For those of you waiting for the miracle to come, I am here to tell you that it is here. The events of the last week were stunning. This week, the home team scored big in the face of overwhelming odds.
The week started out looking bleak. In general, the world is marching to war against “the little Jew who wrote the Bible,” as the poet and songwriter Leonard Cohen wryly put it in his song “The Future.” “Waiting for the Miracle” is another one of his songs, and a miracle might be what has to save the free world at this point. The world is marching against freedom, against the West. Those of us who are married to this work, to the fight, have chronicled the play-by-play on the road to Armageddon. We have been confounded by the apathy exhibited by good, decent folks in the face of this naked evil. It has been one blow after another here in America and across the world.
Many believe that it will take mass death to rouse the good people in the world to action. Many think that this is simply the human condition. It was this way with Hitler. Everyone knew what he was and what he was saying. Just as today, they know what Ahmadinejad is saying, and what Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi is saying, and Anwar al-Awlaki, and Ibrahim Hooper, and Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf…
Everyone knew what Hitler was, and still many people loved him until he stopped winning. What did it take to wake up the good folk? Mass death. By the millions.
And that is coming.
But not this week, although it looked for awhile as if this would not be a good moment for freedom fighters. In an act of diabolical calculation, Barack Hussein Obama dropped a bomb on Benjamin Netanyahu right before the Prime Minister of Israel was scheduled to speak before the joint session of Congress at the invitation of the Speaker of the House, John Boehner.
Obama announced a proposed return to the “Auschwitz borders,” Israel’s 1967 borders that were at one point only nine miles wide. Wipe out. And so the real story of the week, the unity government that Hamas and Fatah began forming, was obliterated and disappeared from the national dialogue. Instead, the Prime Minister of our strongest, most unflappable ally in the Middle East was boxed in. He had to defend his tiny nation; he had to rebuke the Nazi-like comments of the President.
And so he did, brilliantly. And in doing so, he was the object of scorn and derision from the leftwing media here and abroad — not to mention the flapping tongues of the chattering class. They thought that Obama had masterfully outfoxed our friend. But not so fast. The expectation of the media elite and those who think they know better was that Benjamin Netanyahu would praise Obama to the skies when he spoke Monday at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Obama had opened the door to this in his remarks the day before at AIPAC. He doubled down, but spouted just enough rhetoric about “ironclad” relationships and so forth that it would have been bad form for Netanyahu not to pay tribute.
But he didn’t. Instead, he made a damn fine speech and retained his dignity, his principles, and his moral edge. And that was just the opening act. On Tuesday, he spoke to the joint session in Congress, and his speech was a triumph. Fifty-six times. That’s how many times the Congress cheered, applauded, and/or stood up for Benjamin Netanyahu. This kind of reception is reserved for a much-loved president of…the United States. He was welcomed with a standing ovation and over three minutes of thunderous applause.
And he did not disappoint. Netanyahu was brilliant.
This was history. Unforgettable.
“Israel has no better friend than America and America has no better friend than Israel,” Netanyahu said. The two countries “stand together, to defend democracy, to advance peace and to fight terrorism.”
His speech was very strong. He did not downplay the disagreements, but discussed them forthrightly and was met with thunderous applause.
“Israel,” he said, “is the only country that has guaranteed freedom of all faiths in Jerusalem, which must remain undivided.” He went to say that Hamas not a partner for peace. Israel will not, he said, “negotiate with a Palestinian government, which is backed by a Palestinian version of al-Qaida.” Its charter calls for killing of Jews; he said he was “willing to make far-reaching compromises,” but under any pragmatic deal, strategic sites must be incorporated into final borders.
There is no need for the United States to send troops to Israel because “we defend ourselves,” Netanyahu said. He spoke “about the great convulsion taking place in the Middle East” in his opening remarks and said that the “ground is still shifting” and that the uprisings in the Muslim countries represent people’s demands for liberty — but like 1979 Iran, the outcomes were in question.
He said that of 300 million Arabs, the only ones who are “truly free” are citizens of Israel. “Israel gives equal rights to all her citizens, even those who once fought against her, and even to those who work against her even at present — and announce publicly that they do so. There is no Arab or Muslim country in the world whose citizens have the freedom that Israel’s Arabs have. There is one country in the Middle East where they enjoy freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom of the press — Israel.”
After one person got through the layers of security and tried to heckle the Prime Minister, Netanyahu said that the United States is a “real democracy,” unlike the “farcical” regimes of Tehran and Tripoli (it was delicious).
He also chided in a jokesy fashion that America was bigger than the beltway, alluding to the overwhelming support Israel has among the American people. In a moment reminiscent of Reagan’s “tear down that wall,” the Prime Minister spoke directly to Abbas, urging him to “tear up that agreement” with Hamas. It was very powerful, but then again, the whole thing was.
This will be remembered for decades, centuries. Obama’s smackdown had united the American people behind Israel. And while Obama was writing the wrong year while signing the guest book on his European campaign tour, and Obama’s car, appropriately named “the Beast,” got caught between the sidewalk and a hard place, and Obama had his awkward moment while reading his toast to the Queen off index cards, Netanyahu was comforting the victims of the tornado in Joplin, Missouri and showing America and the world what a real leader looks like and sounds like, in word and in deed.
Yes, for those waiting for the miracle, we had it in abundance.
This week, anyway. But as Leonard Cohen says, “get ready for the future. It is murder.”
Pamela Geller is the editor and publisher of the Atlas Shrugs website and former associate publisher of the New York Observer. She is the author of The Post-American Presidency.
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