Israel prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu used a portion of his AIPAC speech today to list the times when Israel has defied U.S. warnings to act in its self defense.
"America and Israel have had some serious disagreements over the course of our nearly 70-year-old friendship," said Netanyahu from the annual AIPAC policy conference. "That started with the beginning.
"In 1948, Secretary of State George Marshall opposed David Ben-Gurion's intention to declare statehood. That's an understatement -- he vehemently opposed it. But, Ben-Gurion, understanding what was at stake, went ahead and declared Israel's independence. In 1967, as an Arab noose was tightening around Israel's neck, the United States warned [the prime minister] that if Israel acted alone, it would be alone. But Israel did act --acted alone -- to defend itself. In 1981, under the leadership of Prime Minister Menachem Begin, Israel destroyed a nuclear reactor at Osirak. The United States criticized Israel and suspended arms-transfers for three months. And in 2002, after the worst wave of Palestinian terror attacks in Israel's history, Prime Minister Sharon launched Operation Defensive Shield. The United States demanded that Israel withdraw its troops immediately but Sharon continued until the operation was completed.
"There's a reason I mention all of these. I mention them to make a point. Despite occasional disagreements, the friendship between America and Israel grew stronger and stronger, decade after decade. And our friendship will weather the current disagreements as well to grow even stronger in the future."
Netanyahu is scheduled to address a joint session of Congress tomorrow.
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