September 27, 2012-Netanyau Speaks at the UN as Only He Can For Better or Worse Marc Schulman

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Israel Update
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By Marc Schulman

September 27, 2012-No War this Fall- Netanyau Speaks at the UN as Only He Can For Better or Worse

Today Netanyahu gave his much awaited speech to the United Nations. First, the good news: Those of us in Israel who have been worried about a war starting this fall no longer have to worry. Netanyahu clearly stated that the "red line" Israel has for action in Iran is next Spring- and not now. The speech was delivered perfectly (in typical Netanyahu style). How the Republicans could have used Netanyahu in Tampa! The only better delivery of a convention speech this year was that given by President Clinton. However Netanyahu was not an American Presidential candidate. The speech Netanyahu gave, while exceptionally eloquent, will not likely change any minds. In fact, his speech was devoid of subtlety, or any hint of how Israel will deal with a new and very changed Middle East. As a matter of fact, one of the greatest holes in Netanyahu's speech was his failure to discuss Syria in any way-along with his failure to attempt to reach out to the new Egyptian government. Instead was a speech whose only goal seems to have been to try (once again) to pressure President Obama to set "red lines" regarding Iran. This time, his message was delivered in a slightly more friendly manner, publicly thanking Obama twice in the course of his speech. Even Netanyahu is capable of reading the polls that say he has bet on the wrong horse. Nevertheless, this was still a speech that probably should not have been given.

I recently realized one of the reasons Netanyahu and Obama do not get along-They both seem to believe they can convince opponents to support their views merely through the power of their words. Sadly, they both overestimate their abilities.

Finally, I cannot help but butt-in long distance on a small controvery that seems to have developed in the synagogue I used to belong to in the New York area. It seems two different speeches were delivered in the shul on Yom Kippur both dealing with Israel. One speech was about the great threats we face from Iran. The second speech was about the internal challenges we also face today. Allow me to weigh in on this debate as a current and citizen. To paraphrase one of the US Presidential candidates, for too long we have kicked the ball down the road– worrying about our external threats and deflecting any attention from internal challenges. I think to most Israelis the internal problems of our society are most troubling. I wish American Jews could find way of engaging in some of those areas more. This is a place they could make a real difference. While regarding our security situation, its primarily to our children to do what needs to be done

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