Addressing the UN General Assembly; Benjamin Netanyahu began by expressing his happiness that Israel is slowly but surely becoming more and more accepted by the world; regarding peace with the Palestinians, he said, ‘Abbas, I invite you to come and speak at the Knesset in Jerusalem, and I will gladly come to speak at the Palestinian parliament in Ramallah.’
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the United Nations General Assembly in Turtle Bay, New York on Thursday, and spoke of Israel’s shining future at the United Nations while blaming the Palestinians for the frozen peace process and inviting Mahmoud Abbas to address the Knesset.
Netanyahu spoke after Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s speech that largely attacked the Jewish state, and the two were only separated by Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg.
The prime minister started his speech by saying, “Israel has a bright future at the UN.” He acknowledged that he had spent much time criticizing the UN’s continuing condemnations of Israel and even gave some examples, noting that the UN passed 20 resolutions against Israel, and three against “the rest of the countries on the planet.”
Netanyahu also condemned the fact that “as women are being systematically raped murdered, sold into slavery across the world, which is the only country that the Un’s commission on women has condemned? Yup. You guessed it. Israel.”
Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at the UN General Assembly (Photo: EPA)
He also condemned the UN, specifically UNESCO, for denying the Jewish connection between Jews and the Western Wall. “denied the 4000 year old connection between the Jewish people and its holiest site. That’s just as absurd as denying the connection between the Great Wall of China and China,” he said.
“The UN has gone from being a moral force to a moral farce.”
However, his round of criticism calmed as Netanyahu informed the diplomats that their home countries’ warming to Israel would trickle down to affect their voting patterns at the United Nations.
Israel’s contributions to the world
“Governments are changing their attitudes towards Israel because they know that Israel can help them protect their people, feed them, provide them with better lives,” the prime minister told the delegates. He spoke about Israel’s aid and cooperation in the fields of security, “cyber,” water and technology, and went on to speak about his recent trip to strengthen relations with Africa.
Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at the UN General Assembly (Photo: AFP)
“Later today,” Netanyahu continued, “I’ll be meeting with the leaders from 17 African countries. We’ll discuss how Israel can help them in transforming their countries. In Africa, things are changing. In India, Russia, China, Japan, attitudes towards Israel have changed as well. Despite Israel’s small size, it can make a big difference.”
He touched quickly on relations with the Arab world, noting that countries which used to be bitter enemies of the Jewish state are now willing to work with Israel against mutual threats. He held up the Israeli peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan as cornerstones of peace in the world.
Just a day after meeting with US president Barack Obama, the prime minister thanked Israel’s biggest supporter in the UN. “But in this revolution, we never forget that our most cherished alliance is with the United States of America, the most powerful and generous nation on Earth,” Netanyahu said to rapturous applause from the US delegation.
Netanyahu predicted that the days where UN ambassadors reflexively condemn Israel are coming to an end. He calls on the UN to “lay down its arms” against the Jewish state. “Perhaps some of you don’t know it yet,” he continued, “but I’m confident that one day, in the not-too-distant future, that you’ll get the message from your president or prime minister.”
“Yes, I know. There might be a storm before the calm,” he said “I know there’s talk about ganging up against Israel at the UN later this year.”
Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at the UN General Assembly (Photo: AFP)
Though he reaffirmed his commitment to a “two states for peoples” solution, Netanyahu shot down attempts for a peace process to be led by the United Nations.: “Does anybody really believe that Israel will let the UN determine our security? We will not accept any attempt by the UN to dictate terms to Israel,” he said. He then said regarding a peace process that “the road to peace runs through Jerusalem and Ramallah, not through New York.”
He then said, “I have so much confidence, in fact, that I predict a decade from now, an Israeli prime minister will stand here, where I’m standing, and applaud the UN. But I ask, why do we have to wait a decade? Why do we have to keep vilifying Israel?”
Attacking Abbas’s call to sue the British government over the Balfour Declaration, Netanyahu pointed out that just under 100 years had passed and sarcastically asked, “Why not bring a class action suit Abraham for buying land in Hebron?” referencing the biblical story.
Netanyahu held that the Palestinians were responsible for the ongoing conflict between the two peoples, saying, “This remains the source of the conflict: the Palestinian refusal to accept a Jewish state in ANY boundaries.”
He addressed settlement-building, even admitting that it was an issue that needed to be dealt with, but he expressed umbrage that they be considered the main roadblock for peace. Referencing the unilateral Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in 2005, he said, “When we withdrew from every inch of Gaza, we didn’t get peace from Gaza. We got thousands of rockets fired at us.”
“The real settlements they’re after,” he stressed, “are Haifa, Jaffa, and Tel Aviv.”
“Had the Palestinians said yes to a Jewish State in 1947, there would have been no war, no refugees, and no conflict,” Netanyahu claimed.
Sustained applause & a culture of hate
Netanyahu affirmed, “The state of Israel is ready.I am ready to negotiate all final status, but one thing I will never negotiate is the right to a one and only Jewish state.”
Seemingly supprised by his statement’s warm reception, Netanyahu commented, “Prolonged applause for the prime minister of the State of Israel in the United Nations General Assembly? Change may be coming sooner than I thought!”
“When the Palestinians say ‘yes’ to a Jewish state, we’ll be able to end the conflict once and for all.”
“The Palestinians are not only trapped in the past,” he said. “Their leaders are poisoning the future (of their children).”
Netanyahu painted an imaginary picture of a fictional, typical Palestinian child named Ali. Even if this character were desirious of peace, he would be surrounded by governmental, societal and online praise of violent terrorism, which he deemed “child abuse.” He asked those present to “imagine what it takes for a young boy or girl to break free from this culture of hate.”
“I call on President Abbas. You have a choice to make. You can continue to stoke hatred, as you did today, or you can confront hatred and work with me today,” Netanyahu said.
The Israeli Prime Minister then called on Abbas to speak to Israelis and to him directly. “President Abbas spoke here an hour ago,” said Netanyahu. “President Abbas, I invite you to come and speak at the Knesset in Jerusalem and I will gladly come to speak at the parliament in Ramallah.”
Threat of militant Islam
“Peace has no greater enemy than the force of militant Islam,” said the prime minister. “Israel fights this fateful battle against the force of militant Islam every day.”
Netanyahu spoke about Hamas and how they relate to the militant Islam Israel faces every day.
“(Hamas) unbelievably cruelly refused to return three of our citizens and the bodies of Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin. Hadar’s parents are here today. They have one request: to bury their beloved son in Israel. They ask for one simple thing; to be able to visit the grave of their fallen son Hadar in Israel. Hamas couldn’t care less.” Hamas kidnapped the bodies of Goldin and Shaul during Operation Protective Edge in 2014, and have refused to return them Israel.
To warm applause from the US delegation and visitors’ gallery, Netanyahu said, “Israel will not allow Iran to establish nuclear weapons. Not now, not in a decade, not ever.” Iran’s delegation to the UN was not present during Netanyahu’s speech.
“I stand before you today at a time when Israel’s former president Shimon Peres is fighting for his life. Shimon is one of Israel’s founding fathers, one of Israel’s most respected leaders. I know that you will join me, the entire people of Israel, in wishing him a refuah shleima, Shimon—a full recovery,” he continued.
Speaking about the former president’s optimism, and voiced his optimism and pride in Israel, that it has “soldiers who are second to none,” a thriving hi-tech industry, and advancing in regards to racial equality.
The prime minister finished by saying “Israel wants to be your partner in seizing that future. I call on all of you: embrace Israel. Dream with Israel. A future of security, prosperity and peace. A future where even at the UN, even in this hall, where Israel will take its rightful place among the nations.”
Tags: Abbas, anti-Israeli bias, Benjamin Netanyahu, Gaza Strip, Haifa, Hamas, Israel, Israelis, Jaffa, Jerusalem, Netanyahu, Obama, Ofarim, Palestinian Authority, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian state, Palestinians, Ramallah, settlements, Tel Aviv, two state solution, UN General Assembly, United Nations, United Nations general assembly, West Bank