Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered a blistering tirade at the UN on Thursday inviting a spirited debate on the web. He castigated Ahmedinejad for denying the holocaust, denounced the UN's report on Israeli war crimes and equated Israel's war in Gaza to Britain's historic struggle against Nazi Germany. The speech comes at a critical juncture, as the prime minister resists international pressure to halt Jewish settlement expansion.
- A 'Bogus' Comparison, writes Philip Weiss: "A couple of counterfactuals... About 40,000 Brits died in the blitz. A couple of dozen Israelis have died due to Hamas rocket attacks. More importantly, the intra-state analogy that Netanyahu offers is bogus. The Palestinians have never had a state. As the National Lawyers Guild concluded...the Gazans are under 'belligerent' occupation, and have a right to resist occupation, and therefore the actions of the state Israel." Weiss closes with a few ad hominem observations: "Netanyahu didn't look very good. his upper lip seemed unshaven. He already has a big square head; he struck me as somewhat oafish."
- Overall Message 'Completely Correct,' trumpets Ed Morrissey at Hot Air: "The UN was meant to stop regimes like the one in Tehran from talking genocide openly, not to host luminaries of lunacy like the diminutive Iranian. It's a disgrace, especially since it's clear that the UN has no shame at all." Norman Geras agrees, noting that the UN is supposed to be a "guarantor of human rights and a bulwark against future genocides." Geras is astonished that "a man who repeatedly denies the Holocaust can be given a respectful hearing by a substantial number of the delegates."
- 'Netanyahu Cheapened the Memory of the Holocaust,' writes Gideon Levy at Haaretz: "It is doubtful that any historian of stature would buy the comparison the prime minister made between Hamas and the Nazis," writes Levy. "If we can compare a poorly equipped terrorist organization to the horrific Nazi killing machine, why should others not compare the Nazis' behavior to that of Israel Defense Forces soldiers? In both cases, the comparison is baseless and infuriating."
- A Model for Obama writes Jennifer Rubin at Commentary, hailing it as "a speech for the ages." She continued: "If the president's speech was one of the more embarrassing and shameful displays by a U.S. President before the UN, then today brought a reminder of the power of moral clarity...A more important question is whether the Obama administration is up to that. And again, sadly, the signs are not encouraging."