Benjamin Netanyahu’s address at the United Nations General Assembly last month was the speech of a proud Jew and not that of a liberal and sober Israeli. It was the speech of a victim reopening the wounds in order to again stir support, and not the speech of a brave and daring Israeli striving to solve the largest threat to the future of Israel and its citizens – a speech in which the drama was reserved for a reference to the tragedies of the past and not to processes that stir hope for the future.
It is no coincidence that the problematic analogy between Iran and Nazi Germany appeared at the beginning of his speech and the part about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was left for a brief appendix at the end.
Can one suspect that Netanyahu used the conflict with the dictator from Iran to distract attention from his responsibility to freeze construction in the settlements as an effective means for progress toward an arrangement?
Is it not obvious that the attempt to replace negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians with an interreligious conflict between Jews and Muslims is the cherished goal of the extremist enemies of peace on both sides?
Therefore it seems the demand for recognition of Israel as a Jewish state is an ostensibly sophisticated distraction on the part of a veteran peace rejectionist.
The writer is a professor of political science at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.