Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked AIPAC for working to build “support for Israel on both sides of the aisle, Democrats and Republicans alike,” and said that those who “want to pull America and Israel apart” will be unsuccessful, in his speech before the organization on Tuesday.
Describing the ties between Israel and the United States, the prime minister said, “Our shared values are too deep. Our shared interests are too strong. Our shared destiny too intertwined.”
However, despite this, there are those who not only criticize Israeli policies but who “spew venom that has long been directed at the Jewish people.”
In an apparent reference to comments made by Rep. Ilhan Omar (D – Minn.), Netanyahu said, “Again, the Jews are cast as a force for evil. Again, the Jews are charged with disloyalty. Again, the Jews are said to have too much influence, too much power, too much money.”
Citing the example of biblical figures Esther and Mordechai, heroes of the recently celebrated holiday of Purim, the prime minister called on his audience to confront the words disparaging Jews.
“Take it from this Benjamin,” Netanyahu joked, commenting on American support for Israel, “it’s not about the Benjamins.”
Americans support Israel because “they share our values,” the Israeli leader said.
“It’s because America and Israel share a love of freedom and democracy,” Netanyahu proclaimed. “It’s because we cherish individual rights and the rule of law. It’s because we don’t judge people by the color of their skin, their religion or their sexual orientation.”
Early in the talk, the prime minister explained that he couldn’t attend AIPAC in person because of the escalating conflict with Hamas that necessitated his return to Israel Monday.
Despite the intensification of the fighting with Hamas, Netanyahu thanked the 18,000 delegates at AIPAC “for working year after year, decade after decade to strengthen the remarkable alliance between our two countries.”
[Photo: IsraeliPM / YouTube ]