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When you shoot at the king, you better kill him. And when you try to silence a book, movie, or speech, you better succeed. Otherwise you’re just helping their PR.
It would be political suicide for Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu to cancel his speech to Congress. And President Obama’s words and actions have set the Prime Minister up to give exactly the speech the western world needs to hear.
The United States has done more than any other nation in history to increase life, liberty, happiness, and prosperity around the world. She has done more than any other nation to defeat totalitarian regimes. And she has done more than any other nation to help people of different religions work together.
As a Jew, I am particularly thankful to the United States for not only working with her allies to defeat Hitler, but for working to provide a home to so many Jews who otherwise would have perished in Europe, or who had survived Nazi and Communist atrocities.
I remind Americans of this because the United States has one great weakness. The United States is often embarrassed of its own greatness, and even more so, of its own goodness. American television shows are written mocking the idea of American exceptionalism. And while individuals and countries should always be looking for ways to improve themselves, obsessing over one’s flaws while ignoring one’s goodness can be toxic. I think you may have gotten some of your toxic self-criticism from us Jews. Sorry.
Many Americans have also become too convinced that it is self-evident that all people are born with God-given, inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It is not self-evident. It is a truth that we must teach every new generation. It is a truth that many around the world do not believe. Not all people are driven by these goals, or believe that God wants us to pursue these goals. Certainly many people of all religions, including Christians, Muslims, and Jews, are driven by a desire to experience and spread life, liberty, and happiness.
But many other people believe that God’s primary interest is that we submit to His will, and that we make others do the same. That we make non-believers fear and suffer. That we torture and kill gay people. That we spill acid in the face of girls who try to get an education. That we take non-submitting girls and women as sex slaves.
The good news is that many countries are stepping up to stop the spread of tyranny. Canada, Australia, India, and Japan, for example, are standing up on the side of life and liberty. Middle Eastern countries like Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia have been standing up too. Nobody suffers from the tyranny of Islamic totalitarians more than innocent Muslims and the besieged Christians of the Middle East.
As Jews, whenever human rights are under attack, so are we. We’re in the middle of it whether we want to be or not. Iran, which is sworn to our destruction, is currently sponsoring a competition of Holocaust-denial cartoons. Somehow French cartoonists mock Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, and Iran thinks that Jews should pay the price.
Iran is sworn to our destruction, and it is developing nuclear weapons. And western negotiators at Munich are learning what they learned, too late, after the Munich pact of 1938: The more we give in to tyrants, the more powerful they become, and the more they demand. And they never stop at the Jews.
The United States Congress had spirited discussions about the president’s Middle East policies a decade ago, and I expect it will be having them again now. The challenges are not easy. But the United States has always proven herself greater than those who threaten her, her values, and good people everywhere.
God bless you all. And God bless the United States of America.
Those are the words that Americans need to hear. And Prime Minister Netanyahu may be just the man to deliver them.