Senior aides to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin originally told me the PM was not going to come to the opening session of the United Nations General Assembly this year. But things have changed. Tensions between Israel and the Palestinians, Iran and Turkey are intensifying and Israel is becoming increasingly isolated. Haaretz and Ynet News are now reporting that Netanyahu is coming to New York and will deliver a major address before the U.N. General Assembly next week. [Update: Some reports say the speech will be Wednesday; others say Friday; I'll keep you posted.] The decision reflects the PM’s desire to personally, directly and very publicly confront the Palestinian effort to unilaterally declare a state and receive a U.N. blessing, rather than engage in direct negotiations with the Jewish State. Netanyahu will also strongly condemn Iran’s bid for nuclear weapons and challenge the world to rein in Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who is also coming to the U.N. next week.
During a press conference in Jerusalem yesterday with the visiting Czech Prime Minister, Netanyahu told reporters: “I have decided to personally convey the message of direct negotiation and striving for peace at the General Assembly — I know Israel doesn’t get a fair hearing at the General Assembly. It has an automatic majority which is quick to denounce Israel. I have decided to go… to tell the truth.”
The Palestinian Authority this week announced that on Friday, September 23rd it will formally submit its bid for full membership in the United Nations. A General Assembly vote would likely go overwhelmingly in favor of the Palestinians. The U.S., however, has vowed to veto a Palestinian statehood bid if it comes before the U.N. Security Council.
Please pray for wisdom for Israeli leaders, and especially the Prime Minister, as he comes to the U.S. Please pray for the protection of all Israeli diplomats around the world, and especially those in Jordan and Egypt who are under direct threat. Please pray for Christians, too, to show unconditional love and unwavering support for Israel and the Jewish people as Israel is increasingly isolated internationally. Please also pray for tensions between Israel and Turkey to be defused — in the last few weeks, Turkey has broken off diplomatic relations with Israel, kicked out Israel’s ambassador, cut off trade ties with Israel, and now is threatening to send war ships to accompany another flotilla to Gaza.