Netanyahu’s Churchillian Speech at the United Nations

Speaking plainly and warning bluntly, like a biblical prophet, the Prime Minister of Israel’s address to the United Nations’ General Assembly was a masterful performance which calls to mind Winston Churchill’s prescient speeches in the 1930s about Nazi Germany’s growing threat to Civilization.

Eschewing any rhetorical device designed to soften his personal image or obscure the nature of his purpose, Netanyahu graphically connected the dots regarding the ultimate objective of Islamic terrorist groups- world conquest.

He lectured the delegates that though Shia and Sunni extremist groups war against each other, both are dangerous adversaries to existing international order. With sardonic sweep, he counseled that the former want to usher the world into a Messianic order with a 9th century focus, the latter with a 7th century orientation.

He stated that ISIS is like unto Boko Haram of  Nigeria, al-Shabab of Somalia, Hezbollah of Lebanon, and al-Qaeda and that are all connected by the same root and should be viewed accordingly by the United Nations.

He then focused on the great danger that a nuclear Iran with its ISIS-like ideology would pose to Civilization, a threat, he stated that was more potent than ISIS.

However, it was Bibi’s recounting of this summer’s HAMAS/Israel Conflict which was the principal focus of his address. He lectured the UNGA on its failure to recognize that HAMAS is also ISIS-like in its final goal. Recognizing that the HAMAS propaganda offensive had gained some traction, the Prime Minister disassembled the terrorist group’s strategy.

Netanyahu reiterated his past arguments to disabuse the world of its moral equivalency assessments of Israeli and HAMAS behavior. His effort calls to mind Alan Dershowitz’s masterful debunking of several ignorantly uninformed and willfully incorrect accusations about Israel in his book “The Case For Israel.”

Dershowitz like Netanyahu raises the often repeated canard, which suggests moral equivalence between Palestinian terrorists and Israeli military responses. Both men deconstruct this assault by cataloging the Palestinian terrorist penchant for soft targets and indiscriminate targeting of civilians.

Another issue which reflects superficial misunderstanding of the nature of HAMAS is the question posed by Dershowitz, “Why Have More Palestinians than Israelis Been Killed?” Last Summer’s 55 day military exchange between the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) soldiers and HAMAS re-invigorates this question, as there were far more Palestinians than Israeli casualties. Netanyahu portrays the cynical strategy of HAMAS which sites its missile launchers in civilian neighborhoods and orders women and children to remain in place to absorb the full measure of the IDF’s military response in order to depict Israel as purposely targeting non-combatants.

Dershowitz, on the other hand, accounts for the disparity in the number of casualties is in large part due to Israel’s superior intelligence gathering techniques, responsive medical infrastructure, and the many foiled suicide bombing plots by Israeli security services.

The Lawfare Project, headquartered in New York adds another important, legal dimension to this issue focusing on the time-honored “Just War” principle of proportionality. Lawfare Project Director Brooke Goldstein comments that the conscious conflating of the proportionality principle with the disparity in casualties between Israelis and Gaza-resident Arabs is misleading and manipulative. This disingenuous maneuver implies that in order for justice to be served more Jews had to be killed. This judgment explicitly militates against the right of Israel to defend itself.

Finally Netanyahu reminds the delegates that Israel has a history of three thousand years in the region and has the ability to maintain its presence and defend its interests. Dershowitz in his book meticulously elaborates on Netanyahu’s assertion.

“For more than 1600 years the Jews formed the main settled population of (what the Romans later called Palestine).”

And that even after mass exile and many conquests, “thousands of Jews managed to remain in its holy cities, especially Jerusalem, Safed, Tiberias and Hebron. There were also many Jews in Gaza, Rafah, Ashkelon, Caesarea, Jafa, Acre, and Jericho.”

Benjamin Ryberg