In his speech before AIPAC on Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke of the good, Israel’s current strengths; the bad, Iran’s growing threat; and the beautiful, Israel’s alliance with the United States.
Netanyahu spoke of how the words of Biblical prophets inspired American leaders such as Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Martin Luther King Jr.
He said that the values that inspired the American quest for freedom and justice are the same as those animating Israeli society. Inspired by the same values, Netanyahu said, “America and Israel have forged an eternal bond that can never ever be broken.”
Netanyahu did not just speak in abstract terms. Earlier in his talk, when he spoke of the good, in terms of Israel’s capacity to defend itself with hardware like Lockheed’s F-35 advanced fighter or the Iron Dome missile interceptor system, he thanked the U.S., saying, “thank you successive American presidents; thank you Congress, Republicans and Democrats alike; thank you AIPAC for helping bring this about. You’re terrific.”
In other areas where Israel has succeeded, Netanyahu observed, the success has indeed helped others. In terms of Israel’s excellent intelligence, he noted, “Israel’s incredible intelligence services have foiled dozens, dozens of terrorist attacks across the world in dozens of countries.”
In another arena, agriculture, Israeli technology has brought “water to Africa, to millions of people in Africa.” And in India, one farmer boasted of increasing his crop yields by up to five times due to Israeli technology. Overall, the prime minister said with pride, “Israel is changing the world in India, in Asia, in Africa, in Latin America, everywhere.”
In the more modern field of cybertechnology, Netanyahu said that Israel has just one-tenth of one percent of the world’s population, but 20% of the world’s private investment in cybertechnology. In other words, in the area of cybertechnology, Israel is “punching 200 times above our weight,” Netanyahu boasted.
Israel has leveraged its technological skills into burgeoning diplomatic ties. The prime minister said, that due to Israel’s capacity “for making the lives of people richer, safer, more productive, many countries are coming to Israel because they want to share with us these benefits.” Netanyahu recalled that when he arrived in Washington as the number two official in the Israeli embassy in the 1980s, that there were “about 80 or 90 countries with whom we had diplomatic relations.” Now the number is over 160.
And though Israel is successfully leading the world in many areas and increasing its engagement around the world, Iran presents a growing threat to Israel, the Middle East and the world.
Again, in describing the Iranian threat, Netanyahu emphasized the importance of Israel’s alliance with the U.S.
President Trump has made it clear that his administration will not accept Iran’s aggression in the region. He has made clear that he too will never accept a nuclear-armed Iran. That is the right policy. I salute President Trump on this. And the President has also made it clear that if the fatal flaws of the nuclear deal are not fixed, he will walk away from the deal and restore sanctions. Israel will be right there by America’s side. And let me tell you, so will other countries in the region.
Netanyahu also praised Trump, and Trump’s negotiating team, Jared Kushner, Jason Greenblatt and Ambassador David Friedman, for their efforts in achieving peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
“Thank you all. Thank you all for your hard work for peace,” Netanyahu said, but he pointed out that to achieve peace “President Abbas has to embrace peace and to stop supporting terror.” The prime minister pointed out that by paying generous benefits to terrorists, Abbas sends a bad message to his society. “Stop paying terrorists,” Netanyahu said, “Because what message does this send to Palestinian children? It says murder Jews and get rich.” Abbas should spend his budget on “roads, schools, hospitals, factories.”
And once again, to address this problem, Netanyahu highlighted the alliance between the U.S. and Israel, saying, “Israel hopes that the passage of the Taylor Force Act will make clear to President Abbas that America has zero tolerance for terror.”
[Photo: Haaretz / YouTube]