While looking for something totally unrelated on Youtube, this completely other video was suggested: it shows a young Benyamin Netanyahu, before he even took the name “Netanyahu”.
He’s identified here as “Ben” or “Benjamin Nitay”, a 28-year-old graduate of MIT, an Israeli [and, according to the screen titles, an “economic consultant”] who has “written widely on this question before the house tonight”.
In the video, Ben Nitay / Benyamin Netanyahu is not debating his political views, he’s being given a platform to say what he wants, to argue his polemic.
Looking a lot like John Travolta in the movie “Saturday Night Live”, but with much wilder eyes, Nitay / Netanyahu says:
“No, I don’t think Palestinians do have a right to a state… For 20 years [from 1948 to 1967] we didn’t hear a word about self-determination… I’m sure…if the process continues they will be offered citizenship of some kind, be it Israeli or Jordanian”
The moderator is Marilyn Berger of the Public Broadcast System in the U.S. — who co-anchored the best and almost only non-stop coverage, such as it was in the days before satellite communications and computers, of both the 1967 and 1973 Middle East wars — and the endless debates in the UN Security Council in New York, afterwards.
“Attorney One”, as we shall call him, is the gentle-mannered late Morris Abrams whose warm and kind demeanor didn’t obscure fierce pro-Israel views. He was later to become the U.S, Ambassador to the UN in Geneva, where he served for years, before his retirement — when he founded the Geneva-based UN Watch [which watches out for Israel].
Morris Abrams gets the first Question: “Mr. Nitay, is self-determination at the core of this conflict?”
This allows the young Netanyahu to explain: “No, I don’t think it is. The real core of the conflict is the unfortunate Arab refusal to accept the State of Israel”…
Little has changed in more than three decades.
“For twenty years, the ‘Arabs’ had both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and if self-determination were, as they say it is, the core of the conflict, they could have easily established a Palestinian State, but they didn’t…For twenty years, we didn’t hear a word about self-determination. In fact what we did hear, those of us living in the Middle East, was about ‘driving the Jews into the sea’… Now, after 1967, under the leadership of the PLO, the hardline strategy shifted to adopting a moderate dressed-up slogan which talked in terms about first a secular, democratic state and then replaced it with ‘Palestinian self-determination’. But, what this really means, is contrary to what Mr. Arouri said about 1977 being a a changed year in the PLO’s objectives, let me quote you what the PLO Information Office said in a Dutch paper in 1977, on May 5, 1977, the statement was very simple: ‘Our objective remains the destruction of the Zionist state’. So, let’s keep in mind, the objective here is not to build a state, but to destroy one”…
Netanyahu noted that “the Palestinians who are invoking the right of self-determination…th defines themselves as part of the Arab nation”. And, he said, “the Palestinian National Covenant, in the very first article, says that the people of Palestine ‘are part of the Arab nation’…” Add to that, Netanyahu said, ‘there already exists a Palestinian state, and that is Jordan, 60 percent of whose population… So, what we’re talking about is a demand for a 22nd Arab state, and a second Palestinian state”.
And, he said, he had never rejected another entity or declared an intention to destroy one, but “there is no right to establish a second one, on my doorstep, which will threaten my existence — there is no right whatsoever”…
Netanyahu also said that he’s all in favor, in a final peace agreement, of the Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza Strip”being offered” full human rights and full civil rights…
And, Netanyahu added, “these people should be free to multiply as they wish…”
Morris Abrams’ last question to Ben Nitay / Benyamin Netanyahu is: “Why should the U.S. oppose a PLO State”? …
Netanyahu replied that “this demand for a PLO State is the stumbling block to peace in the Middle East”, because “this would only mean more war and more violence in the Middle East… and I sincerely believe that if this demand is abandoned, we can have real and genuine peace”.
A “PLO State”… What did he mean — a state run by a bunch of wily, wheedling, free-wheeling “freedom fighters”?
[But, in fact, what was declared by the PLO in Algiers in 1988 and then recognized as an observer but non-member state in the UN General Assembly in NY on November 29 2012 is, actually, a “PLO State” which derives its legitimacy from the decision taken in 1988 by the Palestine National Council and which theoretically and legally is governed by the PLO Executive Committee [and the PLO Executive Committee’s Chairman, Mahmoud Abbas, who signed, as “President of the State of Palestine, his earlier unsuccessful bid in September 2011 for Palestine to become a full UN member state.
“Attorney Two”, as we shall call him, in this discussion is Fouad Ajami, who has nothing to do with Palestine, but who is Arab so that must be enough for those who framed this videotaped moment, and who didn’t seem to have much to add to this discussion.