Netanyahu's Speech at the UN

The Prime Minister's important speech at the UN.

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The following is a transcript of the Prime Minister's Speech.

United Nations Headquarters, New York City, New York
Friday, September 23, 2011

PRIME MIN. NETANYAHU: Thank you, Mr. President.

Ladies and gentlemen, Israel has extended its hand in peace from the moment it was established 63 years ago. On behalf of Israel and the Jewish people, I extend that hand again today. I extend it to the people of Egypt and Jordan, with renewed friendship for neighbors with whom we have made peace. I extend it to the people of Turkey, with respect and good will. I extend it to the people of Libya and Tunisia, with admiration for those trying to build a democratic future. I extend it to the other peoples of North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, with whom we want to forge a new beginning. I extend it to the people of Syria, Lebanon and Iran, with awe at the courage of those fighting brutal repression.

But most especially, I extend my hand to the Palestinian people, with whom we seek a just and lasting peace.

Ladies and gentlemen, in Israel our hope for peace never wanes. Our scientists, doctors, innovators, apply their genius to improve the world of tomorrow. Our artists, our writers, enrich the heritage of humanity. Now, I know that this is not exactly the image of Israel that is often portrayed in this hall. After all, it was here in 1975 that the age-old yearning of my people to restore our national life in our ancient biblical homeland — it was then that this was braided — branded, rather — shamefully, as racism. And it was here in 1980, right here, that the historic peace agreement between Israel and Egypt wasn’t praised; it was denounced! And it’s here year after year that Israel is unjustly singled out for condemnation. It’s singled out for condemnation more often than all the nations of the world combined. Twenty-one out of the 27 General Assembly resolutions condemn Israel — the one true democracy in the Middle East.

Well, this is an unfortunate part of the U.N. institution. It’s the — the theater of the absurd. It doesn’t only cast Israel as the villain; it often casts real villains in leading roles: Gadhafi’s Libya chaired the U.N. Commission on Human Rights; Saddam’s Iraq headed the U.N. Committee on Disarmament.

You might say: That’s the past. Well, here’s what’s happening now — right now, today. Hezbollah-controlled Lebanon now presides over the U.N. Security Council. This means, in effect, that a terror organization presides over the body entrusted with guaranteeing the world’s security.

You couldn’t make this thing up.

So here in the U.N., automatic majorities can decide anything. They can decide that the sun sets in the west or rises in the west. I think the first has already been pre-ordained. But they can also decide — they have decided that the Western Wall in Jerusalem, Judaism’s holiest place, is occupied Palestinian territory.

And yet even here in the General Assembly, the truth can sometimes break through. In 1984 when I was appointed Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, I visited the great rabbi of Lubavich. He said to me — and ladies and gentlemen, I don’t want any of you to be offended because from personal experience of serving here, I know there are many honorable men and women, many capable and decent people serving their nations here. But here’s what the rebbe said to me. He said to me, you’ll be serving in a house of many lies. And then he said, remember that even in the darkest place, the light of a single candle can be seen far and wide.

Today I hope that the light of truth will shine, if only for a few minutes, in a hall that for too long has been a place of darkness for my country. So as Israel’s prime minister, I didn’t come here to win applause. I came here to speak the truth. The truth is — the truth is that Israel wants peace. The truth is that I want peace. The truth is that in the Middle East at all times, but especially during these turbulent days, peace must be anchored in security. The truth is that we cannot achieve peace through U.N. resolutions, but only through direct negotiations between the parties. The truth is that so far the Palestinians have refused to negotiate. The truth is that Israel wants peace with a Palestinian state, but the Palestinians want a state without peace. And the truth is you shouldn’t let that happen.

Ladies and gentlemen, when I first came here 27 years ago, the world was divided between East and West. Since then the Cold War ended, great civilizations have risen from centuries of slumber, hundreds of millions have been lifted out of poverty, countless more are poised to follow, and the remarkable thing is that so far this monumental historic shift has largely occurred peacefully. Yet a malignancy is now growing between East and West that threatens the peace of all. It seeks not to liberate, but to enslave, not to build, but to destroy.

That malignancy is militant Islam. It cloaks itself in the mantle of a great faith, yet it murders Jews, Christians and Muslims alike with unforgiving impartiality. On September 11th it killed thousands of Americans, and it left the twin towers in smoldering ruins. Last night I laid a wreath on the 9/11 memorial. It was deeply moving. But as I was going there, one thing echoed in my mind: the outrageous words of the president of Iran on this podium yesterday. He implied that 9/11 was an American conspiracy. Some of you left this hall. All of you should have.

Since 9/11, militant Islamists slaughtered countless other innocents — in London and Madrid, in Baghdad and Mumbai, in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, in every part of Israel. I believe that the greatest danger facing our world is that this fanaticism will arm itself with nuclear weapons. And this is precisely what Iran is trying to do.

Can you imagine that man who ranted here yesterday — can you imagine him armed with nuclear weapons? The international community must stop Iran before it’s too late. If Iran is not stopped, we will all face the specter of nuclear terrorism, and the Arab Spring could soon become an Iranian winter. That would be a tragedy. Millions of Arabs have taken to the streets to replace tyranny with liberty, and no one would benefit more than Israel if those committed to freedom and peace would prevail.

This is my fervent hope. But as the prime minister of Israel, I cannot risk the future of the Jewish state on wishful thinking. Leaders must see reality as it is, not as it ought to be. We must do our best to shape the future, but we cannot wish away the dangers of the present.

And the world around Israel is definitely becoming more dangerous. Militant Islam has already taken over Lebanon and Gaza. It’s determined to tear apart the peace treaties between Israel and Egypt and between Israel and Jordan. It’s poisoned many Arab minds against Jews and Israel, against America and the West. It opposes not the policies of Israel but the existence of Israel.

Now, some argue that the spread of militant Islam, especially in these turbulent times — if you want to slow it down, they argue, Israel must hurry to make concessions, to make territorial compromises. And this theory sounds simple. Basically it goes like this: Leave the territory, and peace will be advanced. The moderates will be strengthened, the radicals will be kept at bay. And don’t worry about the pesky details of how Israel will actually defend itself; international troops will do the job.

These people say to me constantly: Just make a sweeping offer, and everything will work out. You know, there’s only one problem with that theory. We’ve tried it and it hasn’t worked. In 2000 Israel made a sweeping peace offer that met virtually all of the Palestinian demands. Arafat rejected it. The Palestinians then launched a terror attack that claimed a thousand Israeli lives.

Prime Minister Olmert afterwards made an even more sweeping offer, in 2008. President Abbas didn’t even respond to it.

But Israel did more than just make sweeping offers. We actually left territory. We withdrew from Lebanon in 2000 and from every square inch of Gaza in 2005. That didn’t calm the Islamic storm, the militant Islamic storm that threatens us. It only brought the storm closer and make it stronger.

Hezbollah and Hamas fired thousands of rockets against our cities from the very territories we vacated. See, when Israel left Lebanon and Gaza, the moderates didn’t defeat the radicals, the moderates were devoured by the radicals. And I regret to say that international troops like UNIFIL in Lebanon and UBAM (ph) in Gaza didn’t stop the radicals from attacking Israel.

We left Gaza hoping for peace.

We didn’t freeze the settlements in Gaza, we uprooted them. We did exactly what the theory says: Get out, go back to the 1967 borders, dismantle the settlements.

And I don’t think people remember how far we went to achieve this. We uprooted thousands of people from their homes. We pulled children out of — out of their schools and their kindergartens. We bulldozed synagogues. We even — we even moved loved ones from their graves. And then, having done all that, we gave the keys of Gaza to President Abbas.

Now the theory says it should all work out, and President Abbas and the Palestinian Authority now could build a peaceful state in Gaza. You can remember that the entire world applauded. They applauded our withdrawal as an act of great statesmanship. It was a bold act of peace.

But ladies and gentlemen, we didn’t get peace. We got war. We got Iran, which through its proxy Hamas promptly kicked out the Palestinian Authority. The Palestinian Authority collapsed in a day — in one day.

President Abbas just said on this podium that the Palestinians are armed only with their hopes and dreams. Yeah, hopes, dreams and 10,000 missiles and Grad rockets supplied by Iran, not to mention the river of lethal weapons now flowing into Gaza from the Sinai, from Libya, and from elsewhere.

Thousands of missiles have already rained down on our cities. So you might understand that, given all this, Israelis rightly ask: What’s to prevent this from happening again in the West Bank? See, most of our major cities in the south of the country are within a few dozen kilometers from Gaza. But in the center of the country, opposite the West Bank, our cities are a few hundred meters or at most a few kilometers away from the edge of the West Bank.

So I want to ask you. Would any of you — would any of you bring danger so close to your cities, to your families? Would you act so recklessly with the lives of your citizens? Israel is prepared to have a Palestinian state in the West Bank, but we’re not prepared to have another Gaza there. And that’s why we need to have real security arrangements, which the Palestinians simply refuse to negotiate with us.

Israelis remember the bitter lessons of Gaza. Many of Israel’s critics ignore them. They irresponsibly advise Israel to go down this same perilous path again. Your read what these people say and it’s as if nothing happened — just repeating the same advice, the same formulas as though none of this happened.

And these critics continue to press Israel to make far-reaching concessions without first assuring Israel’s security. They praise those who unwittingly feed the insatiable crocodile of militant Islam as bold statesmen. They cast as enemies of peace those of us who insist that we must first erect a sturdy barrier to keep the crocodile out, or at the very least jam an iron bar between its gaping jaws.

So in the face of the labels and the libels, Israel must heed better advice. Better a bad press than a good eulogy, and better still would be a fair press whose sense of history extends beyond breakfast, and which recognizes Israel’s legitimate security concerns.

I believe that in serious peace negotiations, these needs and concerns can be properly addressed, but they will not be addressed without negotiations. And the needs are many, because Israel is such a tiny country. Without Judea and Samaria, the West Bank, Israel is all of 9 miles wide.

I want to put it for you in perspective, because you’re all in the city. That’s about two-thirds the length of Manhattan. It’s the distance between Battery Park and Columbia University. And don’t forget that the people who live in Brooklyn and New Jersey are considerably nicer than some of Israel’s neighbors.

So how do you — how do you protect such a tiny country, surrounded by people sworn to its destruction and armed to the teeth by Iran? Obviously you can’t defend it from within that narrow space alone. Israel needs greater strategic depth, and that’s exactly why Security Council Resolution 242 didn’t require Israel to leave all the territories it captured in the Six-Day War. It talked about withdrawal from territories, to secure and defensible boundaries. And to defend itself, Israel must therefore maintain a long-term Israeli military presence in critical strategic areas in the West Bank.

I explained this to President Abbas. He answered that if a Palestinian state was to be a sovereign country, it could never accept such arrangements. Why not? America has had troops in Japan, Germany and South Korea for more than a half a century. Britain has had an airspace in Cyprus or rather an air base in Cyprus. France has forces in three independent African nations. None of these states claim that they’re not sovereign countries.

And there are many other vital security issues that also must be addressed. Take the issue of airspace. Again, Israel’s small dimensions create huge security problems. America can be crossed by jet airplane in six hours. To fly across Israel, it takes three minutes. So is Israel’s tiny airspace to be chopped in half and given to a Palestinian state not at peace with Israel?

Our major international airport is a few kilometers away from the West Bank. Without peace, will our planes become targets for antiaircraft missiles placed in the adjacent Palestinian state? And how will we stop the smuggling into the West Bank? It’s not merely the West Bank, it’s the West Bank mountains. It just dominates the coastal plain where most of Israel’s population sits below. How could we prevent the smuggling into these mountains of those missiles that could be fired on our cities?

I bring up these problems because they’re not theoretical problems. They’re very real. And for Israelis, they’re life-and- death matters. All these potential cracks in Israel’s security have to be sealed in a peace agreement before a Palestinian state is declared, not afterwards, because if you leave it afterwards, they won’t be sealed. And these problems will explode in our face and explode the peace.

The Palestinians should first make peace with Israel and then get their state. But I also want to tell you this. After such a peace agreement is signed, Israel will not be the last country to welcome a Palestinian state as a new member of the United Nations. We will be the first.

And there’s one more thing. Hamas has been violating international law by holding our soldier Gilad Shalit captive for five years.

They haven’t given even one Red Cross visit. He’s held in a dungeon, in darkness, against all international norms. Gilad Shalit is the son of Aviva and Noam Shalit. He is the grandson of Zvi Shalit, who escaped the Holocaust by coming to the — in the 1930s as a boy to the land of Israel. Gilad Shalit is the son of every Israeli family. Every nation represented here should demand his immediate release. If you want to — if you want to pass a resolution about the Middle East today, that’s the resolution you should pass.

Ladies and gentlemen, last year in Israel in Bar-Ilan University, this year in the Knesset and in the U.S. Congress, I laid out my vision for peace in which a demilitarized Palestinian state recognizes the Jewish state. Yes, the Jewish state. After all, this is the body that recognized the Jewish state 64 years ago. Now, don’t you think it’s about time that Palestinians did the same?

The Jewish state of Israel will always protect the rights of all its minorities, including the more than 1 million Arab citizens of Israel. I wish I could say the same thing about a future Palestinian state, for as Palestinian officials made clear the other day — in fact, I think they made it right here in New York — they said the Palestinian state won’t allow any Jews in it. They’ll be Jew-free — Judenrein. That’s ethnic cleansing. There are laws today in Ramallah that make the selling of land to Jews punishable by death. That’s racism. And you know which laws this evokes.

Israel has no intention whatsoever to change the democratic character of our state. We just don’t want the Palestinians to try to change the Jewish character of our state. (Applause.) We want to give up — we want them to give up the fantasy of flooding Israel with millions of Palestinians.

President Abbas just stood here, and he said that the core of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the settlements. Well, that’s odd. Our conflict has been raging for — was raging for nearly half a century before there was a single Israeli settlement in the West Bank. So if what President Abbas is saying was true, then the — I guess that the settlements he’s talking about are Tel Aviv, Haifa, Jaffa, Be’er Sheva. Maybe that’s what he meant the other day when he said that Israel has been occupying Palestinian land for 63 years. He didn’t say from 1967; he said from 1948. I hope somebody will bother to ask him this question because it illustrates a simple truth: The core of the conflict is not the settlements. The settlements are a result of the conflict. (Applause.)

The settlements have to be — it’s an issue that has to be addressed and resolved in the course of negotiations. But the core of the conflict has always been and unfortunately remains the refusal of the Palestinians to recognize a Jewish state in any border.

I think it’s time that the Palestinian leadership recognizes what every serious international leader has recognized, from Lord Balfour and Lloyd George in 1917, to President Truman in 1948, to President Obama just two days ago right here: Israel is the Jewish state.

President Abbas, stop walking around this issue. Recognize the Jewish state, and make peace with us. In such a genuine peace, Israel is prepared to make painful compromises. We believe that the Palestinians should be neither the citizens of Israel nor its subjects. They should live in a free state of their own. But they should be ready, like us, for compromise. And we will know that they’re ready for compromise and for peace when they start taking Israel’s security requirements seriously and when they stop denying our historical connection to our ancient homeland.

I often hear them accuse Israel of Judaizing Jerusalem. That’s like accusing America of Americanizing Washington, or the British of Anglicizing London. You know why we’re called “Jews”? Because we come from Judea.

In my office in Jerusalem, there’s a — there’s an ancient seal. It’s a signet ring of a Jewish official from the time of the Bible. The seal was found right next to the Western Wall, and it dates back 2,700 years, to the time of King Hezekiah. Now, there’s a name of the Jewish official inscribed on the ring in Hebrew. His name was Netanyahu. That’s my last name. My first name, Benjamin, dates back a thousand years earlier to Benjamin — Binyamin — the son of Jacob, who was also known as Israel. Jacob and his 12 sons roamed these same hills of Judea and Sumeria 4,000 years ago, and there’s been a continuous Jewish presence in the land ever since.

And for those Jews who were exiled from our land, they never stopped dreaming of coming back: Jews in Spain, on the eve of their expulsion; Jews in the Ukraine, fleeing the pogroms; Jews fighting the Warsaw Ghetto, as the Nazis were circling around it. They never stopped praying, they never stopped yearning. They whispered: Next year in Jerusalem. Next year in the promised land.

As the prime minister of Israel, I speak for a hundred generations of Jews who were dispersed throughout the lands, who suffered every evil under the Sun, but who never gave up hope of restoring their national life in the one and only Jewish state.

Ladies and gentlemen, I continue to hope that President Abbas will be my partner in peace. I’ve worked hard to advance that peace. The day I came into office, I called for direct negotiations without preconditions. President Abbas didn’t respond. I outlined a vision of peace of two states for two peoples. He still didn’t respond. I removed hundreds of roadblocks and checkpoints, to ease freedom of movement in the Palestinian areas; this facilitated a fantastic growth in the Palestinian economy. But again — no response. I took the unprecedented step of freezing new buildings in the settlements for 10 months. No prime minister did that before, ever. Once again — you applaud, but there was no response. No response.

In the last few weeks, American officials have put forward ideas to restart peace talks. There were things in those ideas about borders that I didn’t like. There were things there about the Jewish state that I’m sure the Palestinians didn’t like.

But with all my reservations, I was willing to move forward on these American ideas.

President Abbas, why don’t you join me? We have to stop negotiating about the negotiations. Let’s just get on with it. Let’s negotiate peace.

I spent years defending Israel on the battlefield. I spent decades defending Israel in the court of public opinion. President Abbas, you’ve dedicated your life to advancing the Palestinian cause. Must this conflict continue for generations, or will we enable our children and our grandchildren to speak in years ahead of how we found a way to end it? That’s what we should aim for, and that’s what I believe we can achieve.

In two and a half years, we met in Jerusalem only once, even though my door has always been open to you. If you wish, I’ll come to Ramallah. Actually, I have a better suggestion. We’ve both just flown thousands of miles to New York. Now we’re in the same city. We’re in the same building. So let’s meet here today in the United Nations. Who’s there to stop us? What is there to stop us? If we genuinely want peace, what is there to stop us from meeting today and beginning peace negotiations?

And I suggest we talk openly and honestly. Let’s listen to one another. Let’s do as we say in the Middle East: Let’s talk “doogli” (ph). That means straightforward. I’ll tell you my needs and concerns. You’ll tell me yours. And with God’s help, we’ll find the common ground of peace.

There’s an old Arab saying that you cannot applaud with one hand. Well, the same is true of peace. I cannot make peace alone. I cannot make peace without you. President Abbas, I extend my hand — the hand of Israel — in peace. I hope that you will grasp that hand. We are both the sons of Abraham. My people call him Avraham. Your people call him Ibrahim. We share the same patriarch. We dwell in the same land. Our destinies are intertwined. Let us realize the vision of Isaiah — (speaks in Hebrew) — “The people who walk in darkness will see a great light.” Let that light be the light of peace.


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Comments (74)

(69) Francesca Pezzaniti Barreh, March 7, 2015 2:32 PM

i think the man is sincere and brilliant. But it takes unity to bring forth peace worldwide.

Let peace and love reign in the Kingdoms of God's earth. Restore the every soul worldwide.

(68) Macrena Sailor, September 29, 2014 5:12 PM

Fantastic speech

It was so refreshing to listen to truth spoken simply and clearly. I wish we in the USA had a leader who could speak like this, with courage, conviction and honesty.
This was a fantastic speech. Thank you Mr. Netanyahu.

(67) Rabbi Donald Maher, October 1, 2013 10:30 PM

Beseder

Marvelous, articulate, detailed, fluid, truthful, stern, forthright, correct, true, patient, kind, resolute.
All of these qualities are found in a Tzadek, They too can be found in your Prime Minister Netanyahu.
On behalf of my children and my children's children we thank you and the Jewish people of Israel. I desire to be echad with Israel and the God of Israel. I want to stand on the Rock of our salvation, the One True Vine, The Derech HaEmet, There are so many in the world who have the capacity to do what you do but so few willing. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. May your heart and limbs and sinews be strengthened, that you never compromise beyond the truth we have stood for since Mt Sinai. May His hand steady your feet and strengthen you limbs and calm you heart. you are a worthy leader. Bless you and your family for your contribution to humanity and your patience with the UN.

(66) Gudrun Barton, September 28, 2012 12:13 AM

Opinion

Mr Netnyahuis a world known speaker. His rendering of the history of Israel, brought tears to my eyes. I have read and seen most of the horror in their history and it is impossible to comprehend. Israel belongs to the jews, now and forever.

(65) Jerral Campfield, September 28, 2012 12:08 AM

May God grant Peace to our world

What a stirring speech that needs to be payed attention to for Israel is a land of peace and has to defend itself and God knows what is going to happen next for they are God choosen so will be protected by God. What a promise that is being fulfilled in front of our eyes. Light is coming or we are going to have to face the consequences of JUDGMENT!

(64) Esther, November 2, 2011 2:11 AM

Bibi is my rock star.

He speaks truth and wisdom.

(63) Mairi Brunton, October 8, 2011 9:29 PM

Mr Netanyahu is a giant of a man amongst pigmies - an outstanding statesman.

(62) Independent, October 4, 2011 7:44 AM

Infinitely moving.

I read it and wept. He is right but unfortunately Israel does not supply the West with oil.

(61) Robert Kaufman, October 3, 2011 6:11 PM

Brilliant, but failed to mention charters of Hamas AND Fatah

On Sept 9, 1993 Arafat wrote a letter to PM Rabin in which he promised to eliminate those passages in the PLO charter that were "incompatible with the letter and spirit of this (Oslo) agreement." To date that promise has not been kept, and the UN is proposing to create a state whose constitution requires them to destroy another member state. When Bibi was Israel's UN ambassador he pointed this out. Who is stopping him from doing it now?

(60) Fred, October 2, 2011 4:21 AM

Re PM Netanyahu address of the UN

Watched PM Netanyahu's entire address to the UN, think it was great, especially the reason why Israel is the Jew's homeland. Realistically I don't expect any great changes though in other nations' attitude. I believe God will do His will in any case, and carry out His plan. Men basically have pea sized brains, with some men thinking they are higher then others, and not knowing they are heading for a big fall.

(59) sauerman, October 1, 2011 8:44 PM

speech excellent and the truth but with whom to make peace? with Arabs, the allies of Hitler ? IMPOSSIBLE, get the nuclear weapons ready! the only language the Arab will understand! AM ISRAEL CHAI!!!

(58) Mordechai Eitan, October 1, 2011 4:29 AM

A very well spoken speech and every word the truth.

Prime Minister Netanyahu did a superb job in his speech to the U.N. and I am proud to be a part of Israel. I live in America but I long someday to make aliyah to that great land which G-d chose for his own. I love the land and the people. May Hashem always be your protecter.

(57) John M., September 30, 2011 11:01 AM

God Bless Israel

Have you noticed, the Palestinians are absent? May the Lord, the Father of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob/Israel, bless Mr. PM Netanyahu and give him more grace and power and courage, to achieve Israel's dream. He truly has no fear. God bless him, God bless Israel.

(56) Rodrigo, September 29, 2011 2:58 PM

Preconditions

Annette from Toronto is correct, G-d is the Guardian of Israel and He does not slumber. But...while G-d's love for us is unconditional, His blessings are. We must return to Torah, Davening, and Shabbos observance. G-d NEVER abandons His people, it is His people who stray from Him. Even under these conditions He is patient and continues to preserve His beloved. May HaShem comfort Gilat's family and may He inscribe all Israel for a blessed and prosperous 5772. Shana Tova!

(55) Steve Skeete, September 29, 2011 4:53 AM

I applaud Prime Minister Netanyahu. His speech was both graceful and truthful. However, at the U.N. no one is listening. The world's leaders have all come with their minds already made up. That the U.N is in a perilous state is evident in the fact that the clown prince of Iran has a large following. With such sycophants, I truly fear for the Nation of Israel. I fear that with the U.S.A rapidly losing its financial and global clout and practically being owned by China, and with Europe afraid of its own shadow, that the day may not be too far away when Israel will be left a lone Island in a sea of enemies. The time may not be too far away when we pray not just for the peace of Jerusalem, but its survival.

(54) Baruch, September 28, 2011 11:32 AM

The silence

If you go looking for the speech that Abbas may his name be erased gave before Netanyahu, one thing sticks out. The applause that Abbas got was ridiculous. I am not going to go into details about what he spoke but his speech was liked by many. Then when Netanyahu gave his speech and it was amazing. He referenced the land of Israel as the historical homeland of the Jewish people. What stuck out the most was as much applause that Abbas got, the silence that Netanyahu got was deafening. As a settler in the Binyamin region I have never felt that the world was so against us then when I heard Ntanyahu's speech. We need to be strong. As it says in the 20th chapter of Devarim; When you go out to war, and your enemies are much greater than you, don't fear because Hashmem is with you.

(53) Anonymous, September 28, 2011 3:05 AM

The circus is here!

The UN is a circus, full of clowns trained animals and ringleaders. Nobody should actually take the UN seriously, since they see no reason to have Israel as a state. They really believe a Palestinian state is a good idea and has a legitimate reason to exist.

(52) Osher, September 27, 2011 8:10 PM

When do we say to the Palestinians,"ok this is your last chance." And then go on with our lives. Israel does not need to make any more painful compromises.

(51) Anonymous, September 27, 2011 3:45 PM

One word summary: brilliant!

I pray for my people, I pray for all of Israel to live in peace. Israel is dealing with terrorists who are dedicated to the destruction of Israel. I pray, but can only see a peaceful hand reaching out to an evil evil hand!

(50) Annette, September 27, 2011 2:14 PM

I found this so moving

Thank you aish for sharing this important and intelligent piece of news. As for security concerns to some readers, the Shma does say G-d will protect us, but we still have to do our share, and Bibi stepped up to the plate with total clarity. He is in a house of lies. But he stepped up to the plate. Again. And we don't even know what state Gilat Shalit is in. G-d willing may he still be alive, may he be written and sealed for Freedom, for good mental and physical health, for a life of hope. Amen. And may his family know that in Toronto we pray for Gilat's well being every single week. I wonder what would happen if Bibi could give an ultimatum: Not now, but Right Now, either you become peaceful or we take back the lands that were given under the premises of peace. The lands should be 'refunded' for lack of payment. The payment was Peace. Peace has not come. And then, set aside a piece of land that can be 'shared' in the future as a reward IF there is a 5 year span of Peace. But not before Gilat Shalit is returned alive and 'well'. How well can a kid be after being in a dungeon all this time! No one values a human life like Jews do. No one as a people. No where. Ever.

(49) Malka Kideckel Bando, September 27, 2011 11:30 AM

What Palestian people?

Well done Bibi. You spoke well about a nation and to a nation that never existed in the first place. Yes we are brothers, but brothers destined to fight. Exactly what Rav Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld tried to achieve and would have if not for the Zionists. This was NEVER about Politics this WAS and always will be about nationhood. Unfortunatelly you are wasting your time and many Jews and young soldiers will be killed if you don't listen to the Rabbanim.

(48) charmaine@charmainesolomon.com, September 26, 2011 11:45 PM

Excellent speech, Mr.Netanyahu!

An excellent approach. I hope the Palestinian authority has the sense and good will to respond positively.

(47) Israelit, September 26, 2011 11:39 PM

Between words and deeds

Superb speech. But Bibi also flattened Migron the other day

(46) Anonymous, September 26, 2011 10:50 PM

where will israel's security come from?

At least he mentioned G-d one time, at the very end of the speech. I wish the leaders of Israel, and all the Jews, would take to heart the 2nd paragraph of the Shema (Deuteronomy 11:13-17): If the Jewish People will keep the Torah, G-d will grant security to Israel. Turning to the nations of the world to assert Israel's right to security is futile - perhapsa little like turning to "other gods". The biggest challenge facing the Jewish People is not to convince the nations but to educate the majority of the Jews, who are non observant, so they may draw closer to Torah. (This is why I appreciate aish's efforts more than any speech given in the UN, eloquent as it may be.) I do feel happy that many who read and listened to Netanyahu's speech admired and were inspired by him. On the other hand I disagree with his whole premise and appproach and having started down the path of referring to "palestinians" and their "rights" to a state carved out of israel can only lead to war.

Annie, September 27, 2011 2:26 PM

security

Security comes from G-d. Absolutely. But we still have to work at it when we have obstinate neighbours. We will not just 'sit back' and watch the miracle happen because the Shma gets interpreted in it's simplistic meaning. We are partners with G-d. Bibi made no qualms to mention the Lubavitch Rebbe, and has to be careful when bringing in G-d into a house of lies. We don't want to use His name losely. But ever so carefully. Anywhere. Other peoples have rights. Even in our land. We all have the right AND responsibility to make it a peaceful life, especially in the Holy land, Israel. And I'm sure Bibi could have mentioned countless other examples of what measures Israel has taken for peace. And what measures the international communities sabbotage by turning the other cheek. Maybe all these security measures are meant to bring the jewish people closer and closer together as more and more of us are needed to step up to the plate of asserting our land. Not for our rights but because G-d says so: it is a land for us jews. L'shem Shamayim. Period. Are you up to it?

(45) Anonymous, September 26, 2011 7:20 PM

Jazak Ubaruj Strong and balanced, inspiring and powerfull Am Israel Jai

(44) Joyce Hahn, September 26, 2011 6:06 PM

PM Netanyahu's Speech to the 66th Sesion of the UN

A GREAT SPEECH!!!!!!!!! He spoke honestly and straightforward,even in the Lion's Den!!! I

(43) Belle Miller, September 26, 2011 5:39 PM

a moving and and heartfelt speech. Prime Minister did a truthful and honest history of Israel and the Jews. Made us all to be proud

(42) Mike Driquez, September 26, 2011 1:22 PM

The only true leader of Israel

Netanyahu is the best leader of Israel and his words are as correct as they are touching. He realyzes and preaches that Israel will obtain peace only by showing his strengthness and not by recklessly making actions that could really jeopardize its future. Its' like in written in the bible: "ה' עוז לעמו ייתן, ה' יברך את עמו בשלום"." The Lord will give Its people strenghtness, and then The Lord will bless It with peace". May G-d bless him and the all people of Israel. Shana Tova.

(41) Anonymous, September 26, 2011 1:17 PM

outstanding

Hope the world is listening that Israel is doing everything possible to make peace. Am Yisrael Chai Rinachiyya

(40) Allan, September 26, 2011 11:29 AM

Good Speech but who listened or cared?

A good hearfelt speech but who there really listened or cared?

(39) Anonymous, September 26, 2011 7:08 AM

I strongly believe that Binyamin Netanyahu's speech was truthful and honest. He put his heart out there trying to show the world the truth and his sincere efforts and wish to make Peace with the Palestinians! And this is the only wish of the people of Israel! This speech shows courage and honesty. May God Bless Him and all the brave people he represents.

(38) Anonymous, September 26, 2011 6:03 AM

Bebe makes me proud to be a dedicated supporter of Israel

Well spoken, clear and unambiguous

(37) Ruth Jacobs, September 26, 2011 4:42 AM

wonderfully constructed speech, well presented

I have always thought that this man would be a good ambassador for Israel and for G-ds plan for His people. Well done and delivered brilliantly

(36) Anonymous, September 26, 2011 3:35 AM

kol akavod

great speech from a leader who is truthful and want real peace for Israel.

(35) yinching leung, September 26, 2011 2:07 AM

A respectable and responsible statesman and a touching and powerful speech. Israel is in my daily prayers.

Anonymous, September 26, 2011 9:56 AM

is truthful and want real peace for Israel

Israel is in my daily prayers.

(34) Anonymous, September 26, 2011 1:10 AM

very powerful

abas want us all dead, in isreal and the rest of the world.

(33) pherring, September 26, 2011 12:53 AM

excellent speech

Unfortunately Mr Netanyu's speech will fall largely upon deaf ears in the UN general assembly - nations dedicated to the total destruction of the Jewish State are incapable of listening to reason. The real power in the Palestinian world is the Hamas/Hezbollah junta - they, by virtue of their terrorist ideals cannot address the UN so they will "allow" Mr Abbas to do so- they will use him as long as they feel it is to their benefit - then they will eliminate him one way or another. If the so called West Bank , on the terms the Palestinians are demanding, is handed over it will be controlled by Hamas within months - say no more. The Jewish settlements must stay and further settlements established - this is a priority security issue. Judea and Samaria must remain in Israel, Gaza will then become the Palestine State, and Israel could, in many ways,contribute enormously to making Gaza a successful entity which in turn would benefit both nations. This can never happen as long as militant Islam in the form of Hamas controls Gaza - in the UN the world listened to the Iranian President who in reality is the biggest stumbling block to the establishment of a Palestinian State. Peace will come but only on a negotiated basis worked out by both sides. Sadly every passing day has thousands of arab children being indocrinated into passionately hating Israel - a process that will be very difficult to change-these are the terrorists of tomorrow who will be prepared to die for their beliefs. Israel is holding out the hand of peace, but the other hand, for the time being must still carry the sword. History has shown that Arab and Jew can live peacefully alongside each other - it can happen, now it remains to make it happen.

(32) Lavonna, September 26, 2011 12:51 AM

What a wonderful speech and call for peace. We need his kind leadership in the US.

(31) CyberCyndi, September 26, 2011 12:24 AM

AMAZING & POWERFUL

Never have I heard such a powerful speech. Unfortunately, it probably fell on deaf (Abbas) ears. Although, Biblically speaking, there will be a peace agreement signed, I wonder if it will be this year. I hope so, because that will usher in the end times and I believe we are very near. "Next year in Jerusalem"!

(30) Anonymous, September 26, 2011 12:11 AM

Excellent speach

But it is like talking to the wall. There are too many antisemites in the world who want to see Israel disappear. If the PLO is permitted to be admitted to UN without peaceful conclusion and secure borders for Israel through negotiations then Israel has the right to determine the borders.

(29) carole weinstein, September 25, 2011 11:47 PM

The Arabs simply aren't capable of making peace with Israel.

(28) Anonymous, September 25, 2011 10:27 PM

A brilliant speech by a gifted leader!

A brilliant speech, given by a brilliant leader.........may he always have the strength and guidance to govern our precious Israel. Somehow...there must be a peaceful path...let us pray!

(27) Lilana Leitman, September 25, 2011 10:26 PM

No more "painful concessions" enough is enough! Thank you Bibi for your usual powerful speaches but they are, unfortunatelly, just meant for the ears of the world and they just last for the duration of their delivery. NO "TWO STATE" SUICIDAL SOLUTION!! we all know that Israel has to live on its sword forever - only deterrance works with the sons of Ishmael. "Yado bakol veyad kol bo"!

(26) Laurie Glicklin Sussman, September 25, 2011 9:56 PM

Fantastic speech - a very powerful speech by a true Jewish leader

Prime Minister Netanyahu gave a wonderful, very pwerful speech. He told the truth, as it must be told over and over again. I have always admired Bibi, and now even more so. He has the courage to say what needs to be said, and to do what needs to be done. I believe that Bibi is the one Israeli Prime Minister who can lead Israel and the Arabs to a true, everlasting peace. Only then will the world become the better place that it can and should become. May Hashem bless Benjamin Netanyahu, his entire family, and the family of all the Jewish people worldwide. May He grant peace and prosperity to all of us through the work of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and may he protect us all from war, illness, and all evil. May we all see the geulah in the new year of 5772. Amen.

(25) Aygen, September 25, 2011 9:52 PM

Great speech

September 26 Best speech I heard from a Jewish leader in ages. As a Muslin born person who has followed this conflict since th 1940s, the only solution is the two-state solution with absolutely defensible boarders for Israel. Israel cannot under any circumstances compromise its security with the Arabs. If they do, they will end up being dead meet instead of lamp shades. On the other hand, Israel must be careful not to offer a state to the Palestinians that will end up being a bantoustan. That is no good for the Palestinians and no good for Israel. As for the right of return of millions of Palestinian refugees, it is a non-negotiable item for Israel. İt should not be on the agenda of negotiations. Such a "right" would be the death warrant of Israel, which is why the Arabs keep referring to it. Last but not least, the most dangerous country in the world for regional peace and world peace is Iran. its run by a bunch of nutcase mollahs and civilians. An Iran with nuclear weapons and a system of delivery is totally unacceptable. It must not be allowed to happen. Aygen Istanbul

(24) kararae, September 25, 2011 9:35 PM

thank you

Thank you Netanyahu for speaking the truth.

(23) Fred, September 25, 2011 9:24 PM

Great Speech

He is a great leader and we respect him. In fact we wish he were our President of the U.S. instead of what we have now.

(22) Anonymous, September 25, 2011 9:11 PM

BRAVO! Well said Mr. Netanyahu! So glad to see Gilat Shalit mentioned in the speech.

(21) eli, September 25, 2011 8:09 PM

FYI, the word is "dugri", not "dugli".

FYI, the word is "dugri", not "dugli".

(20) Anonymous, September 25, 2011 6:37 PM

a true message from a statesman

very special speech,unfortunately wasted on an assembly not present or un-interested in the truth.

(19) SAUL BERGER, September 25, 2011 5:57 PM

PEACE IA THE ONLY WAY FOR THE PEOPLES OF BOTH COUNTRIES

THE PRIME MINISTER OF ISRAEL SPLLED OUT THE ISRAELI POSITION. IF ONLY THE PEOPLE OF PALESTINE BEING OFERED THEIR STATE WITHOUT RESTRICTION, WITHOUT WAR CAN LIVE IN PEACE AND HARMONY PER THE 1948 RESOLUTION FOR ISRAEL TO BE CREATED.

(18) pesach, September 25, 2011 5:37 PM

the truth

as he spoke, the killing goes on and the IDF has their hands tied by the very insane military leadership and the police as useless as you know what on a bull as they lie knowlingly about murder. who in their right minds would negotiate with a terrorist as abbas is and was (arafat's right hand man all those years) so it is time to stop the bs and get on with our security here at home and the crap of the UN which is an arab organization. we all know it but the show goes on!!!!!

(17) Anonymous, September 25, 2011 5:33 PM

a historical, tremendous speach

This is a speach of a real Jewsh Leader, a peace appeal

(16) Anonymous, September 25, 2011 5:27 PM

Wow what a powerful speach. I commend PM Netanyahu on his speach to the UN. Only if the Palestinian Authority would sit down with the PM of Israe the whole world will be a better place. I enjoy my visits to Israel every other year.I visit with family & I pray to g-d that a everlasting peace can be achieved. May G-d bless you and your family PM Netanyahu. May we see peace in the coming New Year. Happy & Healthy . I thank you for coming to the UN.

(15) Shmuel Shimshoni, September 25, 2011 5:19 PM

What kind of country does Mr. Abbas foresee?

Is this really what the P.A. wants when they threaten to have Palestine cleansed of every last Israeli (or anything Israeli)? If they would even deny the establishment of an Israeli Consulate: Who would issue them visas to visit their relatives who live in Israel? They would deny the import of any and all Israeli goods and services including Israeli water, computer part like Intel chips, medical equipment and cell-phones that contain Israeli components. They could not be issued visas to enter Israeli hospitals or to traverse Israel to get to the airport. They wouldn’t allow Israeli produced electricity to enter their domain. Nor would Israeli serviceman be allowed to enter their country, so eventually there would be a chaotic breakdown of technical systems. Of course any letter bearing an Israeli stamp would be refused entry. And of course no Palestinian would be granted a work permit, for who would issue them? Israeli banks would not be allowed to operate in Palestine, nor would Israeli currency be allowed there. I guess that is their wish. They so detest Israel that they are willing to revert to the days of the ancient cave-man system of life, just to despite their progressively successful neighbors.

(14) Sandy Levy, September 25, 2011 5:17 PM

What an incredible speech.

Netanyahu speaks the truth and does so with such eloquence. If only the world would open their eyes and ears.

(13) Harriet M., September 25, 2011 5:16 PM

Right on. To the point.

Israel's problem is we don't have the P.R. we deserve.

joe, September 26, 2011 9:40 AM

rely to the point

The American Jewish community needs to take over Israel's PR in the U.S. and Canada. I would recommend that each Jewish Federation throughout North America use 1% of its budget and spend it on Israeli PR. Lets call it the 1% solution.

(12) david maman, September 25, 2011 4:32 PM

this is the only truth

Prime minister Netaniahou did present the truth with brilliant eloquence and unquestionable honesty. He is a very good leader because he keep the truth inchanged and does not follow those who does not see the truth anymore. Peace will be signed with palestinians. Thanks to President Obama,President Sarkozy, to Germany ,England,Europe Union,Canada. Palestinians will have no other choice than to sign a peace treaty with Israel if they wish to access to statehoud שנה תובה אומבורכת

(11) Silvia Naggiar, September 25, 2011 4:26 PM

Intelligent and straightfoward speech

I hope this strong man won't ever let us down.

(10) Gary Katz, September 25, 2011 4:17 PM

Netanyahu vs. Abbas

Compare this speech to that of Abbas, which was filled with lies, half truths and hatred. Yet the Muslims will probably view Abbas' speech as the Muslim "I Have a Dream" speech.

(9) Anonymous, September 25, 2011 4:07 PM

Bibi's speech

What hurts the most about his extraordinary speech, is that the walls of the General Assembly absorbed more than the people sitting in it did. So it was like just talking to the walls. I can't imagine that no one in that absurd theatre, "gets it." It's just that they don't want to get it. Those against Israel, and against Israel's policies, and that includes many secular Jews, will insist until the cows come home, that it's all about the settlements." We all know what the real agenda of the Arabs is. Sad to say there will never be peace in the Middle East until Moshiach comes.

(8) Stacey, September 25, 2011 3:01 PM

I was absolutely mesmerized by Netanyahus' speech. It was sincere and heartfelt. I rarely listen to any type of speeches given by our politcal leaders, as I know they are full of lies to the American people. Netanyahus' speech was full of truth and facts. I wish so much that the American people had such leadership that truly wanted to take care of their own as Netanyahu does the people of Israel. I hope to visit the land of Israel some day as well as having the opportunity to meet P.M. Netanyahu. G_d bless Israel and her people. You rock!

(7) KelevTov, September 25, 2011 2:55 PM

Ha Emet! The Truth!

Too bad the world won't listen. I must also add that I was pleasantly surprised that Aish.com didn't edit out the part about the Lubavitcher Rebbe.

Anonymous, September 26, 2011 5:17 AM

Contrary to the untruths you have been told..

..aish and aish.com doesn't have, or ever had, anything against the Lubavitcher Rebbe Z'ya. Please understand, there are many untrue rumors that have spread around such as this for years. Trust me, cause I came from the world where you probably heard it. Thank you

(6) Stanley Tee, September 25, 2011 2:22 PM

The truth

Netanyahu spoke the complete and utter truth. Unfortunately, the mainstream media will see this as him being "right wing" and "extremist". What a world, where dark is light and light is dark.

(5) Jogo, September 25, 2011 2:13 PM

The speech of truth!

I felt this was a very moving, honest and well intended speech. I also know that it fell upon deaf ears. As long as there is one Jew alive in Israel, the Palestinians and the Islamic extremists will not rest. It is sad to hear that Palestine would not allow Jews, and yet in Israel, Arabs attend the University, use the hospitals and move about freely. How can there be peace when there is such an inbalance, such motivation to destroy Israel. The UN is very much against Israel, so how can anything be fair? When most of the seats were empty at Netanyahu's speech, when the only hands clapping were the Israel Delegation..It is an anti semetic world, and although Israel brings technology to the world, medical advancements and agricultural improvements to us all, why are they scorned. This tiny country deserves to exist and to thrive..I know it will because in spite of all that the Jewish people have faced, they have survived and they will continue to do so forever.

(4) j-blay, September 25, 2011 2:02 PM

I like it

I LIKE IT

(3) Marjorie, September 25, 2011 1:45 PM

Moving speech

I was deeply moved.

(2) Dr. Harry Hamburger, September 25, 2011 1:15 PM

Where are the borders of Israel?

Did Bibi state what the borders of Israel are? Since 1948, we Jews have let others say what the borders of Israel should be. Did Bibi come out and reverse this trend, NO. He in fact said nothing! Where is the land of Israel is there anyone that knows does not have any borders or anything else to show G-d told what we had first day that we came now we bargain it away no respect for His name It is not for others to say where Israel lays we must mark it clearly re-sanctify the land today

Tzvi-Gad, September 25, 2011 1:52 PM

He assumed

that those present can read, and they have at some stage read the most published and translated book in the World history, and that in this book they saw the description of the borders of Eretz Yisrael written down over 3,300 years ago...I guess

(1) Eliyahu Ibe Ezra, September 25, 2011 9:52 AM

Israel is the ancient homland of Jewish People

It is fantastic, great, inspiratinal,captivated besides the primeminster of Israel is our true leader of the Jewish elected by the G-D of the universe, by master of the mystic power. May HASEME giving the strength, the power, wisdom to lead the the people.

 

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