The annual (2018) AIPAC conference is no longer the intimate experience of thirty years ago. It is however understandable, with over 18,000 attendees, including over 4,000 students. The AIPAC conference at the Washington D.C. Convention Center has become akin to what we might call a small city, and a far cry from the village it once was at the Sheraton Hotel. Still, the experience of listening live to such exciting luminaries as the U.S. ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, generated a sense of intimacy that superseded the vastness of the audience.
Speaking at the Tuesday morning plenary session, PM Netanyahu was the climax of this year’s conference. He was introduced by AIPAC Board Chair Lillian Pinkus. She reminded him of the few hundred AIPAC activists that filled the Sheraton Hotel in 1988, when he first spoke at AIPAC. Netanyahu, feeling uplifted by the previous days meeting with President Donald Trump, commanded the stage like a rock star, moving from one end of the stage to the other, waving to old friends and soliciting applause for President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and his pledge to open the Jerusalem embassy in May of this year, to coincide with Israel’s Independence Day.
Netanyahu expressed special thanks to U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman and Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer. He also expressed his special thanks to “a friend of Israel,” former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. He began the core of his speech with the theory of ‘The Good, The Bad, and the Beautiful,’ a play on the Clint Eastwood movie ‘The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.’ Netanyahu said, “The good, are all the good things we are doing in Israel that are helping make the world a better place.” He elaborated on Israel’s contributions to the world. “The bad,” he said, “are all the bad things done to Israel – especially by Iran.”
Netanyahu announced that Israel has never been stronger militarily. He pointed to a slide presentation showing the F-35 fighter plane, the most advanced in the world, and the Iron Dome interceptor, which Israel developed together with the U.S. He praised Israeli intelligence services for making flying safer for passengers by foiling various plots, and thus saving lives. He also highlighted Israel’s strong economy, which is based on innovation and entrepreneurship. Water technology, an Israeli specialty that Netanyahu termed “precision agriculture”, has increased the yield of Indian farmers by six fold. But not only in India has Israel improved the lives of ordinary people…also in Asia, Africa and Latin America. “Israel’s technology,” Netanyahu declared “is driving the world.” He pointed out by example that Israel’s population is but one tenth of one percent of the world population, yet Israel receives 20% of all global investments in cyber security.
Netanyahu alluded with pride to the flourishing of Israel’s diplomatic relations in the world. He said, “When I joined Israel’s Foreign Service as the deputy Chief of Mission in Washington (DCM), Israel had relations with about 80 countries. Today, the number is 160 countries. There are those who talk about boycotting Israel. We will boycott them.”
“Whereas the good is very good and improving,” Netanyahu said, “the bad is very bad and getting worse.” The force behind the bad, Netanyahu alluded to, is the radical tyranny in Tehran. Netanyahu reminded the audience that when he last spoke here (in Washington), he warned of the threat from the Ayatollahs regime to the survival of Israel, the security of the region, and world peace. “Iran repeatedly lied to the world about its nuclear activities, and it cannot be trusted,” Netanyahu said. “The nuclear deal gives Iran a clear path to develop its nuclear arsenal in a little more than a decade.” Netanyahu had warned that removing the sanctions will not make Iran more peaceful, but rather more belligerent and dangerous. “And this ladies and gentlemen, is exactly what has happened,” Netanyahu declared. “I have a message for you today. We must stop Iran, and we will stop Iran!” Netanyahu mentioned the Esther Scroll that was read last week in synagogues, which was a story of an attempt by another Persian anti-Semite (Haman) to destroy the Jewish people. Haman failed, and so will the current Ayatollahs.
While Netanyahu promised that he will never let Iran develop nuclear weapons, “not now, nor ever,” he had a conciliatory message for the Iranian people. He said that while Israel will counter Iran’s aggression, “We shall always remember and stand with the brave people of Iran.” They are suffering, their hopes dashed, and their courage expressed by women removing their hijabs and being jailed for it, or the brave students who are tortured and shot for advocating freedom. “The day will came,” Netanyahu continued, “when this terrible tyranny will perish from the earth. Today we have Haman, but tomorrow we might have Cyrus, and the historic friendship between the Jewish and Persian people.”
“I salute President Trump,” Netanyahu said, relating to President Trump’s declaration that his administration will counter Iranian aggression as well as a nuclearized Iran. President Trump made it clear that if the fatal flaws in the nuclear agreement are not improved, he will walk away from the deal and restore sanctions on Iran. “Israel,” Netanyahu said, “will stand by America’s side, and so will other countries in the region.”
The Arab countries now know that Israel is not their enemy but rather, Netanyahu pointed out, an indispensable ally. Touching on regional peace, he added that President Trump and he are both committed to peace between Israel and the Arab world as well as with the Palestinians. Netanyahu charged that Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian Authority (PA) President, should invest in life rather than in death. He called on Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas) to stop financially supporting families of terrorist killers. What kind of message does it convey to Palestinian children? The message Netanyahu clarified is “kill Jews and get rich.” Netanyahu added, in his message to Abbas, “build life, and don’t pay for death, invest in peace and in life.” According to Netanyahu, 10% of the PA budget is being spent on funding families of terrorist killers.
In touching on “the Beautiful,” Netanyahu referred to the unbreakable alliance between Israel and the U.S.A that AIPAC makes stronger and better. It is our “shared values,” which is the wellspring that binds the two countries together. These common values come from a book – the Bible.
Netanyahu ended his speech saying, “Today, together, we are writing a new chapter in our common story — a story of freedom, of justice, peace, of hope, and it’s because we’re inspired by the same idea. Because we’re animated by the same values that America and Israel have forged an eternal bond that can never, ever be broken.”
The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration — which seeks to criminalize criticism of migration — is nothing more or less than a dangerous effort to weaken national borders, to normalize mass migration, to blur the line between legal and illegal immigration, and to bolster the idea that people claiming to be refugees enjoy a panoply of rights in countries where they have never before set foot.
One thing about the agreement, in any event, is irrefutable: almost nobody in the Western world has been clamoring for this. It is, quite simply, a project of the globalist elites. It is a UN power-grab.
The waterfront in the Chilean city of Valdivia. Photo: Arvid Puschnig via Wikimedia Commons.
Top Jewish groups have welcomed a Chilean government decision made earlier this week to ban municipalities across the country from boycotting Israel.
The ruling — issued by the Comptroller General of Chile – stemmed from a complaint filed by the Chilean Jewish community over a move of the Valdivia municipality to ban the city from signing contracts with Israel-linked companies.
Spurred by Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman’s resignation and the realization that elections will likely be moved to early 2019, the leaders of the Druze community are determined to fight against the Nationality Law.
Leaders from the Druze minority and others take part in a rally to protest the Jewish nation-state law in Rabin Square in Tel Aviv, Israel, Aug. 4, 2018
It certainly seems like Israel is headed toward early elections. Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, who resigned Nov. 14, and Education Minister Naftali Bennett were both part of the current right-wing government of Benjamin Netanyahu, competing over which of them was its most right-wing member
Israel has started uncovering and destroying Hezbollah’s attack tunnels under the Lebanese border, but destroying the group’s ambitious precision missile project will be much more difficult.
The Israel Defense Forces placed a camera into Hezbollah’s secret cross-border attack tunnel before sunrise on Dec. 4. They pushed it into the Lebanese side, under the Blue Line that separates the two countries. At dawn, two Hezbollah operatives reached the spot on their morning rounds. In the video disseminated by the IDF on Tuesday evening, one of the operatives is seen approaching the camera with suspicion. He stuck his nose in its direction and started to sniff around until something exploded in his face and he ran back the way he’d comVisibilitye.
The timing of Operation Northern Shield, to destroy Hezbollah tunnels leading from Lebanon into Israel, suggests that considerations other than security were behind the decision to launch it.
An Israeli commando from Yahalom, an engineering unit, takes part in a tunnel-hunting drill near Tel Aviv, March 7, 2012.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered a speech to Likud activists on Dec. 2 that was both defensive and combative toward law enforcement authorities. He complained about the supposedly suspicious timing of the police announcement recommending his indictment for taking bribes in Case 4000, coming as it did one day before Police Commissioner Roni Alsheikh concluded his term in office.
This week, for the first time, Israel made public its discovery of the tunnel constructed by Hezbollah and reaching into Israel’s sovereign territory. This brought to an end a long period during which a large number of Israelis living in communities adjacent to the Lebanese border reported hearing sounds of digging as well as feeling tremors in the walls of their homes.
Attack tunnels are intended to allow for significant numbers of armed infantry bearing weapons, artillery and supplies, to traverse them within a minimal time span, avoiding Israeli lookouts and thereby gaining the element of surprise.
Last Saturday, Iran’s “moderate” President Hassan Rouhani called Israel “a cancerous tumor” in a speech at the regime’s annual Islamic Unity Conference.
Rouhani’s fellow speakers included deputy Hezbollah chief Naim Qassem and Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh. Both terror bosses called for the destruction of the “cancerous tumor.”
With the predictability of a Swiss clock, the Europeans rushed to condemn Rouhani. The EU in Brussels condemned Rouhani. The German Foreign Ministry condemned Rouhani. And so on and so forth.
We could have done without their statements.
It was clear that with the onset of Operation Northern Shield—meant to neutralize terror tunnels Hezbollah has constructed along the Israel-Lebanon border—some would call it a public relations stunt by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Those who believe the timing of the police’s recommendations in Case 4000—announced on the last day of Roni Alsheikh’s tenure as the police commissioner—was reasonable, somehow complain about the timing of the operation.
On Sunday evening, December 2, the people of Sderot, Israel – a town located a mere kilometer from the Gaza border – gathered to light the first candle of the town’s menorah to commemorate the first day of Hanukkah. Jews around the world celebrate this holiday, which marks the time some two millennia ago when the Jews regained control of Jerusalem and rededicated the Second Temple.
What makes the candle lighting in Sderot worth mentioning is the fact that it is particularly symbolic of how the Jewish spirit looks for ways to turn tragedy into triumph.
This is obviously a short-lived honeymoon that will end the day after the UN General Assembly vote on the anti-Hamas resolution. The morning after the vote, Abbas will wake up to the realization that Hamas was a strange bedfellow indeed.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s hatred of Hamas is far from secret. But Abbas is now defending Hamas because he despises the Trump administration, which has sponsored a UN draft resolution that condemns Hamas. Pictured: Abbas (right) meets with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh on May 30, 2007 in the Gaza Strip. (Photo by Abu Askar/PPO via Getty Images)