star-UN-150x150 Disappointed by Bibi at the UN?

All over the social media Israel supporters are trumpeting that Prime Minister Netanyahu’s United Nations speech was a triumph. Am I the only one who was UNDERwhelmed?

Only a day previously Mahmud Abbas, introduced as the President of the State of Palestine, made a speech of full of religious incitement, threats repeated so often they have become jokes and ridiculous statements. We hoped the Israeli Prime Minister would have ripped him a new one. He didn’t.

Netanyahu addresses the United Nations

Politics as theatre. Bibi addresses the U.N.

There was so much material for ridicule there. Please read David Singer and Khaled Abu Toameh (links in Extra credit) for a more detailed rebuttal than I have space for here.

Was there a more WTF moment than when Abbas called for a return to the pre 1967 status quo? Could it be that he really wants a return to Hashemite rule?

Or was it the complete exclusion of all Jews from outside the Green Line Jerusalem – not simply excluded from praying but even from entering that he demanded? Actually I think he would love that but not even the most optimistic Palestinian could believe he could persuade Israel to accept it. Did the UNGA understand how ridiculous Abbas sounded? Probably not and Israel didn’t tell them.

Netanyahu could have drawn attention to Abbas celebrating his 10th year of his four year term. He could have counted the number of times Abu Mazen had threatened to quit. Despite some media reporting that he had abandoned the Oslo Accords, in his General Assembly turn, that was all he did. Abbas made a threat for an indefinite time in the future.

Yet instead of calling him on it, “How many times have you threatened to resign Mr. President”? when he finally related to Abbas’s speech he practically begged him to come back.

How much more refreshing would it have been to hear, “Go if you must, Mr. Abbas. Don’t let the door hit you on the bum when you leave”!

I’m not sure who would have been paying attention. It took so long to reach that point. The first three quarters of the Israeli leader’s speech attacked Iran, the deal and the threat to Israel. Nothing incorrect but we have heard it all before, as have the General Assembly, in the same chamber, in Netanyahu’s previous speeches and to the same result.

Forgive me but all the passion and eloquence only reminded me of a previous passionate, eloquent appeal for undeniable justice. A video of Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie’s appeal to the unwilling nations of the world is  below.

At the risk of offending both gentlemen, the Prime Minister of Israel and the President of the United States have one major talent in common. They are both great speakers. The forty-five seconds of silence was a brilliant oratory technique but so what? Not one state will change their position because of it. It impresses but doesn’t convince.

Following the Iran majority of the speech Netanyahu felt obliged to insert an Obama is our best friend passage. Was he aware of Obama’s passive-aggressive snub in calling both Secretary of State Kerry and U.N. ambassador Powers to meetings that kept them out of the chamber?

Really Bibi? Everything you said in this public forum points to the American President as an idiot – and I’m sure he noticed.

If I had a chance to ask the Prime Minister one question, it would be this. Who was your target audience? Because if it was a pep talk to Israel advocates, as it appeared, what a waste of an opportunity.

Extra credit

About David Guy

B.A./B.C.A. (Communication and Media Arts) University of Wollongong, AUSTRALIA M.A. in Government (Diplomacy and Conflict Studies) Inter Disciplinary Center, Herzliya, ISRAEL Twitter @5MFI
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