ANALYSIS: All the world’s a stage at the U.N., and Netanyahu is a player

"A genocidal regime is seeking to wipe out millions of Jews and the world is trying to stay on its good side."

September 28, 2018 01:26
2 minute read.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with the UN Secretary-General in New York.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with the UN Secretary-General in New York.. (photo credit: AVI OHAYON - GPO)


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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may not like the UN very much, calling one of its bodies “morally depraved” on Thursday, but he loves addressing it.

Netanyahu relishes the chance to perform at the UN General Assembly, something his aides have attested to over the years, though they really don’t need to. It’s clear from all the the flourishes he uses time and again – the props, puns and pauses – that he’s enjoying himself.

The UNGA is high political theater, with the lines of Shakespeare’s As You Like It brought to life: “All the world’s a stage/ And all the men and women merely players,” and Netanyahu played his usual part.

He displayed pictures of Iranian nuclear facilities, complete with coordinates to search on Google Maps, and a diagram of Hezbollah missile sites in Beirut.

The jokes were quick to follow – there are “radioactive rugs” at the cleaners next to the warehouse and Tehran residents can get Geiger counters for $29.99 on – if there weren’t US sanctions, that is.

But this time, there seemed to be even more righteous indignation simmering behind his words.

Europe is appeasing Iran, he said, emphasizing: “I just used a strong word: appeasement.

 Unfortunately, that’s exactly what we’re seeing again in Europe.”

A genocidal regime is seeking to wipe out millions of Jews and the world is trying to stay on its good side.

“Have these European leaders learned nothing from history? Will they ever wake up?” Netanyahu asked.

And there was a generous dose of UN-bashing, bringing up how its forebear, the League of Nations, said there should be a Jewish state where Israel is today, and the UN voted to confirm that in 1947, but turned around and declared Zionism to be racism. Of course, he mentioned how the UN turns a blind eye to the racist, sexist and homophobic regimes among its ranks.

But Netanyahu made sure to end his show on a high note, with Israeli achievements and his pride in his country and its residents.

Netanyahu made strong points and brought the drama needed to draw attention at the UN.

But that night, the hottest show in the US was hearings over allegations that Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh committed sexual assault, distracting many from the UNGA.

Not only did Netanyahu’s performance likely fall on deaf ears in the hostile UN audience, it was unlikely to echo out of Turtle Bay in the world media. Still, the show must go on.

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