Thursday, 2 June 2011

Benjamin Netanyahu Speaking for Israel in 1978

Bibi Then & Now
In 1978, Benjamin (Bibi) Netanyahu, was 28 years old, an MIT Grad, and Economic Consultant. He took part in a debate for the US TV show The Advocates. The topic was whether there should be a Palesinian state created in the area of the West Bank and Gaza.

From 1948 to 1967, when Gaza was controlled by Egypt and the West Bank by Jordan--there were no calls to end the "occupation", or for national sovereignty for the Palestinians! In fact, Netanyahu reminds the audience that at that time, even though King Hussein of Jordan and Yasser Arafat hated each other, the one thing they both agreed upon was that Jordan was a Palestinian State. The majority of its citizens were then, and are to this very day--Palestinians! They had little to no civil rights then, and in fact Jordan is currently revoking their citizenship in an effort to deny them any rights at all. 

Even back in 1978, Netanyahu tells the audience outright, that such a state would have but one goal only and that is to destroy the Jewish state of Israel. Indeed, back then, Israel was fighting terror on a daily basis--Not much has changed!

He is debated (questioned?) by Fouad Ajami, a Lebanese-born American (now a professor at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). It is interesting to note that Ajami's Shiite family came to Arnoun (Lebanon) from Tabriz (Iran), in the 1850s. In Arabic, the word "Ajami" means "non-Arab"; or "Persian"--Not Palestinian! Thirty-three years ago the Arab world was demanding that Israel sacrifice itself to the "Palestinians" who, in their own charter, state that they are part of the Arab world. Please listen closely to the questions and answers. There is nothing like going back in time and Learning from the Past!
The origins of the name Netanyahu uses here began with grandfather, Nathan Mileikowsky. At that time, it was a common practice for Zionist activists to adopt a Hebrew name, and he used to sign articles with the name Netanyahu.  His son, Benzion (Bibi's father) eventually adopted this as the family name. In keeping with the practice of writing under a nom de plume (pen name), Benzion Netanyahu sometimes wrote under the name "Nitay". When Benjamin (Bibi) Netanyahu was living in the United States, he needed a name Americans could easily pronounce so he chose "Ben Nitay".

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