Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to last week’s National Conference of the America-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) was another rhetorical tour-de-force by this most silvered-tongued of Israeli leaders.
Netanyahu again promised to defend Israel against an Iranian nuclear threat and to be beholden to no other nation in his zeal to protect his people. There were applause lines for almost everyone.
He attacked efforts to orchestrate boycotts, disinvestment and sanctions against Israel in withering terms. He extolled Israeli medical advances and water conservation achievements, highlighted Israel’s role in treating victims of the Syrian civil war and envisaged Israeli strategic and economic cooperation with Arab Gulf States.
Netanyahu demanded that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state, but he also spoke in soaring terms about the benefits of peace and a two-state solution.
Netanyahu has always been a wonderful speaker. For many reporters, myself among them, our first contact with him came during the 1980s, when he was Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations and delivered many stirring speeches in defense of his country.