Israeli PM Netanyahu addresses the U.N. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — who decades ago served as his nation’s ambassador to the United Nations — spoke to the General Assembly on Friday and gave one of his most important speeches of his life and in the history of the modern State of Israel. He said he came not to win applause, but to speak the truth. And he did.

He spoke the same day that Palestinian Chairman Mahmoud Abbas formally asked the U.N. to unilaterally create a Palestianian state. He spoke one day after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad delivered an apocalyptic address to the U.N. calling for the arrival of the Twelfth Imam and viciously denouncing Israel and the United States.

Let us pray that many in that hall and around the world have ears to ear, hearts to understand, and the courage to do justice and love mercy according to the Scriptures in these last days. 

  • Netanyahu quoted from the Hebrew Prophet Isaiah saying, “‘The people who walk in darkness will see a great light.’ Let that light be the light of peace.” [The verse comes from Isaiah 9, a famous chapter describing the coming of the Messiah]. 
  • Explained that Israel is the “ancient biblical homeland” of the Jewish people
  • Explained how to achieve peace with the Palestinians
  • Urged the world to stop Iran’s bid for nuclear weapons before it’s too late
  • Noted that there are many fine diplomats at the U.N. who work honorably for peace and security, but noted with regret that all too often the U.N. is a “house of lies” and the “theater of the absurd”

Key excerpts:

  • “Today I hope that the light of truth will shine, if only for a few minutes, in a hall that for too long has been a place of darkness for my country. So as Israel’s prime minister, I didn’t come here to win applause. I came here to speak the truth. The truth is that Israel wants peace. The truth is that I want peace. The truth is that in the Middle East at all times, but especially during these turbulent days, peace must be anchored in security. The truth is that we cannot achieve peace through UN resolutions, but only through direct negotiations between the parties. The truth is that so far the Palestinians have refused to negotiate. The truth is that Israel wants peace with a Palestinian state, but the Palestinians want a state without peace. And the truth is you shouldn’t let that happen.
  • “It was here [at the U.N.] in 1975 that the age-old yearning of my people to restore our national life in our ancient biblical homeland — it was then that this was branded shamefully, as racism. And it was here in 1980, right here, that the historic peace agreement between Israel and Egypt wasn’t praised; it was denounced!  And it’s here, year after year that Israel is unjustly singled out for condemnation. It’s singled out for condemnation more often than all the nations of the world combined. Twenty-one out of the 27 General Assembly resolutions condemn Israel – the one true democracy in the Middle East.
  • “It’s the theater of the absurd. It doesn’t only cast Israel as the villain; it often casts real villains in leading roles: Gadhafi’s Libya chaired the UN Commission on Human Rights; Saddam’s Iraq headed the UN Committee on Disarmament. You might say: That’s the past. Well, here’s what’s happening now — right now, today, Hezbollah-controlled Lebanon now presides over the UN Security Council. This means, in effect, that a terror organization presides over the body entrusted with guaranteeing the world’s security.You couldn’t make this thing up.”
  • A malignancy is now growing between East and West that threatens the peace of all. It seeks not to liberate, but to enslave, not to build, but to destroy.That malignancy is militant Islam. It cloaks itself in the mantle of a great faith, yet it murders Jews, Christians and Muslims alike with unforgiving impartiality. On September 11th it killed thousands of Americans, and it left the twin towers in smoldering ruins. Last night I laid a wreath on the 9/11 memorial. It was deeply moving. But as I was going there, one thing echoed in my mind: the outrageous words of the president of Iran on this podium yesterday. He implied that 9/11 was an American conspiracy. Some of you left this hall. All of you should have.”
  • “The international community must stop Iran before it’s too late. If Iran is not stopped, we will all face the specter of nuclear terrorism, and the Arab Spring could soon become an Iranian winter….The world around Israel is definitely becoming more dangerous. Militant Islam has already taken over Lebanon and Gaza. It’s determined to tear apart the peace treaties between Israel and Egypt and between Israel and Jordan. It’s poisoned many Arab minds against Jews and Israel, against America and the West. It opposes not the policies of Israel but the existence of Israel.
  • In 2000 Israel made a sweeping peace offer that met virtually all of the Palestinian demands. Arafat rejected it. The Palestinians then launched a terror attack that claimed a thousand Israeli lives. Prime Minister Olmert afterwards made an even more sweeping offer, in 2008. President Abbas  didn’t  even respond to it. But Israel did more than just make sweeping offers. We actually left territory. We withdrew from Lebanon in 2000 and from every square inch of Gaza in 2005. That didn’t calm the Islamic storm, the militant Islamic storm that threatens us. It only brought the storm closer and made it stronger.
  • “The Jewish state of Israel will always protect the rights of all its minorities, including the more than 1million Arab citizens of Israel. I wish I could say the same thing about a future Palestinian state, for as Palestinian officials made clear the other day – in fact, I think they made it right here in New York — they said the Palestinian state won’t allow any Jews in it. They’ll be Jew-free — Judenrein. That’s ethnic cleansing. There are laws today in Ramallah that make the selling of land to Jews punishable by death. That’s racism. And you know which laws this evokes.
  • “There’s an old Arab saying that you cannot applaud with one hand. Well, the same is true of peace. I can not make peace alone. I cannot make peace without you. President Abbas, I extend my hand — the hand of Israel – in peace. I hope that you will grasp that hand. We are both the sons of Abraham. My people call him Avraham. Your people call him Ibrahim. We share the same patriarch. We dwell in the same land. Our destinies are intertwined. Let us realize the vision of Isaiah — [Isaiah 9:1 in Hebrew] — “The people who walk in darkness will see a great light.” Let that light be the light of peace.”

To watch Netanyahu’s speech — or read the full text — please click here.

To help The Joshua Fund educate and mobilize Christians around the world about God’s love and plan for Israel — and to bless poor and needy Israelis and Palestinians in real and practical ways — please click here.

To pre-order The Tehran Initiative, please click here.

%d bloggers like this: