Move over Gary Rosenblatt, move over with your defeatist attitude: “like it or not, the onus is on Netanyahu…” (“Time Is Not On Israel’s Side,” Between The Lines, April 8).
I strongly disagree with this statement. The one thing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu excels at is his ability to speak eloquently and convincingly. In his upcoming widely anticipated speech, he should comment about the instability in the Arab world with autocratic governments falling, jeopardizing the continuation of long established peace treaties with Israel. He could bring up the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in many Arab countries with its commitment to jihadism and its deeply rooted ideology to liberate all land presently occupied by the Zionist regime (not just West Bank land). He could proclaim that his job as prime minister is to defend the citizens of his country, that conceding West Bank land and thereby making Israel nine miles wide, would render the country indefensible; that he will not play Russian roulette with Israel’s security. He could articulate that contrary to the opinion of some pundits with their self- serving agendas, the recent events in the Middle East make it crystal clear that the Palestinian issue does not lie at the root of Middle East turmoil.
Netanyahu could further state that despite the overt pressure by the current U.S. administration, the American people overwhelmingly and repeatedly back Israel. This has been demonstrated in poll after poll. Similarly, representatives in Congress, both in the House and in the Senate, view Israel as a reliable, capable and stable democratic ally, one worth supporting. Shared Western values including the acceptance of multiculturalism and freedom of religion are some of the reasons contributing to widespread popular American support.
Rather than be defensive about Israeli policy vis a vis the Palestinians, the prime minister should state clearly what gestures Israel has made over the years and its attempts to negotiate a fair solution. U.S. administrations change every few years. Now is not the time for intimidation and further Israeli concessions; now is the time for Netanyahu to stand up and give a spirited presentation.