Friday, March 27, 2015

Why Not To Put NSW Labor Last In Tomorrow's Election.


Because that would rob the Greens of their rightful place.

Remember this?

Second last will do.

On Rights, Peace and the Power of Truth

 Image result for martin luther king


Once to every man and nation comes the moment to decide,
In the strife of Truth with Falsehood, for the good or evil side.

James Russell Lowe, nineteenth century abolitionist

As quoted by Martin Luther King Jr  concluding the Riverside speech of 4 April 1967 when King first linked the struggle for civil rights to the Vietnam War.

Human rights and peace are about as necessary and compelling a combination as any in nature. One without the other is an orphan that never was. A water molecule without oxygen.  Only a violent revolutionary or an academic could disagree.
Or perhaps Bob Carr.

It’s time to talk Turkey about the Israel issue. 

Not just Turkey.

It’s time to talk Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar,  Iraq, Libya, Islamic State, Russia, Syria again , Obama, Europe, very especially Iran and very much in particular “Palestine” and all those across the seas who are driven into the Israel issue by duty or conviction whether for good or  evil.   All of them; woman, man and nation. It is time to talk Left. Especially the now openly antisemitic academic Left.

Some will take the use of “scare quotes” for “Palestine” as a calculated offence to the actuality of “Palestinian” human rights and nationhood; however “nationhood” is defined.  Not so. It is respectful of the rights of these people to not label them and therefore to define them by a banner they never did choose for themselves. It was chosen for them, then used by the regimes that have since ruled over them that they also did not chose. The PLO, PA, Hamas, Fatah, Islamic Jihad and the rest. They war among themselves most of all but they do have one overriding thing in common. Never an election in sight. Ever. 

There was an “election” in “Palestine” about a decade ago. It was the first.  It led to a sharp and bloody “civil war” as brutal as any and all civil wars.  But a war within a “state” that does not exist and never has?  What eventually emerged to grab power promised and delivered more killing and war and not just in Gaza. 

Everyone agrees another “election” is not a good idea right now, especially Hamas and Fatah. One “election” was enough.  Another brewing “civil war” has higher priority.  Of all the “polities” in the world only “Palestine” needs this many “scare quotes”.

There is much at stake here. This is a struggle for the language as much as for civil rights and peace. It is a struggle for language. Those who are arrayed against Israel and accuse her people of genocide, imperialism,  fascism, aggression, illegality, war mongering, apartheid and racism are first of all mortal enemies of language as are all ideologues of totalitarianism and their fellow travellers. Also drained of any worthwhile meaning are terrorism, defence, law, ethnic cleansing, soldier, two state solution, occupation, independence, liberation,  freedom and self determination.  

Kill the language of politics, and civil rights and peace are at your mercy, as George Orwell so brilliantly made manifest for the ages. The Left are particularly adept at this. The past belongs to you no matter what abomination you have in mind. Genocides, wars, nakbas, nations and peoples either happened or did not depending only on the narrative of your ideology and nothing else. That can be changed at will.

As human conflicts go, this one has been loaded with enough baggage to weigh down the Sixth Fleet. 
At stake is the idea of the rule of law and especially the concept of international law.

What could be called in Australia, the Bob Carr slur against the law, is so ubiquitous that many take it as a given. That the 1949 armistice lines are now borders and therefore the Jews living beyond the borders and their communities are illegal even if they are on land where Jews have lived continuously for centuries. Even in Jerusalem. The Israeli government is acting illegally by permitting Jews to live in certain Jewish neighbourhoods in Jerusalem, or indeed by not removing them, by force if necessary, to make way for Hamas and the PLO. Only Jews are illegal. Arabs can and do live where they like, even if they are Israelis, including in what was once the Jewish Quarter of the Old City. 

There is no suggestion of illegality from anyone and certainly not from Bob Carr.  The Bob Carr concept of jurisprudence has very closely defined boundaries indeed. Whether people are living in an illegal community depends entirely on whether the people are Jews. Jews living in a part of the city where they are forbidden are breaking the law.

The 1949 armistice lines are exactly that. The lines were declared in a flash by soldiers on a battle field strewn with vehicles, guns, interlocked troop units and the tangled debris of war. They were not and were imagined to be borders.  It was an interim boundary pending negotiations and treaty between the parties that did not even include “Palestinians”, let alone “Palestine”. They did not exist as an identifiable people or nation. All that was in the future. The negotiations never happened and so the state of war never ended. Instead there were three more wars. Every peace initiative since has been grounded in the principle of land for peace. A negotiated border in exchange for peace and recognition. The “Palestinians” have been retrospectively catapulted into history as a principal party, as sometimes happens, even if no one is able to define who they are or accept where they came from. (Here’s a hint. Jews are from Judea. Arabs are from Arabia.) 

That the “Palestinians” are there now no one can deny but here is the rub. Land for peace was accepted by Israel and Egypt and so there was a peace treaty.  A permanent peace with Israel has never been accepted by “Palestine”. That would require recognition of the sovereignty of the Jewish state, including sovereignty over her borders and population, and that is abhorrent to the ideology of Palestinianism and those who push this ideology from Tehran to the campus of Sydney University.   As Yasser Arafat observed to Bill Clinton after the collapse of the Camp David talks, any “Palestinian” leader who attempted such a treaty would be signing his own death warrant.

None of this is to suggest that a negotiated two state solution is not fair, legal and equitable. Just not at all possible right now, is all.  So what the Israeli PM says in an election campaign is irrelevant to all of this. Of course there can be no unilateral withdrawal to an old armistice line puffed up as a border in a war that has never been declared over.  That is not a bid for peace and if it is required by law, then this is a law that requires that Jews who can not be killed or subjugated must commit suicide. Good luck with that. This is something beyond the gift or power of Netanyahu or anybody else. Even Obama, Jimmy Carter or Carr could not deliver on that. If you want Jews dead then it will have to be murder. The haters of Israel should at least have the honesty to say so. 

Iran does.  

Exactly a year to the day after the Riverside speech, Martin Luther King had his throat torn out by a single bullet from a high powered rifle while leaning over the rail of the balcony of an Afro American segregated motel in Memphis, while talking to a colleague of Jesse Jackson below, silencing him forever. Twelve years earlier and he had begun his campaign with the Montgomery Bus Boycott. 

Many then thought his campaign was a pipe dream. King was a trouble maker. He was up against an ingrained racism in people who themselves were often thought of in racist terms. White trash. The Alabama cops just across the state border in Driving Miss Daisy. The mob who Gregory Peck had to guard his client from in To Kill A Mocking Bird thereby inspiring a generation of lawyers who might have otherwise done something more useful with their lives. Incorrigible and beneath reform.

Fifty years later and there are hundreds of high schools, streets and public buildings named after Martin Luther King, most of them in the south. People can change. In the time of Martin Luther King most Australians would likely have identified more with segregationists with the bull horns and the guns than with the non-violent civil rights movement. We had our own segregation and King and his movement would have been seen as evidence in support of the White Australia Policy. Keep foreign racial troubles out. Political cultures are never stagnant. It is bigotry to suggest they are never ending for some. 
The notion of Jews being confined to their own section of town is hardly new but to declare it as modern law is bizarre, offensive and dangerous. If there is any hope of an agreed land for peace deal then it must be negotiated between parties that are not impugned as illegitimate. If one party is to be excoriated as “illegal” then the negotiations have failed even before any one has come to the table. That way lies war. This is why Carr and people like him, including of course the whole BDS movement, are a threat to world peace.
The terrifying thing is that Carr may well be right and that if the matter was to now come before an international tribunal,such as the ICJ, a majority of the judges, coming as they do from countries where judges are under the thumb of the ruling ideology and even some who are not, may decide that Jews living free are illegal in “Palestine” as they are throughout the Muslim world. Or would be illegal had they not been expelled decades ago. They offend not just sharia. At that point international law will have caught up with sharia. It is exactly at that point that international law as a concept worth preserving will have died. What stumbling brain dead hulk that remains would be best put down before it did any more harm. A victory for Bob Carr. 

So it is time to stop calling this issue the Israel/Palestine conflict.  It has nothing to do with “Palestine” or Israel, or at least nothing they can do much about. It is a multi layered abuse of the language to call it this.  Israel and “Palestine”  are paper boats in a bath buffeted by much wilder ocean winds. Neither is really in control of its destiny. “Palestine” in particular has no free agency at all. 

Call it the Israel issue if you like because it is least of all about Israel and is about the rest of us. Take a look at “Palestine” and the rest of the Muslim world, especially Iran that now the worst and most dangerous US president in history, even worse than Carter, has fallen on both knees to appease like a supplicant who beholds a vengeful prophet. This could be exactly the problem.  Take a look and you are staring into the mouth of an active volcano. If you think that tossing Israel into the boiling lava will calm the angry fires, a sort of human virgin sacrifice to the gods, then you are indeed in the mental atmosphere of the seventh century.

As if you could. Some sacrifice. Some virgin.  But you could end up destroying the world.  

cross posted Israel Thrives

                  Jews Down Under

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

An Attack On The Human Rights Of Muslims


It makes sense really. Any victim of radical Islam is bound to be a little Islamophobic especially if they are dead. That would do it. 

Je Suis Islamophobe

From Uncommon Sense

Charlie Hebdo has been named 2015 International Islamophobe of the year, despite many of its staff having been killed by Jihadists in January. The annual ‘award’ was given by Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC), a British group that claims to campaign against terrorism.

According to the Muslim website 5Pillars the award was given to Charlie Hebdo because of its “continual stoking of Islamophobic sentiment by caricaturing Muslims as terrorists and ridiculing their beliefs.”

It continued: “Charlie Hebdo’s repeated mocking of Muslims is part of a culture of hate that is intended to marginalise, further alienate and further endanger a community that has effectively been ‘otherised’ in much the same way that Jews were in Nazi Germany.”

Staff at Charlie Hebdo were unable to accept the award as many of them had been murdered for mocking Mohammed. Their offices were attacked on 7th January, when two gunmen called individuals out of the morning editorial conference to be executed.

The terrorists shouted “the Prophet is avenged” and “we killed Charlie”, in reference to their aim of avenging the same religious insults the Islamophobe award was given for.

Overall Islamophobe of the Year was the Home Secretary Theresa May. She is accused of being the “driving force behind the introduction of yet more repressive legislation targeting the Muslim community”. The IHRC is specifically unhappy with the Counter Terrorism and Security Act, which requires professionals like teachers to report potential terrorists to the authorities.

The UK winner this year was Maajid Nawaz, co-founder of the anti-extremism think tank Quilliam. He takes the crown from the former Editor of Breitbart London, Raheem Kassam, maintaining the tradition of giving the award to a British Muslim whose activities are not deemed acceptable to the IHRC.

Media awards were given to both Fox News and the film American Sniper. 5Pillars explained the award for Fox News saying: “The jingoistic American news network remains a major source of misinformation about Islam and Muslims and continues to take delight in their demonization.”

A ‘positive award’ was given to Abdel-Rahm√®ne Azzouzi who resigned as a City Councillor in Angers, France because of the Islamophobia of the country. In the media Azzouzi claiming France was “sitting on a powder keg” because of its treatment of Muslims after the Charlie Hebdo attack. 

Sunday, March 8, 2015

The Power Of Empathy, Politics and Palestine


Lissa Johnson is a clinical psychologist with an interest in the psychology of ideology and politics, and the philosophy and politics of psychology. Occasionally she writes for New Matilda.

Her most recent piece was about empathy and in particular why we appear to display more of it for animals used in the recently exposed greyhound baiting scandal than for  a young aboriginal woman who died last year after falling ill while in police custody  for a petty reason.

An introduction and link to the article follows but towards the end of the piece is this odd observation that demanded a comment on the power of propaganda and its impact on people like Lissa Johnson.. 

In experiments, for instance, people give images of suffering children a wider berth than images of healthy children. Our Government’s secrecy around immigration detention has sought to capitalise on this very tendency, rendering our avoidance of suffering children routine.
Little wonder that Gillian Triggs has been pilloried for making those children the targets of empathy instead.
The Forgotten Children report must be particularly distressing to our Government given that empathy is the emotional wellspring of altruism and altruistic acts.
Empathy produces helping behaviour of all kinds, and intergroup empathy and its correlates predict degrees of support for, or opposition to, various social policies, including redistributive social policies, humanitarian aid to Palestinians, military aggression against Palestinians, torture of Iraqis including water torture, beatings, stress positions and humiliating acts, and torture of Muslims in general.

So if you are an opponent of Hamas and other terrorist gangs that milk and oppress Palestinian people or of if you have sympathy for its targets and victims forced into self defence then this is because you are a person without empathy. If you support the regimes that carry out these terrible acts then that is because you are basically an altruistic person who has evolved differently to the cavemen. Killers and altruists are both the work of natural selection and the inference is that we have a choice to evolve towards the better angels of our nature.

Interesting. This exposes  a problem with the whole concept of psychology in politics right there.  

The psychology of politics depends entirely on the politics of the psychologist.  

This blog's comment.

geoffff Posted Friday, March 6, 2015 - 01:25

Thank you Barney*, I was just about to make that point. The power of images and the message ( the mainstays of political propaganda) is overlooked entirely in this article. The animal cruelty was fresh and raw and in your face. It had shock value. 
It also overlooks the power of emotionally induced disdain or even hatred (such as racism). 
Lissa Johnson has unwittingly provided a classic example. She demonstrates that she has "empathy" for "Palestinians" but none at all for Israelis.  "Palestinians" subject to "military aggression" (which simply does not happen) and kept in permanent "refugee" status by corrupt "humanitarian aid", often channelled to terrorists,  she interprets as absence of empathy for the people.  
On the other hand, the building of dozens of  terrorist attack  tunnels (with cement supplied as "humanitarian aid")  , the launching of thousands of missiles at civilians,  and the kidnapping and murder of children invoke not the slightest suggestion of empathy for the victims at all and it could only be because they are Israeli Jews.
This is the common, default position of the fashionable left. It is impossible not to conclude that this emotional and irrational reaction is primarily the result of years of anti-Israel propaganda in main stream media and especially the skilled exploitation of shocking TV images.
This is endemic but perhaps the most infamous illustrations are the Netzarim Junction blood libel, (aka the Al Dura Affair) and the dead baby strategy. 
A straight forward case of induced emotion trumping reason.  

 *But the story about empathy for the animal victims of greyhounds, is about the fact that we watched it and heard it on TV. If Julieka's last hours had been televised there would have been a great outcry. But it was just another brief news story about someone we didn't know who lived a long way from us. We were able to put it aside and get on with our own lives.
Lissa Johnson responded (below) but then the exchange took another odd turn when another commenter entered. 

Swami has identified as an Australian born Muslim but not of a mainstream denomination. The exchanges with him or her and with Lissa Johnson show just how deeply the anti-Israel narrative has burrowed into the bones. That there can be no empathy with Israeli Jews is taken as a given. It does not receive a moment's thought. That they have no feeling for the Arab victim of an appalling crime is also assumed. That they are capable of any crime and collectively responsible for every crime is also taken for granted. This is a reflex that takes no thought. 

The article. 

4 Mar 2015

Dying Like An Animal: The Price Of Empathy And How Governments Use Yours Against You

By Lissa Johnson

Want to know why some people are more moved by greyhound baiting, than by an Aboriginal death in custody? Why the Abbott Government restricts media access to images of kids in detention? Why Gillian Triggs has been targeted? Why we’re so easily collectively exploited on issues like terrorism and war? It’s all about the empathy and how governments target yours, writes Dr Lissa Johnson.
It was difficult to stomach the reports of animal cruelty in the greyhound racing industry last month.
So alarming was the Four Corners coverage of injured rabbits and possums, dying slowly as they screamed in terror and pain, that it made front page news the next day.
And rightly so. No living creature in human care should die like that.
Which gives pause for thought.
I wonder if  Julieka Dhu, a Yamitji woman arrested for unpaid parking fines in Port Hedland last year, experienced something similar as she lay dying in her jail cell.
One can only imagine the anguish, horror and helplessness of a slow painful death before others’ eyes while pleading repeatedly for help. What Julieka’s family must feel knowing that she died like that is beyond harrowing to contemplate.
For some reason, however, Julieka’s suffering has elicited less of our collective outrage and concern than the suffering of the animals in the Four Corners report.
Far less.
Continues here.
First Lissa Johnson's response (which concedes the power of the "main stream media" but not apparently other media. Whether she would include the Arab language internet hate sites and antisemitic propaganda  mills of Hamas and the PA we just don't know. Likely she has not heard of them )

Lissa J Posted Saturday, March 7, 2015 - 10:10

I agree with the points that people have made about the role of the mainstream media and its magnitude. Thank you for emphasising this. I think that the MSM and government interact with - capitalising on and magnifying - the human tendencies described here.  The degree to which this takes place is likely to vary from person to person and context to context, a whole other topic in itself.
On the subject of evolutionary origins, intergroup processes are just one quality thought to have an evolutionary basis, along with others such as physical violence and sexual exploitation, as well as pro-social, co-operative, selfless traits, as people have rightly pointed out.
In creating and conducting contemporary societies we decide which of these impulses we value, which serve us and our collective good, and which interfere. I am arguing that as intergroup processes have consequences such as death and human rights violations on the receiving end, they warrant serious consideration.
One implication of acknowledging the evolutionary roots of intergroup phenomena, which I hope came across, is that intergroup processes do not necessarily reflect overtly prejudiced or racist attitudes.  They can also reflect largely unconscious processes with a kind of prehistoric power. The aim of becoming collectively aware of them is to help us as societies to rise above them, even in the face of MSM manipulation, if that is what we wish to do.
Now the exchange with swarmi

swarmi Posted Friday, March 6, 2015 - 10:19

@ Geoff
Out of curiosity, whatever happened to those Israeli youths who, just before the last Israeli invasion  of Gaza, burnt a young Palestinian to death? Part of their method was to pour petrol down his throat. Do you know what their punishment for this hate/race crime was? And do you empathise with those Israeli youths?
But you are correct about how empathy is hostage to our political system. Maybe we will do well to see and understand our social context if we really want to answer what makes us tick. And if you want to believe that the only problem in this world is the Palestian and those who support their cause then maybe your empathy is a little compromised by the exclusive world your mind wanders around.

 geoffff  Posted Saturday, March 7, 2015 - 00:26

Out of curiosity, whatever happened to those Israeli youths who, just before the last Israeli invasion of Gaza, burnt a young Palestinian to death? Part of their method was to pour petrol down his throat. Do you know what their punishment for this hate/race crime was? And do you empathise with those Israeli youths?
With respect Swarmi, are you serious about these questions, especially the last one? 
The killers were quickly hunted down, charged with kidnapping and murder, and arraigned. The ring leader (the only "adult") has confessed and re-enacted the crime for the police. All of them were charged as terrorists. It hasn't come to a full trial yet but there is speculation that at least one will attempt a defence of insanity and two  minors will plead guilty to the kidnapping but not the murder.
They are all in custody and no matter what happens at the trial that is where they will stay. 
Of course I have no empathy at all for these killers. Nor do any Israelis who were shocked by the crime. Until the arrests many had difficulty accepting that these thugs could be Jews. Not just Israelis. The shock has been cathartic. The national soul searching as evidenced in the Israeli media has been profound.
All of my empathy was and is for the poor boy and his family. All of it. That poor harmless kid.  I know for certain Israelis at every level feel the same. 
Among some other things, I wrote at the time about the crime and its portrayal,  moral equivalence and the so called cycle of violence here.   

 swarmi  Posted Sunday, March 8, 2015 - 00:01

@ Geofff
I accept your disclaimer. But why are you so surprised I asked? Do you think all Jews are some indivisible whole? Do you speak for all Jews? I would be offended if I was labelled a racist simply on the basis I was born in Australia and this is an obviously racist country. And the majority of us who live here are not racists either.
But, when an incident like the race/hate crime committed by some Jewish individuals occurs, it must raise some alarm bells about the society from which it came. The KKK was an extremists group in the US that most Americans despise yet they did come out of American society and its sordid history of slavery.
So if you have empathy for the murdered Palestinian youth do you allow yourself the luxury of questioning the society from which this crime emerged?

geoffff Posted Sunday, March 8, 2015 - 01:24

So if you have empathy for the murdered Palestinian youth do you allow yourself the luxury of questioning the society from which this crime emerged?
I don't regard it as a luxury but as an Australian I don't feel particularly qualified. As you would expect, there was an avalanche of questioning, commentary, analysis and debate from people who, being Israeli, are enormously better qualified. There is already more than enough "questioning" from a distance of this society from the profoundly ignorant, not to mention malicious, just waiting for an opportunity.
This was a terrible crime. Just as terrible have been  committed in Australia. In fact regrettably they are more common here. These horrible crimes happen everywhere in the world. Rarely do they incite the kind of self examination of the "society"  that this did in Israel. 
Frankly I think they overdid it. It was almost stereo typical Jewish self flagellation and guilt.  Innocent people taking on the burden of the guilty. Nothing to do with an unhealthy society at all. On the contrary. 
However since we are talking about questioning societies for violent criminality let us at least be honest. Before this crime, three hitch-hiking Jewish kids were picked up by a couple of Hamas thugs at gun point. One of the kids managed to ring the emergency number. The Israeli police have a recording of the killers whooping with delight as they butchered their victims one by one. 
In Israel, the crime by Jews provoked universal revulsion and a swift legal response.
In the territories, Gaza and parts of Jerusalem the murder of the three Jewish boys provoked celebrations in the streets and general gloating. The PA press published a cartoon depicting  three baited rats hanging from hooks on a stick.
I have no doubt at all which society is the healthier. Do you?
Is that the kind of questioning you mean?
And that was the end of the conversation. Progress? I doubt it. Dr Johnson offers a diagnosis of a very real and dangerous societal illness but does not appear to realise that she has a chronic form of the condition. 
Cross posted Israel Thrives

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Arab Commentators Quick To Support Bibi Against "One Of The Worst American Presidents"


Peace in our time.

It's a toss up between Obama and Carter.

Image result for obama chamberlain waving paper

Under Carter the Islamic Republic came to power. A catastrophe for the Iranian people and the worst strategic defeat for the West since the second world war. A strange and cowardly little man who single handed succeeded in making the world a far more dangerous place.  

Now Obama has paved the road for the Islamic Republic to become a nuclear power. Some people have compared him to Neville Chamberlain. This is an insult to the historical record. Chamberlain betrayed only Czechoslovakia, democracy, Europe and the Jews.  It wasn't within the gift of Chamberlain to hand Hitler the Middle East and the Bomb. 

From Algemeiner 

Leading Arab opinion makers weighed in on the controversy surrounding Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to Congress on Tuesday and expressed strong support for his stance on the Iranian nuclear threat.
In an op-ed for the Saudi Arabian daily Al-Jazirah on Monday, columnist Dr. Ahmad Al-Faraj asserted that Netanyahu is justified in his campaign against the proposed nuclear deal with Iran, according to The Middle East Media Research Institute. Al-Faraj said Netanyahu’s effort to prevent the signing of the agreement is in the interests of the Gulf states, and that the prime minister “is right to insist on addressing Congress about the nuclear deal.”
“I am very glad of Netanyahu’s firm stance and [his decision] to speak against the nuclear agreement at the American Congress despite the Obama administration’s anger and fury,” Al-Faraj wrote. “I believe that Netanyahu’s conduct will serve our interests, the people of the Gulf, much more than the foolish behaviour of one of the worst American presidents.”
The powerful editor-in-chief of Al Arabiya English, Faisal J. Abbas, published a column on Tuesday in which he asked Obama to take notes from Netanyahu on the extent of the Iranian threat. In the piece, titled “President Obama, Listen to Netanyahu on Iran,” Abbas says, “one must admit, Bibi did get it right, at least when it came to dealing with Iran.”
Abbas notes that Netanyahu “hit the nail right on the head” when he said at a recent event in Tel Aviv that “Middle Eastern countries are collapsing and that ‘terror organizations, mostly backed by Iran, are filling in the vacuum.’” In his remarks, Netanyahu “managed to accurately summarize a clear and present danger, not just to Israel (which obviously is his concern), but to other US allies in the region,” Abbas writes.
“What is absurd, however,” Abbas continues, “is that despite this being perhaps the only thing that brings together Arabs and Israelis (as it threatens them all), the only stakeholder that seems not to realize the danger of the situation is President Obama, who is now infamous for being the latest pen-pal of the Supreme Leader of the World’s biggest terrorist regime: Ayottallah Ali Khamenei.”
Abbas slams Obama’s “controversial take on managing global conflicts that raises serious questions.”  The “real Iranian threat” says Abbas, is not just the country’s nuclear ambitions, “but its expansionist approach and state-sponsored terrorism activities which are still ongoing.”
[my emphasis]

Israeli PM Netanyahu Addresses U.S. Congress | FULL SPEECH - March 3, 2015



 NETANYAHU: Thank you.
Thank you…
… Speaker of the House John Boehner, President Pro Tem Senator Orrin Hatch, Senator Minority — Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
I also want to acknowledge Senator, Democratic Leader Harry Reid. Harry, it’s good to see you back on your feet.
I guess it’s true what they say, you can’t keep a good man down.
My friends, I’m deeply humbled by the opportunity to speak for a third time before the most important legislative body in the world, the U.S. Congress.
I want to thank you all for being here today. I know that my speech has been the subject of much controversy. I deeply regret that some perceive my being here as political. That was never my intention.
I want to thank you, Democrats and Republicans, for your common support for Israel, year after year, decade after decade.
I know that no matter on which side of the aisle you sit, you stand with Israel.
The remarkable alliance between Israel and the United States has always been above politics. It must always remain above politics.
Because America and Israel, we share a common destiny, the destiny of promised lands that cherish freedom and offer hope. Israel is grateful for the support of American — of America’s people and of America’s presidents, from Harry Truman to Barack Obama.
We appreciate all that President Obama has done for Israel.
Now, some of that is widely known.
Some of that is widely known, like strengthening security cooperation and intelligence sharing, opposing anti-Israel resolutions at the U.N.
Some of what the president has done for Israel is less well- known.
I called him in 2010 when we had the Carmel forest fire, and he immediately agreed to respond to my request for urgent aid.
In 2011, we had our embassy in Cairo under siege, and again, he provided vital assistance at the crucial moment.
Or his support for more missile interceptors during our operation last summer when we took on Hamas terrorists.
In each of those moments, I called the president, and he was there.
And some of what the president has done for Israel might never be known, because it touches on some of the most sensitive and strategic issues that arise between an American president and an Israeli prime minister.
But I know it, and I will always be grateful to President Obama for that support.
And Israel is grateful to you, the American Congress, for your support, for supporting us in so many ways, especially in generous military assistance and missile defense, including Iron Dome.
Last summer, millions of Israelis were protected from thousands of Hamas rockets because this capital dome helped build our Iron Dome.
Thank you, America. Thank you for everything you’ve done for Israel.
My friends, I’ve come here today because, as prime minister of Israel, I feel a profound obligation to speak to you about an issue that could well threaten the survival of my country and the future of my people: Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons.
We’re an ancient people. In our nearly 4,000 years of history, many have tried repeatedly to destroy the Jewish people. Tomorrownight, on the Jewish holiday of Purim, we’ll read the Book of Esther. We’ll read of a powerful Persian viceroy named Haman, who plotted to destroy the Jewish people some 2,500 years ago. But a courageous Jewish woman, Queen Esther, exposed the plot and gave for the Jewish people the right to defend themselves against their enemies.
The plot was foiled. Our people were saved.
Today the Jewish people face another attempt by yet another Persian potentate to destroy us. Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei spews the oldest hatred, the oldest hatred of anti-Semitism with the newest technology. He tweets that Israel must be annihilated — he tweets. You know, in Iran, there isn’t exactly free Internet. But he tweets in English that Israel must be destroyed.
For those who believe that Iran threatens the Jewish state, but not the Jewish people, listen to Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, Iran’s chief terrorist proxy. He said: If all the Jews gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of chasing them down around the world.
But Iran’s regime is not merely a Jewish problem, any more than the Nazi regime was merely a Jewish problem. The 6 million Jews murdered by the Nazis were but a fraction of the 60 million people killed in World War II. So, too, Iran’s regime poses a grave threat, not only to Israel, but also the peace of the entire world. To understand just how dangerous Iran would be with nuclear weapons, we must fully understand the nature of the regime.
The people of Iran are very talented people. They’re heirs to one of the world’s great civilizations. But in 1979, they were hijacked by religious zealots — religious zealots who imposed on them immediately a dark and brutal dictatorship.
That year, the zealots drafted a constitution, a new one for Iran. It directed the revolutionary guards not only to protect Iran’s borders, but also to fulfill the ideological mission of jihad. The regime’s founder, Ayatollah Khomeini, exhorted his followers to “export the revolution throughout the world.”
I’m standing here in Washington, D.C. and the difference is so stark. America’s founding document promises life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Iran’s founding document pledges death, tyranny, and the pursuit of jihad. And as states are collapsing across the Middle East, Iran is charging into the void to do just that.
Iran’s goons in Gaza, its lackeys in Lebanon, its revolutionary guards on the Golan Heights are clutching Israel with three tentacles of terror. Backed by Iran, Assad is slaughtering Syrians. Back by Iran, Shiite militias are rampaging through Iraq. Back by Iran, Houthis are seizing control of Yemen, threatening the strategic straits at the mouth of the Red Sea. Along with the Straits of Hormuz, that would give Iran a second choke-point on the world’s oil supply.
Just last week, near Hormuz, Iran carried out a military exercise blowing up a mock U.S. aircraft carrier. That’s just last week, while they’re having nuclear talks with the United States. But unfortunately, for the last 36 years, Iran’s attacks against the United States have been anything but mock. And the targets have been all too real.
Iran took dozens of Americans hostage in Tehran, murdered hundreds of American soldiers, Marines, in Beirut, and was responsible for killing and maiming thousands of American service men and women in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Beyond the Middle East, Iran attacks America and its allies through its global terror network. It blew up the Jewish community center and the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires. It helped Al Qaida bomb U.S. embassies in Africa. It even attempted to assassinate the Saudi ambassador, right here in Washington, D.C.
In the Middle East, Iran now dominates four Arab capitals, Baghdad, Damascus, Beirut and Sanaa. And if Iran’s aggression is left unchecked, more will surely follow.
So, at a time when many hope that Iran will join the community of nations, Iran is busy gobbling up the nations.
We must all stand together to stop Iran’s march of conquest, subjugation and terror.
Now, two years ago, we were told to give President Rouhani and Foreign Minister Zarif a chance to bring change and moderation to Iran. Some change! Some moderation!
Rouhani’s government hangs gays, persecutes Christians, jails journalists and executes even more prisoners than before.
Last year, the same Zarif who charms Western diplomats laid a wreath at the grave of Imad Mughniyeh. Imad Mughniyeh is the terrorist mastermind who spilled more American blood than any other terrorist besides Osama bin Laden. I’d like to see someone ask him a question about that.
Iran’s regime is as radical as ever, its cries of “Death to America,” that same America that it calls the “Great Satan,” as loud as ever.
Now, this shouldn’t be surprising, because the ideology of Iran’s revolutionary regime is deeply rooted in militant Islam, and that’s why this regime will always be an enemy of America.
Don’t be fooled. The battle between Iran and ISIS doesn’t turn Iran into a friend of America.
Iran and ISIS are competing for the crown of militant Islam. One calls itself the Islamic Republic. The other calls itself the Islamic State. Both want to impose a militant Islamic empire first on the region and then on the entire world. They just disagree among themselves who will be the ruler of that empire.
In this deadly game of thrones, there’s no place for America or for Israel, no peace for Christians, Jews or Muslims who don’t share the Islamist medieval creed, no rights for women, no freedom for anyone.
So when it comes to Iran and ISIS, the enemy of your enemy is your enemy.
The difference is that ISIS is armed with butcher knives, captured weapons and YouTube, whereas Iran could soon be armed with intercontinental ballistic missiles and nuclear bombs. We must always remember — I’ll say it one more time — the greatest dangers facing our world is the marriage of militant Islam with nuclear weapons. To defeat ISIS and let Iran get nuclear weapons would be to win the battle, but lose the war. We can’t let that happen.
But that, my friends, is exactly what could happen, if the deal now being negotiated is accepted by Iran. That deal will not prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. It would all but guarantee that Iran gets those weapons, lots of them.
Let me explain why. While the final deal has not yet been signed, certain elements of any potential deal are now a matter of public record. You don’t need intelligence agencies and secret information to know this. You can Google it.
Absent a dramatic change, we know for sure that any deal with Iran will include two major concessions to Iran.
The first major concession would leave Iran with a vast nuclear infrastructure, providing it with a short break-out time to the bomb. Break-out time is the time it takes to amass enough weapons-grade uranium or plutonium for a nuclear bomb.
According to the deal, not a single nuclear facility would be demolished. Thousands of centrifuges used to enrich uranium would be left spinning. Thousands more would be temporarily disconnected, but not destroyed.
Because Iran’s nuclear program would be left largely intact, Iran’s break-out time would be very short — about a year by U.S. assessment, even shorter by Israel’s.
And if — if Iran’s work on advanced centrifuges, faster and faster centrifuges, is not stopped, that break-out time could still be shorter, a lot shorter.
True, certain restrictions would be imposed on Iran’s nuclear program and Iran’s adherence to those restrictions would be supervised by international inspectors. But here’s the problem. You see, inspectors document violations; they don’t stop them.
Inspectors knew when North Korea broke to the bomb, but that didn’t stop anything. North Korea turned off the cameras, kicked out the inspectors. Within a few years, it got the bomb.
Now, we’re warned that within five years North Korea could have an arsenal of 100 nuclear bombs.
Like North Korea, Iran, too, has defied international inspectors. It’s done that on at least three separate occasions — 2005, 2006, 2010. Like North Korea, Iran broke the locks, shut off the cameras.
Now, I know this is not gonna come a shock — as a shock to any of you, but Iran not only defies inspectors, it also plays a pretty good game of hide-and-cheat with them.
The U.N.’s nuclear watchdog agency, the IAEA, said again yesterday that Iran still refuses to come clean about its military nuclear program. Iran was also caught — caught twice, not once, twice — operating secret nuclear facilities in Natanz and Qom, facilities that inspectors didn’t even know existed.
Right now, Iran could be hiding nuclear facilities that we don’t know about, the U.S. and Israel. As the former head of inspections for the IAEA said in 2013, he said, “If there’s no undeclared installation today in Iran, it will be the first time in 20 years that it doesn’t have one.” Iran has proven time and again that it cannot be trusted. And that’s why the first major concession is a source of great concern. It leaves Iran with a vast nuclear infrastructure and relies on inspectors to prevent a breakout. That concession creates a real danger that Iran could get to the bomb by violating the deal.
But the second major concession creates an even greater danger that Iran could get to the bomb by keeping the deal. Because virtually all the restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program will automatically expire in about a decade.
Now, a decade may seem like a long time in political life, but it’s the blink of an eye in the life of a nation. It’s a blink of an eye in the life of our children. We all have a responsibility to consider what will happen when Iran’s nuclear capabilities are virtually unrestricted and all the sanctions will have been lifted. Iran would then be free to build a huge nuclear capacity that could product many, many nuclear bombs.
Iran’s Supreme Leader says that openly. He says, Iran plans to have 190,000 centrifuges, not 6,000 or even the 19,000 that Iran has today, but 10 times that amount — 190,000 centrifuges enriching uranium. With this massive capacity, Iran could make the fuel for an entire nuclear arsenal and this in a matter of weeks, once it makes that decision.
My long-time friend, John Kerry, Secretary of State, confirmed last week that Iran could legitimately possess that massive centrifuge capacity when the deal expires.
Now I want you to think about that. The foremost sponsor of global terrorism could be weeks away from having enough enriched uranium for an entire arsenal of nuclear weapons and this with full international legitimacy.
And by the way, if Iran’s Intercontinental Ballistic Missile program is not part of the deal, and so far, Iran refuses to even put it on the negotiating table. Well, Iran could have the means to deliver that nuclear arsenal to the far-reach corners of the earth, including to every part of the United States.
So you see, my friends, this deal has two major concessions: one, leaving Iran with a vast nuclear program and two, lifting the restrictions on that program in about a decade. That’s why this deal is so bad. It doesn’t block Iran’s path to the bomb; it paves Iran’s path to the bomb.
So why would anyone make this deal? Because they hope that Iran will change for the better in the coming years, or they believe that the alternative to this deal is worse?
Well, I disagree. I don’t believe that Iran’s radical regime will change for the better after this deal. This regime has been in power for 36 years, and its voracious appetite for aggression grows with each passing year. This deal would wet appetite — would only wet Iran’s appetite for more.
Would Iran be less aggressive when sanctions are removed and its economy is stronger? If Iran is gobbling up four countries right now while it’s under sanctions, how many more countries will Iran devour when sanctions are lifted? Would Iran fund less terrorism when it has mountains of cash with which to fund more terrorism?
Why should Iran’s radical regime change for the better when it can enjoy the best of both world’s: aggression abroad, prosperity at home?
This is a question that everyone asks in our region. Israel’s neighbors — Iran’s neighbors know that Iran will become even more aggressive and sponsor even more terrorism when its economy is unshackled and it’s been given a clear path to the bomb.
And many of these neighbors say they’ll respond by racing to get nuclear weapons of their own. So this deal won’t change Iran for the better; it will only change the Middle East for the worse. A deal that’s supposed to prevent nuclear proliferation would instead spark a nuclear arms race in the most dangerous part of the planet.
This deal won’t be a farewell to arms. It would be a farewell to arms control. And the Middle East would soon be crisscrossed by nuclear tripwires. A region where small skirmishes can trigger big wars would turn into a nuclear tinderbox.
If anyone thinks — if anyone thinks this deal kicks the can down the road, think again. When we get down that road, we’ll face a much more dangerous Iran, a Middle East littered with nuclear bombs and a countdown to a potential nuclear nightmare.
Ladies and gentlemen, I’ve come here today to tell you we don’t have to bet the security of the world on the hope that Iran will change for the better. We don’t have to gamble with our future and with our children’s future.
We can insist that restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program not be lifted for as long as Iran continues its aggression in the region and in the world.
Before lifting those restrictions, the world should demand that Iran do three things. First, stop its aggression against its neighbors in the Middle East. Second…
Second, stop supporting terrorism around the world.
And third, stop threatening to annihilate my country, Israel, the one and only Jewish state.
Thank you.
If the world powers are not prepared to insist that Iran change its behavior before a deal is signed, at the very least they should insist that Iran change its behavior before a deal expires.
If Iran changes its behavior, the restrictions would be lifted. If Iran doesn’t change its behavior, the restrictions should not be lifted.
If Iran wants to be treated like a normal country, let it act like a normal country.
My friends, what about the argument that there’s no alternative to this deal, that Iran’s nuclear know-how cannot be erased, that its nuclear program is so advanced that the best we can do is delay the inevitable, which is essentially what the proposed deal seeks to do?
Well, nuclear know-how without nuclear infrastructure doesn’t get you very much. A racecar driver without a car can’t drive. A pilot without a plan can’t fly. Without thousands of centrifuges, tons of enriched uranium or heavy water facilities, Iran can’t make nuclear weapons.
Iran’s nuclear program can be rolled back well-beyond the current proposal by insisting on a better deal and keeping up the pressure on a very vulnerable regime, especially given the recent collapse in the price of oil.
Now, if Iran threatens to walk away from the table — and this often happens in a Persian bazaar — call their bluff. They’ll be back, because they need the deal a lot more than you do.
And by maintaining the pressure on Iran and on those who do business with Iran, you have the power to make them need it even more.
My friends, for over a year, we’ve been told that no deal is better than a bad deal. Well, this is a bad deal. It’s a very bad deal. We’re better off without it.
Now we’re being told that the only alternative to this bad deal is war. That’s just not true.
The alternative to this bad deal is a much better deal.
A better deal that doesn’t leave Iran with a vast nuclear infrastructure and such a short break-out time. A better deal that keeps the restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program in place until Iran’s aggression ends.
A better deal that won’t give Iran an easy path to the bomb. A better deal that Israel and its neighbors may not like, but with which we could live, literally. And no country…
… no country has a greater stake — no country has a greater stake than Israel in a good deal that peacefully removes this threat.
Ladies and gentlemen, history has placed us at a fateful crossroads. We must now choose between two paths. One path leads to a bad deal that will at best curtail Iran’s nuclear ambitions for a while, but it will inexorably lead to a nuclear-armed Iran whose unbridled aggression will inevitably lead to war.
The second path, however difficult, could lead to a much better deal, that would prevent a nuclear-armed Iran, a nuclearized Middle East and the horrific consequences of both to all of humanity.
You don’t have to read Robert Frost to know. You have to live life to know that the difficult path is usually the one less traveled, but it will make all the difference for the future of my country, the security of the Middle East and the peace of the world, the peace, we all desire.
My friend, standing up to Iran is not easy. Standing up to dark and murderous regimes never is. With us today is Holocaust survivor and Nobel Prize winner Elie Wiesel.
Elie, your life and work inspires to give meaning to the words, “never again.”
And I wish I could promise you, Elie, that the lessons of history have been learned. I can only urge the leaders of the world not to repeat the mistakes of the past.
Not to sacrifice the future for the present; not to ignore aggression in the hopes of gaining an illusory peace.
But I can guarantee you this, the days when the Jewish people remained passive in the face of genocidal enemies, those days are over.
We are no longer scattered among the nations, powerless to defend ourselves. We restored our sovereignty in our ancient home. And the soldiers who defend our home have boundless courage. For the first time in 100 generations, we, the Jewish people, can defend ourselves.
This is why — this is why, as a prime minister of Israel, I can promise you one more thing: Even if Israel has to stand alone, Israel will stand.
But I know that Israel does not stand alone. I know that America stands with Israel.
I know that you stand with Israel.
You stand with Israel, because you know that the story of Israel is not only the story of the Jewish people but of the human spirit that refuses again and again to succumb to history’s horrors.
Facing me right up there in the gallery, overlooking all of us in this (inaudible) chamber is the image of Moses. Moses led our people from slavery to the gates of the Promised Land.
And before the people of Israel entered the land of Israel, Moses gave us a message that has steeled our resolve for thousands of years. I leave you with his message today, (SPEAKING IN HEBREW), “Be strong and resolute, neither fear nor dread them.”
My friends, may Israel and America always stand together, strong and resolute. May we neither fear nor dread the challenges ahead. May we face the future with confidence, strength and hope.
May God bless the state of Israel and may God bless the United States of America.
Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you all.
You’re wonderful.
Thank you, America. Thank you.
Thank you.