Full Text of Netanyahu Speech to AIPAC

May 24, 2011 1:05 am 9 comments

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu greets supporters at AIPAC. Photo: Maxine Dovere.

When tragedy strikes America, Israel mourns.

Tragedy has struck America.

In recent days, tornadoes and floods have claimed the lives of hundreds of Americans.

Israel grieves with you.

To all our supporters in this great hall, and to the millions of our supporters across this great land, the people of Israel thank you.

Thank you for your staunch commitment to Israel’s security.

Thank you for defending Israel’s right to defend itself.

Thank you for standing by Israel as it seeks a secure peace.

You know that Israel is America’s indispensable ally.

You understand that Israel and America stand shoulder to shoulder fighting common enemies, protecting common interests.

You know that Israeli innovators help power computers, fight disease, conserve water, and clean the planet.

Your support for Israel flows from the heart.

It’s not just what Israel does.  It’s what Israel is.

Yesterday, they let me out.

My wife got to visit Washington’s majestic memorials.

I read Jefferson’s timeless words, “We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal.”

I read Lincoln’s immortal address reaffirming “Government of the people, for the people, and by the people.”

You know why these words resonate so powerfully with me and with all Israelis.

Because they are rooted in ideas first championed by our people, the Jewish people.

The idea that all men are created in God’s image.

That no ruler is above the law.

That everyone is entitled to justice.

These revolutionary Jewish ideas were spoken thousands of years ago when vast slave empires ruled the earth.

Israel is the cradle of our common civilization, crucible of our moral ideals.

The Jewish state was founded on these eternal values.

This is why Israel’s more than one million Muslim citizens enjoy full democratic rights.

This is why the only place in the Middle East where Christians are completely free to practice their faith is in the democratic State of Israel.

And this is why only Israel can be trusted to ensure freedom for all faiths in our eternal capital, the united city of Jerusalem.

My Friends,

Israel and America have drawn from this deep wellspring of common values.

We have forged an enduring friendship not merely between our governments but between our peoples.

Support for Israel doesn’t divide America.

It unites America.

It unites the old and the young, liberals and conservatives, Democrats and Republicans—and yes, Joe Leiberman, it even unites Independents—

This broad support for Israel is a source of great strength for my country.

Since Harry Truman, Israel has looked to American Presidents to stand by its side to meet unfolding challenges of a changing world.

President Obama has spoken about his ironclad commitment to Israel’s security.

He rightly said that our security cooperation is unprecedented.

He spoke of that commitment not just in front of AIPAC, but in two speeches heard throughout the Arab world.

And President Obama has backed those words with deeds.

I know these are tough economic times.

So I want to thank the President and Congress for providing Israel with vital assistance so that Israel can defend itself by itself.

Thank you for supporting the Iron Dome missile-defense system.

A few weeks ago, Hamas terrorists in Gaza fired eight rockets at Ashkelon and Be’er Sheva.

The rockets never reached their targets.

Iron Dome intercepted them.

For the first time, a missile defense system worked in combat.

Thank you, America.

America and Israel are cooperating in so many other ways.

In science, in technology, in trade, in investment.

Its not only American companies investing in Israel.

It’s Israeli companies investing in America.

In the last decade, Israeli companies have invested more than $50 billion in America.

One of those investments is happening just down the road in Richmond.

An Israeli company is building a food factory there.

That means more business, more jobs and yes, more Hummus.

Well it’s not just food we’re bringing to America.

Take medicine.

Israel is advancing cures for multiple schlerosis, cancer and alzheimer’s.

We’ve developed the mechanical means to make paraplegics walk again.

We placed a tiny diagnostic camera inside a pill.

A Jerusalem start-up company has developed a bandage to rapidly stop bleeding.

A million of those bandages have been supplied to the US army.

They are saving American lives and limbs.

But not just on the battlefield.

A few months ago, one of those bandages was carried by a policeman in Tuscon, Arizona.

It helped save the life of a great friend of Israel, Congresswoman Gabriel Giffords!

Israel and America are also cooperating to end the world’s worst addiction — the addiction to oil.

This dependence fuels terrorism.

It poisons the planet.

We’ve launched a ten-year program to seek a substitute for gasoline.

If we succeed, we can change history.

My Friends,

The American people’s support for Israel is reflected in my invitation to address a joint meeting of Congress tomorrow.

I will talk about the great convulsion taking place in the Middle East -

I will talk about the dangers of a nuclear-armed Iran.

I will also outline a vision for a secure Israeli-Palestinian peace.

I will speak the unvarnished truth.

Now, more than ever, what we need is clarity.

Events in our region are finally opening people’s eyes to a simple truth.

The problems of the region are not rooted in Israel.

The remarkable scenes we are witnessing in town squares across the Middle East and North Africa are occurring for a simple reason.

People want freedom.

They want progress.  They want a better life.

For many of the people in the region, the 20th century skipped them by.

Now 21st century technology is showing them what they missed.

That desperate fruit vendor in Tunis didn’t set himself on fire because of Israel.

He set himself on fire because of decades of indignity, decades of intolerable corruption.

The millions who poured into the streets of Tehran, Tunis, Cairo, Sanna, Benghazi and Damascus, were not thinking about Israel.

They were thinking of freedom.

They were yearning for opportunity.

It’s time to stop blaming Israel for all of the region’s problems.

Let me stress one thing.

Peace between Israelis and Palestinians is a vital need for us.

Peace would be the realization of a powerful and eternal dream.

But it is not a panacea for the endemic problems of the Middle East.

It will not give women is some Arab countries in the Middle East the right to drive a car.

It will not prevent Churches from being bombed.

It will not keep journalists out of jail.

What will change all this?  One word.

Democracy.  Real, genuine, democracy.

By democracy, I don’t just mean elections.

I mean Freedom of Speech.  Freedom of the Press.  Freedom of Assembly.

The Rule of Law.   Rights for women, for gays, for minorities, for everyone.

What the people of the Middle East need is what you have in America, and what we have in Israel.

Democracy.

It’s time to recognize this basic truth:

Israel is not what’s wrong about the Middle East.

Israel is what’s right about the Middle East.

My Friends,

Israel wants peace because we know the pain of terror and the agony of war.

We want peace because we know the blessings peace could bring to us and to our Palestinian neighbors.

But if we hope to advance peace with the Palestinians, then it is time that we admitted another truth.

This conflict has raged for nearly a century because the Palestinians refuse to end it.

They refuse to accept the Jewish state.

This is what this conflict has always been about.

There are many issues that must be resolved between Israelis and Palestinians.

We can and must resolve them.

But I repeat.  We can only make peace with the Palestinians if they are prepared to make peace with the Jewish state.

Tomorrow, I will speak more about what such a peace could look like.

But tonight I wanted to express Israel’s gratitude for all you are doing to help strengthen Israel and its great alliance with America.

*You help maintain our Qualitative Military Edge.

*You back sanctions against Iran.

* You support a genuine peace.

*You oppose Hamas.

*You’ve joined President Obama and me in denouncing Hamas and demanding that it release, Gilad Shalit.

That’s another outrageous crime of Hamas.

Keeping a young soldier locked in a dark dungeon for five years without even a visit from the Red Cross.

Hamas must release Gilad Shalit!

My friends,

I spent my high school years in Philadelphia.

I went many times to see the Liberty Bell.

Now, as Prime Minister of Israel, I can walk down the street and see an exact replica of that bell in Jerusalem’s Liberty Park.

On both bells is the same inscription.

It comes from the Bible, from Leviticus.

“Proclaim Liberty throughout the Land.”

My Dear Friends,

This is the essence of the great alliance between our two nations.

Two peoples bonded in Liberty, and seeking freedom and peace for all.

9 Comments

  • Applause! America cherishes Israel and stands with her.

  • Thank God for a leader who is not afraid to speak the truth. I support Netanyahu and Israel 100%. We need more allied like them. Unfortunatley our President seems to be doing all he can to weaken our allies and strengthen our enemies.

  • A perfect speech that expresses my thoughts and feelings far better than I could myself. BTW I live in DC and am surrounded by fools with false equivalencies and justifications.

  • lies – lies – and more damn lies

  • Bibi is a true Patriot. Too bad he can’t run for the Republican nomination.

  • Laurence E. Gibbs

    I wish the whole world would understand such logic and truth that Bibi touched on with his speech. Not only that, but as to the facts behind the true homeland of the “Palestinians” which is Jordan and how if they gave up carving up Israel and moved back to Jordan…I’m sure all Jews would help support their growth and development as long as it was peaceful and Pro-Israel in its treatment of Israel as its neighbor.

    • Bibi has said it all, Israel is not the problem of the middle east, rather the star and the solution. Israel is not the reson why women are not allowed to drive, or the youths cant be heard, rather is a shining example for others to emulate and drive their societies to greatness. The Arabs should not miss this great opportunity to finally seal a lasting peace with Israel for a greater prosperous tomorrow for their children Shalom

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Book Reviews Personalities How a Jewish Leader With 3 Months to Live Created a ‘Seminar’ on Life

    How a Jewish Leader With 3 Months to Live Created a ‘Seminar’ on Life

    JNS.org – What would you do if you found out that you had only three more months to live? Gordon Zacks was a successful businessman, a leader of Jewish life, and a confidante and adviser to President George H.W. Bush. He knew that he had prostate cancer, but doctors advised him that it was very slow-growing and nothing to worry about. Then came the day when the doctors told him his cancer metastasized to his liver, and that he had [...]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Theater 10 Things I Learned From My Play About Holocaust Denial

    10 Things I Learned From My Play About Holocaust Denial

    Last month, my one-man show Hoaxocaust! Written and performed by Barry Levey with the generous assistance of the Institute for Political and International Studies, Tehran ran in the New York International Fringe Festival, where it won an Overall Excellence Award. The play has now been selected to run in the Fringe Encores Series at Baruch College’s Performing Arts Center, for four performances which started on Thursday, September 11. Getting the play to the stage was not easy, however. Here are [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Israel Israeli Music Producer Racks Up Over 535,000 YouTube Hits – in Two Days

    Israeli Music Producer Racks Up Over 535,000 YouTube Hits – in Two Days

    Phenomenon: Tel Aviv-based musician and “sampler” extraordinaire, Kutiman (aka Ophir Kutiel) has hit another one out of the park with “Give It Up,” a fully-functioning song in its own right, assembled from hundreds of ameteur and instructional music videos. The Jerusalem-born musical prodigy is best know for his diverse online musical projects. In the latest video, uploaded to YouTube on Sept. 12th, Kutiel thanked most of the musicians and individuals he chose to include in the meticulously-edited clip, which opens with [...]

    Read more →
  • Theater US & Canada Behind-the-Scenes Reel of Ridley Scott’s Moses Epic Shows Scenes Using 4000 Extras (VIDEO)

    Behind-the-Scenes Reel of Ridley Scott’s Moses Epic Shows Scenes Using 4000 Extras (VIDEO)

    A recently released behind-the-scenes reel of Ridley Scott’s upcoming film Exodus: Gods and Kings shows just how far the director has gone to portray one of the Bible’s most famous narratives. In the clip, which shows scenes involving up to 4,000 extras, the visionary director discusses what drew him to the biblical tale of Moses. “The Moses story was a massive challenge, which I really love. I wanted to explore the complexity of his character and I was stunned by [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Jewish Identity Turner Classic Movies Showcases ‘Broad Sweep’ of the Jewish Experience on Film

    Turner Classic Movies Showcases ‘Broad Sweep’ of the Jewish Experience on Film

    JNS.org – Since 2006, the Turner Classic Movies (TCM) cable and satellite TV network has hosted “The Projected Image,” a month-long showcase examining how different cultural and ethnic groups have been portrayed on the big screen. At last, after previously covering African Americans, Asians, the LGBT community, Latinos, Native Americans, Arabs, and people with disabilities, the annual series is delving into Jewish film this month. “The Projected Image: The Jewish Experience on Film,” whose first segment aired Sept. 2, runs [...]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Jewish Identity An Inside Look at the Hasidim (REVIEW)

    An Inside Look at the Hasidim (REVIEW)

    The sight of young girls in pinafores and young boys wearing peyos – sidelocks – dangling over their ears is a sure sign that you have entered the enigmatic precincts of the Hasidim – the pious ones. Veteran New York Times journalist Joseph Berger’s new book, THE PIOUS ONES: The World of Hasidim and their Battles with America, takes the reader on a journey into the enclaves where various sects of Jews live a seemingly outmoded way of life in [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Jewish Identity How Jewish Television Pioneer Milton Berle Inspired Modern Comedy Stars

    How Jewish Television Pioneer Milton Berle Inspired Modern Comedy Stars

    JNS.org – Today’s comedy superstars, especially those whose careers are driven by television, may very well owe their success to pioneering Jewish entertainer Milton Berle. Born Mendel Berlinger in Manhattan in 1908, Berle became America’s first small-screen star. Aptly nicknamed “Mr. Television,” he influenced and helped promote the work of hundreds of younger comics. “Milton Berle was deceptively successful and very Jewish,” says Lawrence Epstein, author of The Haunted Smile: The Story of Jewish Comedians in America, published the year [...]

    Read more →
  • Jewish Identity Sports Jewish ‘Hoops Whisperer’ a Secret Weapon for NBA Stars

    Jewish ‘Hoops Whisperer’ a Secret Weapon for NBA Stars

    JNS.org – Idan Ravin’s friends chipped in to buy him a humble but life-changing bar mitzvah gift—a basketball hoop his father attached to the roof of his garage. Little did his friends know that years later, he would be the personal trainer of National Basketball Association (NBA) stars Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant, Dwight Howard, and Stephen Curry. Ravin’s new book, “The Hoops Whisperer: On the Court and Inside the Head of Basketball’s Best Players,” details his rise from a Jewish upbringing [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.