History Repeats Itself, From Begin to Netanyahu
The United Nations Security Council resolution — which stated that Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria, “occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem,” have “no legal validity,” and demanded a halt to “all Israeli settlement activities” — is simply anti-Israel. It’s a continuation of the double standard continuously imposed upon Israel.
As Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rightly noted in his reaction:
Israel is a country with national pride, and we do not turn the other cheek. This is a responsible, measured and vigorous response, the natural response of a healthy people that is making it clear to the nations of the world that what was done at the UN is unacceptable to us. There is no alternative to a determined response because it is, in effect, creating the basis for a different approach in the future. Under my leadership, Israel is a strong and proud nation. We will continue to defend our state and we will develop the country.
All signs point to the Obama administration being behind the anti-Israel resolution, and one only need look at those who are said to have been involved. For instance, it seems Vice President Joe Biden — who reportedly intervened to ensure Ukraine voted for the resolution — has had a previous run-in with an Israeli premier:
On June 22, 1982, Joe Biden was a senator from Delaware and confronted then-Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin during his Senate Foreign Relations committee testimony, threatening to cut off aid to Israel. Begin forcefully responded, “Don’t threaten us with cutting off your aid. It will not work. I am not a Jew with trembling knees. I am a proud Jew with 3,700 years of civilized history. Nobody came to our aid when we were dying in the gas chambers and ovens. Nobody came to our aid when we were striving to create our country. We paid for it. We fought for it. We died for it. We will stand by our principles. We will defend them. And, when necessary, we will die for them again, with or without your aid.”
History repeats itself.
Clearly the nations of the world don’t respect Israeli democracy or leadership, and Netanyahu was right to summon the American ambassador for an explanation. Similarly, in 1981, Prime Minister Begin summoned the US ambassador to his home, and read him the following statement:
Now you once again declare that you are punishing Israel. What kind of expression is this – “punishing Israel”? Are we a vassal state of yours? Are we a banana republic? Are we youths of fourteen who, if they don’t behave properly, are slapped across the fingers? Let me tell you who this government is composed of. It is composed of people whose lives were spent in resistance, in fighting and in suffering. You will not frighten us with “punishments.” He who threatens us will find us deaf to his threats. We are only prepared to listen to rational arguments. You have no right to “punish” Israel – and I protest at the very use of this term.
You want to make Israel a hostage of the memorandum of understanding. I regard your announcement suspending the consultations on the memorandum as the abrogation (by you) of the memorandum. No “sword of Damocles” is going to hang over our head. So we duly take note of the fact that you have abrogated the memorandum of understanding. The people of Israel has lived 3,700 years without a memorandum of understanding with America – and it will continue to live for another 3,700.
Prime Minister Begin said it best, and its worth repeating when he told the United States Israel was no “vassal state” or a “banana republic.”
Netanyahu’s words today echo Begin’s then – history repeats itself.