Thursday, April 1, 2010

What Needs Saying (What Bibi Should Say)

Paul Eidelberg

In response to the infamous Goldstone Report, Israel’s Prime Minister should quote that marvelous poet and literary critic Matthew Arnold who wrote: “As long as the world lasts, all who want to make progress in righteousness will come to Israel for inspiration…”

In response to European anti-Semitism, Prime Minister Netanyahu—with Genesis 12:1-3 in mind—might quote South African author Olive Schreiner: “The study of history of Europe during the past centuries teaches us one uniform lesson: That the nations which received and in any way dealt fairly with the Jew have prospered; and that the nations that have tortured and oppressed him have written out their own curse.”

Finally, how would you feel if you heard Mr. Netanyahu quote British historian and statesman Thomas B. Macaulay who declared, in a debate in 1833 in the British House of Commons over whether Jews should have their legal and political disabilities removed by law:

In the infancy of civilization, when our island was as savage as New Guinea, when letters and arts were still unknown in Athens, when scarcely a thatched hut stood on what was afterwards the site of Rome, this condemned people had their fenced cities and cedar palaces, their splendid temple ... their schools of sacred learning, their great statesmen and soldiers, their natural philosophers, their historians and poets.

Ah, if only Mr. Netanyahu—when speaking of Jerusalem—had the wit to quote Macaulay in the presence of Barack Obama!

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