Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to the 68th Session of the United Nations General Assembly and told the world that Iran’s nuclear threat is a clear and present danger. Netanyahu announced, “If Israel is forced to stand alone, Israel will stand alone, and in standing alone Israel will know that we will be defending many many others.”
Netanyahu is the not first Jew to declare the People of Israel’s willingness to be different from the rest of the world. In the Book of Genesis, God asks Abraham, the first Jew, to “go from your land, your relatives, and from your fathers house to the land that I will show you.” (Genesis 12:1) According to Jewish tradition, Abraham rejected idolatry and was the first to choose monotheistic faith based on the belief in God’s unity. In the Torah, Abraham is called the Ivri (the Hebrew) for two reasons. On a literal level, Ivri refers to “the other side” of the Jordan River, from whence Abraham originated. On a deeper level, Torah commentators explain that Abraham stood on the opposite side of everyone else with regard to his values and faith.
In the Book of Numbers, the prophet Bilam, while gazing upon the tents of Israel, prophesized, “Behold! It is a nation that will dwell in solitude and not be reckoned among the nations.”
Thousands of years later, these words continue to resonate. During Israel’s War of Independence in 1948, the Six Day War of 1967, the Yom Kippur War of 1973, and all other major military conflicts, Israel received support, yet the nation remained the sole active defender of her sovereignty.
In connection to Netanyahu’s recent UN address, Rabbi Aaron Leibowitz, a teacher and community activist in Jerusalem, commented, “The Prime Minister was accurate in assuming responsibility for the world and for the region, but we shouldn’t forget that responsibility is something that is special, that the Jewish people share with God, and the Jewish people are never alone.”
Click below to watch Prime Minister Netanyahu’s remarks at the UN about Israel’s willingness to take responsibility for addressing Iran’s threat.
Author: Eitan Press, staff writer for United with Israel
Date: Oct 2, 2013