Benjamin Netanyahu on #Churchill

by Richard M. Langworth on 17 September 2014

Netanyahu

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Prime Min­is­ter Netanyahu pays Sir Win­ston Churchill a com­pli­ment (and this writer a smaller one), in his thanks for a gift of an inscribed copy of my book, Churchill In His Own Words, a col­lec­tion of 4000 anno­tated quo­ta­tions (which Churchill really said), along with a short appen­dix of the pop­u­lar apho­risms he never said, but is fre­quently cred­ited with (Churchillian Drift).

The Prime Min­is­ter is not new to Churchill; he is one of those few states­men who pay more than rou­tine lip-service to Churchill’s role in his­tory. Unlike most lead­ers who invoke his name, Mr. Netanyahu has actu­ally read Churchill exten­sively, and applied his thought frequently.

With thanks for his kind remarks I quote here­with from his speech to the United Nations on 24 Sep­tem­ber 2009, which demon­strates the Prime Minister’s abil­ity to draw guid­ance from Churchill’s words, with­out using them to pro­claim what would do today.

A democ­racy legit­i­mately defend­ing itself against ter­ror is morally hanged, drawn and quar­tered, and given an unfair trial to boot. By these twisted stan­dards, the UN Human Rights Coun­cil would have dragged Roo­sevelt and Churchill to the dock as war criminals….

Over sev­enty years ago, Win­ston Churchill lamented what he called the “con­firmed unteach­a­bil­ity of mankind”: the unfor­tu­nate habit of civ­i­lized soci­eties to sleep until dan­ger nearly over­takes them. Churchill bemoaned what he called the “want of fore­sight, the unwill­ing­ness to act when action will be sim­ple and effec­tive, the lack of clear think­ing, the con­fu­sion of coun­sel until emer­gency comes, until self-preservation strikes its jar­ring gong….”

I speak here today in the hope that Churchill’s assess­ment of the “unteach­a­bil­ity of mankind” is for once proven wrong. I speak here today in the hope that we can learn from his­tory— that we can pre­vent dan­ger in time. In the spirit of the time­less words spo­ken to Joshua over 3000 years ago, let us be strong and of good courage. Let us con­front this peril, secure our future and, God will­ing, forge an endur­ing peace for gen­er­a­tions to come.

 

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