CHARLOTTE, N.C., March 3, 2015 — In January, President Obama gave his State of the Union message to Congress. Today, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to many of the same people to deliver a State of the World address.
There is no question who was the statesman, and it was not the American president.
Netanyahu took the podium in Washington and delivered a powerful message to the world. And in typical Obama fashion, the president ignored the message while his secretary of state was in Geneva continuing his naïve negotiations with a brutal Middle Eastern enemy.
Netanyahu made it clear that Israel will not remain silent. The leader of the Jewish nation told Congress that Israel would stand alone if necessary, to prevent annihilation at the hands of a rogue regime.
Recently, Michael Devolin of The Magic City Morning Star in Maine wrote a column in which he explained why Israel should no longer remain silent. He began his commentary by noting, “The many verses in the Quran vilifying and demonizing Jews far outweigh the verses cautioning Muslims to respect the ‘people of the book.'”
The “people of the book” is a common phrase used throughout the Koran to identify Christians and Jews, lumping them into a single non-Muslim religious category.
“Accept it or not,” wrote Devolin, “both Islam and Nazism are anti-Jewish ideologies, and anyone who says otherwise, whether expert or not, is a liar.”
Netanyahu made a similar comparison to the Holocaust of World War II when he recognized 1986 Nobel Peace Prize winner and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel during his oration. Using two words that can be seen at concentration camp memorials in Europe today, Netanyahu told Congress, “Never Again.”
The reference was both simple and powerful.
A comparison of the rhetoric of Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu shows that there really is no comparison. Obama, once recognized as a brilliant orator, has produced empty promises and hollow leadership. Netanyahu, on the other hand, delivered a coherent argument that could be understood by the man on the street rather than one mired in academic, theoretical mumbo-jumbo.
Quoting Efraim Karsh, Devolin wrote, “66 years after its establishment by an internationally recognized act of self-determination, the Jewish state remains the only state in the world whose right to self-defense, indeed to national existence, is constantly challenged.”
Karsh is correct in his analysis. No country and no president, even Obama, would allow the threat of obliteration at the hands of another nation go unchallenged. So why should Israel?
Devolin cited Jonathan Halevi, who wrote:
“the ideas of the caliphate, jihad as a legitimate tool to spread Islam globally … are shared by the great majority of Islamic movements and organizations, including the international movement of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Salafi movement, Hezb a-Tahrir, the Islamic Jihad, al-Jama’a al-Islamiya, al-Qaeda and its affiliates, Hamas, Hizbullah, and the Iranian regime, among others.
“These ‘ideas’, after all, especially the concept of using ‘jihad as a legitimate tool to spread Islam globally,’ have been entertained and employed by Muslims in every generation since the time of Mohammed.”
None of this is new, but it does magnify the inane counter-arguments put forth by the Obama Administration.
In the end, it is Devolin’s conclusion that stands out, because it defies the belief, common even among those who speak out against global terrorism, that the religion of Islam has somehow been “hijacked.”
“the truth everyone is shouting from the rooftops these days, what so many of our opponents and/or enemies are trying to keep secret, is that Islam (with or without jihad) is totally insalubrious and completely unacceptable for Western man and our democratic way of life. Islam makes the terrorist: this is the undisguised truth most of the free world now acknowledges secretly but is afraid to admit to publicly, in my opinion. Islam gave birth to ISIS. No one “hijacked” Islam to perpetrate atrocities like the Beslan massacre in Russia or America’s 9/11 (emphasis added). Our survival now hinges on how soon Western leaders will open their eyes to this malefic reality. Now is the time to show this truth with its face undisguised. To hell with silence.”
Benjamin Netanyahu delivered a resounding message to congress. The unanswered question now is whether it will be digested to lasting effect or fall by the wayside of a fickle 24/7 news cycle.
Whether Benjamin “Winston Churchill” Netanyahu or John “Neville Chamberlain” Kerry prevails will determine much about the fate of the world in the coming decade.
Bob Taylor has been traveling the world for more than 30 years as a writer and award winning television producer focusing on international events, people and cultures around the globe. Taylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com)
Read more of What in the World and Bob Taylor at Communities Digital News. Follow Bob on Twitter @MrPeabod