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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

"Listening to Netanyahu was like listening to our collective conscience trying to remind us of who we really are."

I'll have more on Bibi Netanyahu's speech to a Joint Session of Congress later.  For now, I'll quote reader Deborah who e-mailed me as follows:
As I listened to the live broadcast of Bibi Netanyahu's speech, I thought to myself that HE's reminding us of who we are. We're NOT the moral relativists and effete European socialists that the current administration wants us to be. Listening to Netanyahu was like listening to our collective conscience trying to remind us of who we really are.
It was a truly amazing speech, with personal anecdotes about his own combat experience "in the Suez Canal" (he emphasized "in") and the loss of his brother, a history lesson on Arab rejectionism, and a reframing of the narrative around the Palestinian refusal to accept a Jewish state.

But what struck me the most was that Netanyahu made the case for the greatness of the United States, without apology, without equivocation, and without dwelling on our imperfections.

When Netanyahu was interrupted by a heckler, he used it to make a point:

It was Reaganesque. 

And in a sad way, it reminded me of what we are missing.

Update: Here is the entire speech, which Politico described with the headline Benjamin Netanyahu Wows Congress and ABC's The Note counted 29 standing ovations, 4 more than Obama received at his State of the Union.  (Transcript here.)

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  1. Because they were listening to the last real free man. From the last really free country. Her enemies have made her strong. We need Israel more than she needs us.

  2. ABC said that Netanyahu lingered at the podium, seeming reluctant to leave. Duh. People were applauding him and he was thanking them. It's called good manners.

  3. What a great man.

    I noticed not all of Congress were standing. Too bad.

    If we listed out their names (those who chose not to stand), would there be any surprises? Perhaps. But we would have a list of those who need to be replaced in the next election(s).

  4. "...the farcical parliaments of Teheran and Tripoli..."

    Thank you, Professor, for allowing me to repeat that here!

  5. The President of the US is no longer the leader of the free world. Netanyahu is. God bless him.

  6. Jenny's comment is exactly correct.

    It was so refreshing to see and hear an authentic leader speak. The USA has, unfortunately, been exposed to only a 'pretend teleprompter driven' leader.

    God bless Israel and the USA.

  7. Plus, Netanyahu knows what year it is, unlike someone we know.

  8. Netanyahu’s speech was an historic moment in the history of this nation. It wasn't because he talked about Israel's position with respect to making peace with the Palestinians. It wasn't because he described Israel’s unique relationship with the United states. It wasn’t because he received so many standing ovations.

    Netanyahu’s speech was historic because for a brief moment in time, a man got behind the podium in that venue and spoke with absolute clarity, and total honesty from the heart. He spoke without employing meaningless rhetorical flourishes or other oratorical gimmicks to call attention to himself. His speech was not hollow rhetoric engineered to accomplish an objective, behind which there was some other unstated intention. It was not a speech in which he himself would be the main beneficiary. His speech was simply a clarion call to rational people to consider the truth and act with maturity, and consideration of the historical perspective, to bring about a goal that would be of benefit to everyone.

    The man did not posture, but instead, he simply stood up and spoke with an understated elegance and authority that can only be exhibited by those who are not desperately seeking the authority and gravitas they clearly lack. His words were not the product of great efforting because he had the requisite expertise and experience to deliver them sincerely. Netanyahu gave us a glimpse of what we have been missing in America for far too long. Thank you, Mr. Netanyahu!

  9. Yes, the Prime Minister of Israel sounds more like an American president than the American president.

    Truly sad, I agree. And all the more reason to work hard to ensure that we are not saddled with four more years of that disgrace to all things American.

    I was struck, too, by how he remarked on the tragedies of the natural disasters that have taken so many American lives of late. From the American president? *crickets*

  10. And I do want to add that watching Mr. Netanyahu respond to that heckler was . . . *sigh*

    Perhaps we can judge the character of a man by how he responds to criticism. A man who becomes petty, vindictive, petulant, mocking, and sneering and wants to punish and silence the "enemy" who dares interrupt is probably a petty, vindictive, petulant, mocking, sneering little man who holds grudges and seeks to punish anyone who doesn't agree with and support him. A man who is assured, poised, dignified, grounded, open-minded, and able to turn a potentially negative situation into a shining moment of truth is probably an assured, poised, dignified, grounded, and open-minded man who can ably turn bad situations into positive ones.

    Gee, I wonder which kind of man makes the best leader of a free people and which makes the "best" leader of an oppressed people?

  11. You forgot to mention the prisoner state in Gaza if you're reminiscing who you are. Selective amnesia is quintessential American pampered classes.

  12. Charles Frith, you're right - the poor Gazans are prisoners of Hamas. They should have been more careful who they elected.