Rights and Accountability 2 October 2015
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s mean-spirited and angry address to the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday was mostly as predictable as it was desperate and creepy.
But it did contain one surprise.
After scolding the international community for what he called its “deafening silence” over the Iran nuclear agreement, Netanyahu spent 45 awkward seconds silently scowling at the assembled world leaders and diplomats.
Not since his famous cartoon bomb chart has a public appearance by the Israeli leader elicited so much mockery. Entertaining remixes of Netanyahu’s silent glare quickly appeared on YouTube:
The rest of his speech was, in characteristic Netanyahu fashion, not so much entertaining as dreary and menacing.
The majority of the 43-minute diatribe was dedicated to antagonizing and demonizing Iran, culminating in thinly veiled threats of apocalyptic war against the nation of 80 million.
“In every generation,” said Netanyahu, “there were those who rose up to destroy our people. In antiquity we faced destruction from the ancient empires of Babylon and Rome. In the Middle Ages we faced inquisition and expulsion. And in modern times we faced pogroms and the Holocaust. Yet the Jewish people persevered.”
Conflating the modern, settler-colonial state of Israel with all Jews throughout history, Netanyahu claimed: “And now another regime has arisen swearing to destroy Israel. That regime [Iran] would be wise to consider this. I stand here today representing Israel, a country 67 years young but the nation-state of a people nearly 4,000 years old. Yet the empires of Babylon and Rome are not represented in this hall of nations. Neither is the thousand year Reich. Those seemingly invincible empires are long gone. But Israel lives. The people of Israel live. Am Yisrael chai!”
“Am Yisrael chai,” or “the Jewish people lives,” is the Hebrew slogan chanted most frequently by right-wing Israeli nationalists, sometimes as they beat Palestinians in racist attacks.
While the Iran deal and the lifting of sanctions represent a hopeful step for the Iranian people and world peace more generally, Palestinians may be paying for it with their lives.
In one memorable line, Netanyahu warned, “When bad behavior is rewarded, it only gets worse.” He was talking about Iran, but of course those words apply most aptly to US coddling of Israel no matter what it does.
The Obama administration bent over backwards to quell Netanyahu’s attempts to sabotage the deal with Iran by lavishing Israel with billions more dollars in weapons to use against Palestinians.
No wonder Netanyahu made sure to express his appreciation of “President Obama’s willingness to bolster our security.”
But as far as propoganda wars go, Netanyahu’s failure to garner the support of enough members of Congress to block the deal in upcoming votes is a resounding defeat for Israel and its bullying lobby. At the UN, he was fighting a war he already lost. It reeked of desperation and made Israel look irrelevant and even more out of step than usual in a world that has overwhelmingly welcomed the agreement with Iran.
Aware of his country’s increasingly tarnished image, especially after the slaughter of 551 children during the July-August 2014 attack on Gaza, and the election earlier this year of the most openly racist government in Israel’s history, Netanyahu devoted the last 15 minutes of his speech to marketing damaged goods.
The world needs Israel, he argued, because it is vital to science, technology, medicine and agriculture.
“Israeli know-how is everywhere,” Netanyahu said, claiming that computers, smartphones, instant messaging, GPS navigation and drip irrigation, among others, all depend on Israeli innovations. He even credited Israel for the deliciousness of the cherry tomato.
“We are so proud that our small country is making such a huge contribution to the entire world,” he said.
Despite his seemingly high regard for science, Netanyahu comfortably invoked ancient religious texts to assert Jewish ownership over historic Palestine as “enshrined for eternity by the great prophets of the Bible.”
While his past speeches have focused on maligning Palestinians as a dark force bent on Israel’s destruction, this year Netanyahu was more invested in branding his country as the vanguard of defense against the evils of militant Islam.
“Ten miles from ISIS, a few hundred yards from Iran’s murderous proxies, Israel stands in the breach proudly and courageously defending freedom and progress,” he bellowed. “Israel is civilization’s frontline in the battle against barbarism.”
“Israel is not just defending itself,” he concluded. “Israel is defending you.”
Israel, he seemed to be saying, must be allowed to oppress Palestinians with impunity for the sake of global security. In reality, Israel is a destabilizing force that makes the region and the world less safe.
With an ever more unhinged bully like Netanyahu at the helm, that reality is only becoming more obvious.
- Benjamin Netanyahu
- United Nations
- United Nations General Assembly
- Iran nuclear agreement
- Barack Obama
- US aid to Israel
What No Cartoon Time Bombs or Pounding the Shoes on the Desk?
Permalink Zionism Is Not Judaism replied on
Even with the maniacal glare, it would have been a far better "speech" if Benny had just extended his 44 seconds of angry silence to a full 43 minutes.
Ha, ha, ha, Ha, ha, ha, Ha,
Permalink Nabil Al-Murabit replied on
Ha, ha, ha, Ha, ha, ha, Ha, ha, ha, Ha, ha, ha, Ha, ha, ha, Ha, ha, ha, Ha, ha, ha, Ha, ha, ha, Ha, ha, ha, Ha, ha, ha, Ha, ha, ha, Ha, ha, ha, Ha, ha, ha, Ha, ha, ha, Ha, ha, ha, Ha, ha, ha, Ha, ha, ha, Ha, ha, ha, Ha, ha, ha, Ha, ha, ha, Ha, ha, ha, Ha, ha, ha, Ha, ha, ha, Ha, ha, ha, Ha, ha, ha, Ha, ha, ha, Ha, ha, ha, that is the funniest thing that I've ever seen in my life. He reminded me of my dad, when he found out that I took his prized 1967 Impala out for a spin back in the 80's. Has anyone noticed what was trying to break free of his forehead?
Permalink Martin Lampprecht replied on
You totally misunderstand his silence. This is not creepy, it's AVANTGARDE:
Pulling a Mussolini
Permalink Zionism Is Not Judaism replied on
Talking of avantgarde; It would have been more avantgarde (for the entire time he was on the rostrum) if he had aped his boyhood hero-- by crossing his arms, turning his back and subjecting the wall (instead of the audience) to his icy stone silent glare.
He is a sick dangerous criminal. The sooner, and longer, he is safely locked away, the better it will be for all. That includes himself.
Mussollini's spitting image
Permalink Anthony Shaker replied on
Your comparison with Mussollini is spot on. The gestures, the contrived facial signals...why didn't I think of that? No historian can miss it.
The megalomaniac Mussollini wanted to turn the Mediterranean Sea into an Italian lake and instead almost turned it into Italy's coffin. Israel has been wanting to turn the Middle East into its playhouse, once it had completely uprooted Palestinian society. Instead it is approaching the same conditions that prevailed for the Crusaders at the height of their strength, just before they were creamed. After that the Crusaders' top parasitic aristocracy was either liquidated on the battlefield or given safe passage back to their barbarian hellholes in France and England. The rest of the colony melted into the Middle Eastern landscape.
I hope Netanyahu is thinking hard about the future of his people, not just his oceanfront home in Miami. Because this is the endgame for Apartheid Israel. None of the fires it has lit in the Middle East with the help of US neocons and the Israel lobby can now be extinguished.
The balkanization of the region and the sheer destruction that the Zionist race colony thought would guarantee its survival indefinitely into the future has actually recreated the exact same conditions that saw the end of the barbarian Crusaders' colony at the height of its arrogance.
Israel has committed a fatal mistake reopening the front with Syria, which had been quite for almost half a century. Its active support for Wahhabi terrorists will cost it much more than it ever imagined.
There is simply no more room on earth for self-worshipping, genocidal maniacs like Netanyahu whose Zionist race ideology, we should always remember, directly inspired Adolf Hitler. As for Mussollini, he ended up just a prop to a bigger game for which he didn't have the brains. "Brains" though are more than one could give that poor devil, Netanyahu!
Yes, locked up in a dungeon
Permalink Tess replied on
Yes, locked up in a dungeon somewhere forever.
It's a silence to stimulate
Permalink Sierra replied on
It's a silence to stimulate empathy.I don't think he got any because effectiveness is based on perception and acceptance predisposition.
Permalink Teal replied on
I don't know what speech YOU were watching but I along with most of the world, thought his speech was poignant and thought provoking.
Not to mention a true representation of world affairs.
everybody loves a clown
Permalink tom hall replied on
I didn't realize that "most of the world" had pronounced judgement on Netanyahu's speech. Can you substantiate this claim with references, evidence, even a link? I didn't get to vote, and I feel cheated.
Paradoxically, when castigating the world, Bibi often insists he's advocating on its behalf. This curious inversion may account for his prolonged lapse into silence in the midst of an address. Speaking to a hated assembly and in the name of a world he detests simply overwhelmed the synapses. Personally, I never thought he'd top that Wile E. Coyote speech. But I'm happy to be proved wrong.
Welcome to EI
Permalink Fadi replied on
Is this the first article you read on EI? If this is the case, welcome! If you're really looking for perspective, you've come to a great place, hope you enjoy all the quality articles this publication has to offer.
Had you bothered to dig a bit deeper into world affairs and politics you would be able to asses Mr. Netanyahu's speech a bit more critically.
It must be quite comforting to see the world as black and white, Israel as the white power and Iran as the black power, that would make things so much simpler.
Israel as the Middle East's only entity with nuclear weapons, doesn't bother you? How about the fact that it is not a signatory of any nuclear weapons control treaty, shady, no? Are you aware of how Israel acquired these nuclear weapons?
I can't help but see irony, hypocrisy and delusion in his speech. Israel would have never agreed to a similar deal that would give access to a overseeing international agency, Israel would have played its typical guilting, religious and biblical cards, Israel would have been much more agressive that Iran ever was. Keep in mind that there is no proof that Iran was ever developing a nuclear warhead, developing nuclear capabilities for civilian purposes is a legitimate desire. With this deal, international agencies will be able to assure the world that Iran is working towards its public goal.
Netanyahu's option on the other hand, is the threat of war, not to scare the Iranians, but to scare US and the western governments into continuing their unconditional support of the apartheid state of Israel while it maintains a brutal occupation and commits barbaric crimes and wars against the native Palestinians and beyond.
No.... just NO.
Permalink sheitanyahou replied on
No.... just NO.
Bibi-Bomb Netanyahu has glimpsed the end
Permalink Anthony Shaker replied on
Bibi-Bomb Netanyahu (or the Bibi Bomber) must have glimpsed the end of the Zionist dream. "Israeli technology," pilfered from others or bought wholesale with American taxpayer money, is a running joke among economists. The truth is that Israel is a basket case in every sense: economically, diplomatically and increasingly militarily.
Its pretend-economy will not last long when--not if--international sanctions from world bodies and states around the world are imposed. And they will come sooner or later.
Apartheid ("Jewish State") Israel has no future, and everyone knows it. Zbigniew Brzezinski, Pres. Carter's National Security Advisor and the co-founder of the elite Trilateral Commission, has warned Israel over the years that the day will come when the United States will not be able to help it if it continued to avoid settling with the Palestinians and threatening its neighbors.
That day has arrived. Despite a ring of military bases in the Persian Gulf to prop up decadent Wahhabi monarchies, the US has been paralyzed for quite some time. It can neither intervene directly nor manoeuver around the fires it has lit everywhere in the region. More than that, the military supremacy that the US has tried to maintain for Israel has all but vanished with the war on Syria. The US has basically shot itself in the leg this time.
Yet, Israel keeps poking dangerously inside Syria, apparently still believing that the United States will rush to its aid in case of an escalation with the Syrian government. It now claims to have refused to "coordinate" with Russia, as it pretends Russia has accepted, after Putin personally interdicted Israel from any further incursions into Syrian airspace and territory.
Israel is already deeply entangled with the terrorist outfits in the Golan Heights, where it has installed them. Like Turkey, it is about to watch its most prized pieces totally crushed by the combined Russian and Syrian armed forces. Game over.
Zionist Israel's "secret" NUCLEAR ARSENAL
Permalink Jim Michie replied on
Rania, you failed to facts show the rabid hypocrisy of Zionist Israel and its racist, genocidal, ethnic cleansing forced military occupation and oppression of Palestine: Zionist Israel has "secretly" amassed a nuclear arsenal ("thanks" to France and U.S.) of from 200 to 400 hydrogen, neutron and atom bombs over the past 30 years; and refuses to this day to sign on to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, along with no-nukes Iran and the responsible world nuclear powers, obviously because Israel does not wants its growing nuclear arsenal to be inspected by the U.N. Perhaps this is tied in with the Zionist believe that they are the "chosen people" and, therefore, are above the rest of us and international law!
Poor Bibi has a boo-boo
Permalink Vincent Nunes replied on
"In one memorable line, Netanyahu warned “When bad behavior is rewarded, it only gets worse.” He was talking about Iran, but of course those words apply most aptly to US coddling of Israel no matter what it does."
I saw that yesterday, and I couldn't believe he didn't realize the utter irony of his utterance.
What a tool.
I'm thinking of adding a flatulence soundtrack to this video...that, or Insects by the Children of Widney High.
the memories come flooding back
Permalink tom hall replied on
I knew this guy reminded me of somebody, but I just couldn't place him. That is, until he deployed the silent treatment. Then suddenly the clouds parted, to reveal crazed money-grubbing TV evangelist Dr. Gene Scott. Here's a sample.
For those who don't care to subject themselves to the whole tawdry performance, the good stuff starts at the four minute mark, when Gene gets tired of the poor financial response to his demands and goes into a bitter sulk for two minutes, refusing to speak, before finally erupting into a blazing tirade. As with Bibi, no matter how much we give, it's never enough. And the entire congregation/Congress has to listen to his threats and warnings, and pony up again and again and again. Granted, Scott's more impressive. Bibi's not allowed to throw furniture at the UN. But it's the same pathology at work.
Permalink Sparrow replied on
Every time they spanned the assembly I couldn't help notice all the empty seats. His menacing glare couldn't believe they were empty... too many cherry tomatoes.
Permalink sparrow replied on
While I agree with the above comment, I did not write it. sparrow (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Palestine seized based on a forged document
Permalink Anthony Shaker replied on
Rania, thanks for your concise report. You drew attention to a very important point in this ugly race-baiting speech, where Netanyahu unwittingly connects science with the Zionists' well-known pretensions about their "biblical" right to Palestine. Your wrote:
"Despite his seemingly high regard for science, Netanyahu comfortably invoked ancient religious texts to assert Jewish ownership over historic Palestine as 'enshrined for eternity by the great prophets of the Bible.' "
They are certainly not as "ancient" as the Zionist keep insisting. His Jewish history ludicrously goes back to the beginning of time. But not only is Israel playing magician with its stolen science, technologies and false "economic prowess"; it also uses the Old Testament, which almost all scholars consider an spurious tribal document and in many places the equivalent of a forged document.
Self-worshipping Netanyahu is looking now like a blind mouse in a big room, exactly where Israel found itself at the UN General Assembly yesterday. No one believes lying warmongers and murderers for long.
The game is effectively over for Apartheid Israel. But don't take my word for it.
Here's another one.
Permalink Mohammed replied on
Here's another one.
WARNING...please don't take a
Permalink Little sparrow replied on
WARNING...please don't take a drink before watching.........LOL
Permalink David B. replied on
It is no accident that the band Extreme sings our song "Ha-" Bibi. "More than words." Now I know what words you'd say...if I took those words away.... None. You need words to say things. Synasthesia can be a gift, if silence doesn't blind you like your stare crept over my spine. What's a spine you ask?....
As an aside, Am Yisroel Chai is not an attestation of the legitimacy of a modern Jewish nation-state, but a proclamation of the indomitable spirit of the Jewish people in the face of adversity--combining the question of Yosef in Egypt ("Is my father still alive?") with the ideas contained in the singing of the Avinu Malkeinu prayer (Our father, Our King) for Yom Kippur.
Am Yisroel Chai is almost existential in its juxtaposition of the held breath of an uncertain son hoping to be reunited with his father, somewhere containing a kernel of fear--but refusing to give up hope (Much like the Palestinian People with their homeland)--and the deeply moving prayer correlated to the Midrashic story of Rabbi Akiva crying out "Our Father, Our King, we have no King but you." Where-in rainfall is released to the people in torrents--like the heavenly catharsis of a father who has just realized how much more of a father he could have been. He should have always been.
Racist acts being perpetrated while calling out these words are about as insipid, irreverent, and profane as one can imagine.
Am Palestina Chai! Am Yisroel Chai!
Our spirits will not be broken by those who pay lip service to our brotherhood but cannot fathom how deeply our souls go. In the words of Third Eye Blind, they go "deeper than bones."