Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Netanyahu: Leader Of The Free World

Rev. Lou Sheldon was in the House gallery as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered his masterful speech on the State of Israel and the current status of the Middle East peace process. His remarks are as follows:

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu demonstrated to us all why he is the leader of the free world. In the face of challenges, both from Islamic terrorism and even the American president, Netanyahu spoke in clear, forceful terms about the peace and security of the Middle East and the reasons why Israel shines as a beacon and hope to the struggling democracies of the world.

Netanyahu reminded us of several things:

It is Israel who defends and proclaims democracy in the Middle East while her neighbors seek to tear it down.

It is Israel who protects the holy sites of Christians, Jews, and Muslims while HAMAS would seek to restrict and potentially destroy those sites.

It is Israel who is sounding the alarm against an Iranian nuclear weapon, one that could easily target Tel Aviv and Jerusalem just as well as it could potentially target New York or Washington.

It is Israel who defends a "free press, independent courts, an open economy, [and] rambunctious parliamentary debates" while her neighbors silence dissent, often through the use of intimidation and brutal force.

It is Israel who represents what is best in the Middle East, while powerful forces work to undermine democracy, opposition, and freedom.

It is Israel who readily accepts and welcomes a Palestinian state among the community of nations, while her enemies refuse to accept a Jewish state.

It is Israel who asserts the right to defend herself and her people, while her enemies seek to disarm Israel of that basic right.

It is Israel who traded land for the prospect of peace, while 12,000 rockets were launched into southern and northern Israel proper in response to this trade.

Netanyahu's forceful and clear language is a speech that many Americans have yearned for years for our own leaders to make. To hear our values and a vision for peace articulated so well by Prime Minister Netanyahu is a source of tremendous relief to many Americans. Netanyahu understands, as many Americans do, that liberty can only be maintained through eternal vigilance. Moreover, Netanyahu articulated that the bonds that tie America so closely to Israel are not forged by blind sentiment, nor are they forged by political calculation. Rather, Israel and America share one spirit -- the spirit of liberty:
My friends, the momentous trials of the last century, and the unfolding events of this century, attest to the decisive role of the United States in advancing peace and defending freedom. Providence entrusted the United States to be the guardian of liberty. All peoples who cherish freedom owe a profound debt of gratitude to your great nation. Among the most grateful nations is my nation, the people of Israel, who have fought for their liberty and survival against impossible odds, in ancient and modern times alike.
The traditions we inherit from the Jewish people are the foundation of American culture. From the Jews we have received the virtues of wisdom, justice, liberty, and above all else the institutions of law and faith.

Those who strike the taproot of the Jewish soul wage war on American values. It is from that spirit that we, who share in the inheritance of the Jewish tradition, link arms and bind ourselves to the liberty and spirit of a prosperous, peaceful, and free Israel.

America owes a debt of gratitude to Prime Minster Netanyahu for a speech of substance -- a rare thing in recent years. Israel deserves the right not only to exist, but to exist in freedom and peace. To that end, the American people will continue to pledge the undying support of the Jewish people.

So long as there is an America, there will always be an Israel.