibility, more than any historical claims or 'legal' titles of ownership is what gives legitimacy to the Jewish possession of Jerusalem and the Holy Land.
On a deep and subconscious spiritual level this truth is felt if not understood not only by the European Union and United Nations but particularly by our half brothers in the Muslim world who have rightfully concluded the weakness and spiritual faithlessness of the Jewish Nation in spurning G-d's Will. Their fraudulent possession of Temple Mount and the Israeli Government's complicity in reinforcing of this fraud by officially forbidding any Jewish prayer or even for Jews to set foot there has caused a world-shattering metaphysical imbalance, a short-circuit so to speak.
Since 1967 the cancer of Radical Islam has metastasized world-wide, threatening every civilization with physical and spiritual destruction. The 9-11 attacks, Islamic unrest and Sharia in Europe, everywhere Islam has a presence, the dread and unspeakable menace of two nuclear armed Islamic States, Pakistan and soon Iran just to name a very few nightmares. Is this a coincidence? Is it a coincidence that all three major religions hold Jerusalem as sacred ground to be fought and died for? A coincidence that Jerusalem is never mentioned in Islam's holiest book, Koran, yet thousands of times in Jewish Scripture!
The truth is that nothing can stop this Cancer from spreading. Not Armed forces, Drone assassinations, Civil laws or security checkpoints. Not even the false panacea of a 'successful' political settlement with Arab Palestinians in Judea/Samaria for 'Palestinian' Statehood there will turn the tide and return the 'Genie' to the 'box'. Those are nothing but band-aids on soon-to-be terminal cancer. And more and more as the nations of the world, including formerly friendly ones in European Capitols and Washington D.C. Quietly have begun to openly question the merits, even the 'legitimacy' of the Jewish State, the situation facing Israel has become dire. Far worse than Iranian nukes is this other threat. Sadly, more and more American Jews have come to question Israeli status in that region. The BDS movement grows on American University campuses, most troubling as it now includes growing numbers of young liberal Jewish students, men and women.
Militarily, politically, philosophically, morally ...Israel is becoming weakened on many fronts. It is not certain the Jewish State can survive much longer under the expanded front.
Unless...The Jewish Nation will do what should have been done in 1967. Remove the Al Aksa from Temple Mount. Restore the balance to the Spiritual Vortex as was intended by the Holy ONE. There Is No Other Way. Yes, it will be painful. The region and world will bleed with Muslim fury and world-violence. For a while. And then, the cancer will die as the Genie of Spiritual imbalance is returned to the Bottle. There Is No Other Way. And Time Is Running Out.
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
Israel will always do what it needs to do, when it needs to do it. The days of Jews asking if it is OK to defend themselves has passed.
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
It's hard to negotiate with an enemy who hides his intentions, wants your ultimate destruction and pretends to be for peace.

But enough about Obama and Kerry...the Palestinians are pawns in a game played by jihadists and leftists in concert.

There is no two state compromise. The Palestinians have nothing to give. The fact that this is about Palestinians is illusory. They are a prop.

Israel is forced to dance with shadows. It's all so disingenuous.

And Bush Derangement Syndrome has something more than initials in common with BDS. It's a sham, based upon a mountain of lies and slander.

Bibi always has the most clear head and tones down what has to be much stronger words that leap to his mind in dealing with Obama, his cabal and the depraved leftists who attack America and Israel...always from OUR house...never from the lands they pretend to advocate for. From here...not there.

Cowards and liars.

Next year in Jerusalem...if there is a Jerusalem...and if there is a next year.
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
Remarking on the last paragraph: God, I sure hope so. However, it's easy to stand up and applaud...not so much to take action.
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
Israel, go with God. Defend yourselves even though obama doesn't think you should. He is clearly a closet muslim.
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
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