You are using an outdated browser.
Please upgrade your browser
and improve your visit to our site.
Skip Navigation

The Israeli Prime Minister

The New York Times gave about six inches to Bibi Netanyahu's speech at the General Assembly, and this in an article he shared with Hugo Chavez who spoke for four times the duration allowed by the rules. This is a habit among tyrants, and Chavez is no exception.

The same Times page carried a 24-inch piece about Gadhafi, not on his filibuster at the U.N. (which it covered more than amply on Thursday), but dealing with the dictator's appearance at the Council on Foreign Relations. The reporter, Mark Landler, was at the event and dubbed it a "seminar." I don't know what seminars are like at Georgetown. But at the two places I went to school, Gadhafi’s answer to a question about his successor would have been laughed out of court. Here's the description: "He said the question of who would succeed him was irrelevant because, according to the philosophy in his Green Book, the Libyan masses are in charge." "Seminar," indeed.

The ruling class that attends the high-dues CFR is easy to pacify these days.

'He was remarkably reasonable,' said a prominent financier.

 But the financier had the grace of shame. 

(he) did not want to voice his sentiments on the record.

(Last year when A'jad spoke at the Council, many of the attendees thought of themselves as heroes for defending his civil liberties.) 

I don't know why Netanyahu's speech, delivered within the established time limits, was so chintzily covered by the Times.  Maybe it was because the prime minister included in his remarks a discussion of the Holocaust which, of course, the Iranian president denies ever happened. But that was, more or less, the view of the Times in the years of the catastrophe, as Laurel Leff has shown in her painstaking history, Buried by The Times: The Holocaust and America's Most Important Newspaper. No, that can't be the reason. Probably it's just that the paper doesn't like Bibi, and it doesn't like him in a big way.

Of course, it also doesn't approve of his reading of Iran, not just as a bitter foe of the Jewish nation but also as an arch adversary of Western civilization. The Times does not entertain the thought that fanatical Islam is an enemy of the Times itself. This is why its editorial page cannot face the routine and ritualized deception which is Tehran's foreign and nuclear policy. The last few days, well, they have proven the Times rather gullible...and the president gullible. Bibi, on the other hand, has been proven right. I'm afraid it's as simple as that.

Netanyahu's third major argument was about the United Nations and the Human Rights Council's report on "war crimes" in Gaza. He highlights the structural impossibility of a truthful account coming from any U.N. organ. But his greatest contribution to the discussion came in his remarks on the predicament of armies from democracies with respect for human life fighting armies of the millenarian faithful who care not a whit for the human life of their enemies. And, as we should not forget, they care not a whit for the lives of their own. Which is why they conscript the innocent for suicide, many innocents for many suicides.

And, for heaven's sake, let the libel that Israel is opposed to a two-state solution finally be put to rest. Netanyahu reminded the General Assembly that on November 29, 1947, 62 years ago, it itself established the Partition Plan for Palestine. The two entities envisioned were "a Jewish state" and "an Arab state." The Zionist movement accepted this plan, as it had many times before. The Arabs of Palestine didn't, and they continued to reject it by war in 1967 and 1973 and in other ways through diplomacy and skirmish up to today.