Sunday, September 25, 2011

Mati Tuchfeld/ Netanyahu's UN speech - A voice of Sanity, A time for Pride and unity

(Mati Tuchfeld-YisraelHayom).It's time to admit the truth. Commentators, diplomats, self-declared experts, politicians and all the others who tried their hand at predicting, evaluating and interpreting in the last few months what exactly would transpire in the U.N. come September were wrong, very wrong.

They told us that Israel was isolated, while the U.S. and important European countries not only adopted Israel's positions, but actually fought for them. They told us that the Palestinian move would force strategic changes in the region, but almost nothing has changed. They convinced us that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the mistake of his life when he decided to deliver a speech at the U.N., and that he would return defeated and humiliated, unlike after his appearance before the U.S. Congress. But as it turns out, his audience does not need to stand up 60 times, applauding in ecstasy, for him to come home to Israel a victor.

To belittle Netanyahu's achievement, and to explain why the U.S. and others in the world stood by Israel resolutely, they explain that President Barack Obama is in the midst of an election year. It's time to tell the truth: It is the Palestinians, not the Israelis, who are isolated. Despite the fact that the battle occurred in a dark and hostile arena, it is Netanyahu who is returning to Jerusalem as the victor, while Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas returns to Ramallah dejected and mournful.

When Netanyahu stood before Obama and criticized him over his plan for Israel to conduct negotiations on the basis of the pre-1967 borders, our commentators were furious. They asked how he had the audacity and arrogance to criticize the president of the U.S. But when it comes to Abbas' decision to knock heads not only with Obama, but with Europe and the Quartet as well, they are silent.

It is clear that the speeches from both Netanyahu and Abbas will not sway the vote at the General Assembly. That was not the purpose of Netanyahu's trip to the U.N. His speech was meant for Israeli ears. Unity at home should not be taken lightly; it is something that we have been lacking the last few months. It's our biggest problem.

When opposition leader Tzipi Livni speaks about current events as if she is our representative to the U.N., and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman looks to leverage the situation to strengthen his political position, someone needs to be the voice of sanity.

That is the prime minister's job, and that is what Netanyahu did.