By Cecilie Surasky, Deputy Director of Jewish Voice for Peace, a US Campaign member organization
May 26, 2011
I was stunned to see that our entire U.S. Congress gave Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu 29 standing ovations on Tuesday. Twenty-nine. Unbelievable, given what his speech contained.
The speech that Netanyahu gave that day will go down in history as an extraordinary embarrassment to Americans and Israelis alike. Read on to find out what he said and why we cannot let it go unanswered.
To put it simply, Netanyahu proved yet again that he prefers settlement expansion and Jewish domination of Palestinians to any kind of true peace agreement that would benefit both peoples. He claimed that Israel isn’t occupying anyone—ignoring nearly 44 years of increasingly brutal Israeli control over the lives of millions of Palestinians.
He stated that Israel had no need for American military assistance—ignoring the $3 billion in military equipment and aid the U.S. provides Israel each year. He said Israel supports the desire of Arab peoples to live free—saying nothing about the ongoing Israeli shootings and arrests of Palestinians who nonviolently protest for their right to be free. (1)
What makes this so outrageous is that Netanyahu’s speech found a shockingly sympathetic audience in the U.S. Congress while people like you and me could only watch in disbelief.
I’ve had it. I cannot stand by and watch my member of Congress applaud this man and his litany of distortions, myths and outright fabrications. Please, I urge you to join me in writing your US Representative to say, “How could you? Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has shown repeatedly that he is not interested in a viable future for either Palestinians or Israelis and you rewarded him with 29 standing ovations as the world watched."