PRIME MINISTER NETANYAHU 2.
The impertinence was gone from Prime Minister Netanyahu's attitude on Tuesday, May 24th, 2011, when he addressed a joint session of the Congress of the United States.
Seemingly, he had put behind him the debacle of last Friday's meeting in the White House with President Barack Obama; and also, his advisers have gone to work on him, this time around, to show more civility in his speech to the august body.
He was going to speak before some of the great minds in the country; like Senator Orrin Hatch, whose oratory prowess was unbeatable, and Senator Barbara Boxer "Don't call me Ma'am", whose investigative qualities made her to stand out in many debates.
Netanyahu's approach was different; and he started by thanking America and stressing the bonds between Israel and the United States as unbreakable, which awarded him several rounds of applause.
He also made it clear to the world Israel's intentions toward its neighbors, especially toward the Palestinian Arabs, with whom have been so much political tension and animosity, which have made the Middle East to be unstable for many, many years.
He wished them well of what they could achieve, if there was peace between the two factions; comparing their existence of having all the amenities of civilization, even in crisis, to when the Jews and the Arabs would decide to live peaceably with each other. There would be enormous progress and advancement for both sides, in terms of having all of their needs met, socially and politically, of course.
"Israel was not against an independent Palestinian State," he stated emphatically.
The most smattering of applause came, when he mentioned the "borders of 1967", and insisted that Israel was never going back to assume that boundary. That seemed to be the bone of contention between himself and the White House last Friday.
Yet, Americans heard plainly from President Obama that it would be a starting point for serious negotiations to begin to resolve a long standing controversy. It has also been an idea held in private by two other presidents; and all he (Obama) did was to speak it out in public.
Surely, there must be specific boundaries or demarcation lines to tell between a sovereign Israel and an independent Palestinian State. Also, in every case, boundaries were indefensible until they were made defensible; and therefore, Israel's position, with regard to the core issue, did not hold water.
It (Israel) must start from somewhere in any dialog with the Palestinians; but where its starting point was, the Prime Minister did not say. Now, if he failed to do so, then President Obama's position was right; and Israel "has no friend like America", and therefore it must not reject an advise coming from a true and reliable friend.
More applause came, when he said that Iran's acquisition of nuclear weapons was a threat not only to Israel, but to the whole world; and that all nations should join in opposition to Iran's ambition to acquire a nuclear bomb.
There, he saw the United States and Israel standing shoulder to shoulder to fight against Iran to make the world a safer place; showing how important Israel held its relationship with the United States.
Therefore, to be impertinent, toward each other, no matter who did it, would be wrong. In fact, he indicated that the two countries were not just good friends; they were great friends. Together, they owed a long awaited peace to that region and to the world.
He has made it quite clear that the Middle East deserved better, with Jews and Arabs living side by side without friction of any kind; and that would contribute to world peace at large.
It was now the turn of the Palestinians to respond to a glowing offer of genuine peace, without the influence of Hamas; the diabolical, radical group, which has been fomenting so much rage between Jews and Arabs over a long period of time.
More applause to you, Mr. Prime Minister.