Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Netanyahu’s speech

For those of you who missed Netanyahu’s amazing speech today to a Joint Session of Congress, here it is:

Best quote:

"In Judea and Samaria, the Jewish people are not foreign occupiers. We are not the British in India.  We are not the Belgians in the Congo.

"This is the land of our forefathers, the Land of Israel, to which Abraham brought the idea of one God, where David set out to confront Goliath, and where Isaiah saw a vision of eternal peace.  No distortion of history can deny the four thousand year old bond, between the Jewish people and the Jewish land."


  1. Thanks for posting - I'm listening right now.

    He's an eloquent speaker - he knows what patriotic "keywords" to use with Congress.

    Good - he's talking about women and gays in the Middle East. And now he's quoting George Eliot! Woohoo.

  2. Wondering if they are all clapping due to peer pressure or because each and everyone of them agrees with everything he is saying?

  3. Leora - I was wondering the same thing. But in the end, it really doesn't matter...

    I added what I thought was the money quote to the post.

  4. I found out later that Rand Paul stayed outside. He and his father are total isolationists and want to do away with foreign aid. So he, for one, wasn't in there clapping.

  5. I haven't yet had a chance to listen to the speech, but I'm getting goosebumps reading those quotes that you just added.

    אין כמו ביבי שלנו!

  6. Leora - Hmm, interesting.

    Toby - May Hashem grant him the strength to remain strong and stay the course.

  7. Thanks for providing the original. I haven't had time to listen yet but I am sure it will be more interesting than reading comments about it.

  8. Okay, I finally got to watch the whole thing. I think he may be the most optimistic Jew on the planet!
    Thanks for sharing it here!

  9. Ilana-Davita - Very true. Seeing all those standing ovations was very inspiring!

    Toby - My pleasure.

    Shabbat Shalom!

  10. Hi there a new voice on your generally delightful blog. I'm a South African Israeli Australian (in that order I currently reside in Sydney)Jew and wanted to share the following:

    I have no issue with the Israelis who have chosen to live in Hevron, Schem (which the Moslems call Nablus), or any other place on the West Bank / Yehuda veShomron. Jews have always lived in these areas. In fact Jews had lived in Hebron continuously from Abraham's time until 1929, when an Arab pogrom murdered sixty-seven Jews on 23 and 24 August 1929, and the rest of the Jewish community fled. Jewish homes and synagogues were looted.

    (And here we have a clear choice on what to focus on, those historical facts that promote a perpetrator/righteous victim discourse, or others that modify and shift this, such as the nineteen Hebron Arab families who saved 435 Jews by hiding them in their houses at great risk to themselves.

    As the reknowned thinker Byron Katie has said "Victims are dangerous" And what is a victim? Anyone who believes and tells themselves they are a victim. Which is what many Israelis and Palestinians do for much of the time, feeding their "pain bodies", their "victimhood" with selective facts that reinforce it. With so many "victims" wondering around, no wonder the West Bank is a potentially explosive place)

    So it is not the presence of Israelis in Hebron - it is the natural and perhaps G-d given right to be there as much as the Palestinians - but their way of being there that I see as gradually dispossesing me of a bold, flexible, creative, youthful open State of Israel in which I would want to live.

  11. It is the narrative of the "returnees" in Beit El and Tekoah and Kiryat Arbah that I have an issue with. Many of them have a triumphalist "my story is the only story"approach, and their understanding of self and other does not seem to be able to accomodate others - be it equally triumphalist Palestinians, or Israelis who do not see it as useful or life enhancing to claim the real or imagined graves of ancestors. The great and oft examined irony is that settler movement claims that it does what it does in the name of an imaginary and idealised "am yisrael" - people of Israel, while loathing, delegitimising and attacking the values of 70% of the real Jews who make up the real Am Yisrael - leftists, secularists, homosexuals, pragmatists, consumers who want a nicer car and a ski holiday, people who insist on trying to see the other's point of view, Jews affiliated with the progressive and conservative movements, modern orthodox Jews with a more pluralist orientation, anti-Zionist Haredi Jews, indifferent Jews, and so forth.

    To call someone who disagrees with you a "traitor" and to physically harass (or assassinate or lay pipe bombs at their door in the most extreme cases), or to verbally abuse them over and over again - surely from this can only come cycles of reaction and reactivity, hurt and suffering?

    It seems to me what threatens Israel as a robust collective more than anything else is the polarisng discourse which instead of expanding to include a broad swathe of opinion, increasingly tries to pretend the other is not there - or has no right to be there. This is as true of the extreme left as it is of the extreme right. If we cannot develop a mechanism to create an Am Yisrael which is not just in our own image, I imagine we will struggle to maintain independent peoplehood (of course I hope I am wrong in this assumption!)

    Its also interesting that increasing hysterical "pro-Palestinian" voices in the West (in inverted commas because these so called activists care little for the Palestinians, it is mostly about their own quest for meaning and their own identity needs - a cause bestows meaning and purpose on the leisured class who can afford to hire boats and planes and take off time from work to attack Israeli owned chocolate shops) strangely mirror the internal delegitimising that goes on between Israelis and Jews. We delegitimise each other internally, and then "the world" amplifies this and does the same thing back to us as a collective. Mida keneged mida?


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