October 2, 2013 | 1:42 pm
Posted by Noga Gur-Arieh
A moment of honesty: Netanyahu’s speech yesterday confused me. As I watched it, I truly had no idea how I felt about it. On one hand, I knew Netanyahu is a gifted rhetorician, and that his speeches, giving his previous experience as the Israeli ambassador to the UN. Are usually smartly planned. On the other hand, I couldn’t help but feeling he is making Israel seem unreachable to peace in the eyes of the international community.
I knew he was smart to call world leaders to keep their eyes open and not jump into bed with the enemy. I also knew that Iran has a new leader who is reaching out for peace (at least publicly,) and that Israel is turning its back. I felt a slight inconvenience watching Netanyahu, the person that's on that stage represents all of Israel and not only his electorate, showing a great amount of infantility in front of the whole world. I wanted him to say that Israel wants peace, but simply suggests those who negotiates with Iran to keep an eye open for any suspicious activity. I wanted him to show the slightest effort to not completely ignore the direction to which the world is heading anyway.
Those thoughts baffled me even more, because as an Israeli, I am fully aware of the many dangers lying in the Iranian realm. I remember all the smiles meant to cover up a desire to rule the world. I remember the many calls expressing willingness to erase Israel off the map. I remember the many times in which US presidents swore that they will not tolerate a nuclear Iran.
My wanting to resolve this conflict led me to the one place where all problems are being solved – Facebook. I threw the ball to my friends’ court and asked them for their opinions on the recently viewed speech. While the response was impressive, the public’s opinion seemed to be as split as mine. Claims for both sided collided and tenths of comments long debated were held. My Facebook friends represented a wide range of political opinions, and new claims were acknowledged.
One firmly claimed that Netanyahu’s role here is not to negotiate with Iran, but to present a perspective less “soft” than Obama’s in order to balance the public’s opinion. Another replied that Netanyahu made Israel look like a war-seeker, and that Netanyahu should have at least pretended he is open to the possibility of an agreement with the Iranians. Someone else ruled out everybody’s claims with the firm statement that Netanyahu has no actual effect on the decision and that this speech means nothing.
Today’s papers provided another proof of the public’s split opinions on that speech. For almost each columnist condemning Netanyahu, was one that praised him. For each claim on Israel’s unwillingness to reach for peace, was a reminder of Iran’s previous contribution to the evil side of the world. I suppose that I was not the only one to be confused about the speech, but now, when all the talking is done, it is time for us all to unite in demanding some action. After all the speeches and the headlines, it is our leaders’ time to deliver results and our job to make sure they do.
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