Prime Minister Netanyahu sends a special Christmas greeting to Christians around the world and in Israel … complete with an invite to the Holy Land!
Prime Minister Netanyahu:
“Over the weekend, Hamas held festivities and demonstrations in Judea and Samaria to mark 25 years since it was founded. With the approval of Mahmud Abbas, they called for the destruction of Israel and the expulsion of Jews from Jerusalem and from every point in the State of Israel. We have been here in Jerusalem , not for 25 years; we have been here in Jerusalem for 3,000 years. We have been in the Land of Israel for close to 4,000 years. We have a strong and steadfast national will, continuous historical consciousness and strength of soul of a people that have struggled for its homeland and know how to maintain its state.
“Last night, I lit the eighth Chanukah candle from the closest possible place to the spot where the miracle of the jar of oil occurred, I actually touched the Western Wall. I said it there and I say it here: The Western Wall is not occupied territory. The Western Wall is ours; it symbolizes the foundation of our existence here for thousands of years. We will stand steadfast in the face of all those who want to expel us from here. The State of Israel, Jerusalem and the Western Wall will remain ours forever.”
The Israeli prime minister’s speech before the United Nations in September is a must-read for anyone who cares about the defence of freedom in the Middle East, and the wider war against Islamist terrorism. Netanyahu laid out in stark terms what he views as an epic “battle being waged between the modern and the medieval,” between the forces of freedom and “the medieval forces of radical Islam.” As Netanyahu declared at the UN General Assembly:
The forces of modernity seek a bright future in which the rights of all are protected, in which an ever-expanding digital library is available in the palm of every child, in which every life is sacred. The forces of medievalism seek a world in which women and minorities are subjugated, in which knowledge is suppressed, in which not life but death is glorified.
These forces clash around the globe, but nowhere more starkly than in the Middle East. Israel stands proudly with the forces of modernity. We protect the rights of all our citizens: men and women, Jews and Arabs, Muslims and Christians – Israel wants to see a Middle East of progress and peace. We want to see the three great religions that sprang forth from our region – Judaism, Christianity and Islam – coexist in peace and in mutual respect.
Yet the medieval forces of radical Islam, whom you just saw storming the American embassies throughout the Middle East, they oppose this. They seek supremacy over all Muslims. They are bent on world conquest. They want to destroy Israel, Europe, America. They want to extinguish freedom. They want to end the modern world.
Militant Islam has many branches – from the rulers of Iran with their Revolutionary Guards to al Qaeda terrorists to the radical cells lurking in every part of the globe. But despite their differences, they are all rooted in the same bitter soil of intolerance. That intolerance is directed first at their fellow Muslims, and then to Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, secular people, anyone who doesn’t submit to their unforgiving creed. They want to drag humanity back to an age of unquestioning dogma and unrelenting conflict. I am sure of one thing. Ultimately they will fail. Ultimately, light will penetrate the darkness.
As Hamas’ rockets rain down on Israel, even striking Tel Aviv and threatening Jerusalem, Netanyahu’s words ring true. This is a confrontation between the freest country in the Middle East, and brutal terrorists blinded with hatred who seek to advance their goals by murdering civilians and indiscriminate terror. The thugs of Hamas share the same goal as the Mullahs in Tehran, who provide the bombs, weapons and resources used to sustain a huge terrorist enterprise – i.e., the destruction of Israel and its replacement with an Islamist state.
Hamas’ Iranian-supplied missile stockpile in Gaza is now estimated to be 10,000 strong. For the Israelis, this is a war of survival in an intensely hostile region. They deserve the full support of the United States, Great Britain, and the Western world, which must stand shoulder to shoulder with a close friend and ally. As Hamas’ offensive illustrates, Israel is the front line of a global conflict between the forces of freedom and the forces of tyranny and barbarism.
This is not just Israel’s war, it is ours too. The threat Israel faces from the Jihadists is the same threat the West faces on the streets of London, Paris, Washington or Berlin. Al Qaeda, which has had significant ties in the past to Hamas, will be closely watching the outcome of Israel’s military campaign. An emphatic defeat for Hamas will be a huge blow not only to the Islamist dictatorship in Tehran, but to the followers of Bin Laden as well.
On Wednesday afternoon in Baghdad, a few thousand kilometers away from the Prime Minister’s Jerusalem Residence, the world powers known as the P5+1 – the US, China, Russia, France, Britain and Germany – sat down for much anticipated talks with the Iranians about their nuclear program.
At the same time, just a few hundred meters away from the Prime Minister’s Residence, 100 or so people loudly demonstrated for the rights of Ethiopian immigrants and against discrimination.
And all the while, for two hours on a mild afternoon, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu – with a small black kippa on his head – sat in the covered courtyard of his home with 16 rabbis, academics, Bible scholars, archeologists and linguists, and discussed the meaning of the Book of Ruth, which will be read on Shavuot on Sunday in synagogues around the world. His wife, Sara, sat next to him, and his two sons sat on a bank of chairs set to the side.
There was something at once heartening and slightly humorous about Netanyahu setting aside precious time in the late afternoon to talk about Biblical figures Tamar and Yehuda, Naomi and Boaz, Ruth and David, while Iran loomed so large, and domestic issues beckoned so seriously.
It was heartening in that it is uniquely elevating seeing the prime minister of the Jewish state taking time out to study the Bible, the heart of Jewish existence. One cannot talk about Jewish historic rights to this place, which the prime minister does constantly, without appreciating and understanding the Bible…
Read on in the Jerusalem Post here.
Military men (Netanyahu was special forces, and has been shot in battle):
The United States’ top military official held talks Friday with Israeli leaders in an effort to coordinate responses to Iran’s nuclear program and urged closer cooperation between the two allies.
Remarks by Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey before the talks appeared to reflect concern in Washington about possible Israeli plans to move independently to strike Iran’s nuclear facilities.
“We have many interests in common in the region in this very dynamic time, and the more we can continue to engage each other, the better off we’ll all be,” Dempsey said at the start of a meeting with Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak at his Tel Aviv office.
Barak replied, “There is never a dull moment, that I can promise you.”
Dempsey also met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Shimon Peres and the Israeli army’s chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz.
“Both our countries share the same interests, both the same values, and I’m sure we can somehow work it out together,” Gantz said as the two generals sat down for their meeting.
Dempsey said his presence in Israel “reflects the commitment we have with each other, and I’m here to assure you that is the case.”
No Israeli statement was issued after the day’s talks, reflecting the sensitivity of the subject, and spokesmen for Netanyahu and Barak declined to comment on the substance of the discussions, citing what they described as standard procedure for consultations with visiting U.S. military chiefs.
A spokesman for Dempsey said in a statement that the talks had “served to advance a common understanding of the regional security environment.”
There’s more here.
This is very well put:
If it had been a fight, they would have stopped it. Friday’s showdown between President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wasn’t close, and it wasn’t pretty — though Netanyahu didn’t want to leave any obvious marks. The end result was that our president is suddenly aware that Chicago rules don’t work on tough-minded leaders of countries surrounded by terrorists.
The battle between the warrior and the academic was bound to turn out this way. President Obama was a community organizer once. Netanyahu was commander of the Israeli Defense Forces’ elite special forces unit, Sayeret Matkal. Faculty meetings can get rough, but not as rough as the hostage rescue mission to free Sabena Flight 571.
So the president’s absurd declaration about 1967 borders is off the table. In fact, the table is gone. Israel can wait out the 20 months left to Obama’s presidency, or even 48 months if American voters insanely choose to experiment with epic incompetence at the top for another term. Israel isn’t going back to the Auschwitz borders, and only a naive and inexperienced academic would think that Thursday’s speech would do other than worsen prospects for a negotiated settlement.
Netanyahu’s take-down of the president should be on the TiVo of Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty, Mitch Daniels, Jon Huntsman (and, yes, Rick Perry if what I have been hearing is true). One of those men will be standing opposite the president in the debates of September and October of 2012, and Netanyahu showed exactly how to respond to the prolixities and pauses of the teleprompter-dependent president.
First, let the president talk, and talk, and talk. (And talk.) His frequent rhetorical cul-de-sacs numb the minds of listeners and set up the opportunity for sharp contrasts between the definitive and the ambiguous, the purposeful and the feckless.
Second, look right at him when responding. This so unnerved President Obama that his anger and frustration was visible. Whether he brought the sense of superiority to the White House or whether it erupted there, the president does not care for people who challenge him directly, cannot seem to believe that anyone would have the temerity to do so. This is the sign of a deep insecurity, and Netanyahu used it.
Next, speak from specifics, using facts and especially history. Netanyahu used history to spank the president on Friday. A GOP nominee armed with specific references — not just to Obama’s many blunders but also to clear evidence of the American exceptionalism that Obama has clearly rejected — will put the wordy academic on his heels.
Finally, express core truths bluntly — especially the harshest ones, such as the nature of Hamas. The president has been shrinking from clarity for more than two years, whether it is clarity on Iran, on the butcher Assad and the nutter Chavez, and most recently on the key Palestinian problem — that Hamas, like Hezbollah to the north, wants Israel destroyed.
Netanyahu showed a worldwide audience that purposefulness can be as polite as it is pointed, and that Obama has a glass jaw. A clenched glass jaw, but a glass jaw nonetheless.
Israel isn’t going back to the 1967 borders. Hamas cannot be a partner in peace negotiations. And Israel is a friend and a valued ally, not a lap dog. The president would do well to figure out that our country prefers Netanyahu’s approach to his. Even the president’s own party does.
The above was here.
Arutz Sheva reports:
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, speaking on the eve of Israel’s Memorial Day for Fallen Soldiers and Terrorism Victims, quotes the Bible to the effect that working to build Israel is the country’s solace for those killed.
Ammunition Hill, where a battle raged on the second day of the Six Day War in 1967, which concluded with all of Jerusalem and the rest of Israel being united for the first time in 2,000 years.
The Ammunition Hill battle raged 10 hours. “The enemy had been beaten, the hill captured, but the price we paid was heavy – 21 of our best soldiers from the Paratroopers Brigade fell in that bloody fight here,” said the Prime Minister.
Quoting from the Book of Jeremiah (31:16), the Prime Minister stated, “Our grief is overwhelming, our hearts ache, where will we find comfort? The prophet said: ‘Refrain thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears; for thy work shall be rewarded.’”
“We shall find solace in building the land and the people, in striving for days of peace…
Wow! Powerful words.
… none of this would have happened if not for the young men and women who sacrificed their lives to ensure our existence…
“They would see that a huge earthquake shook the Middle East region in the past year…. But as the days go by, one thing is becoming clear – Israel is an island of freedom, democracy and progress in a vast, important swath of land.”
The whole piece is here.
Strangely though, no mention of the role of nor reliance on G-d?
Read why here.