Top Republicans to welcome Netanyahu, who called 9-11 attacks “very good,” said anti-US terror helps Israel

Bin Laden's death is bad news for Bibi, who called the 9-11 attacks "very good."

Bin Laden's death is bad news for Bibi, who called the 9-11 attacks "very good."

In three weeks, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will travel to Washington to address Congress at the invitation of Republican Majority Speaker John Boehner. The appearance was designed to undermine President Barack Obama, with Netanyahu, the ardent Republican from suburban Philadelphia, hectoring the Palestinians and the Iranian regime while pledging an eternal war against terror. Before a uniformly supportive Congress, the cocksure Netanyahu had hoped to present a stark contrast to Obama, the unpopular ditherer mired in bad economic news and a messy military stalemate in Libya.

With the assassination of Osama Bin Laden, a hit personally authorized by Obama, the tables have turned. Netanyahu rushed to complement the American president, and he will inevitably be compelled to praise him again and again when he arrives in Washington. This is one reason why Akiva Eldar wrote that Bin Laden’s killing was “bad news for Bibi.”

But even before he had announced his upcoming trip to Washington, Netanyahu offered evidence that he would prefer for Bin Laden to be alive and kicking. In the immediate wake of 9-11, the New York Times’ James Bennett asked Netanyahu what the attacks would mean for Israel’s relations with the United States. “It’s very good,” Bibi replied before quickly correcting himself. ”Well, not very good, but it will generate immediate sympathy.” Netanyahu said the attack would ”strengthen the bond between our two peoples, because we’ve experienced terror over so many decades, but the United States has now experienced a massive hemorrhaging of terror.”

Before an audience at Bar Ilan University in 2008, Netanyahu restated his belief that 9-11 was, as he said, “very good.” “We are benefiting from one thing, and that is the attack on the Twin Towers and Pentagon, and the American struggle in Iraq,” Netanyahu said during a conference about re-dividing Jerusalem in the event of a peace treaty with the Palestinians.

Bibi’s logic was clear: as long as Americans could be duped into believing Israel was fighting its battle, the United States would support Israeli expansionism and intransigence. Bin Laden was useful indeed.

With Bin Laden gone, Netanyahu will likely try to sell Americans on new folk devils, from Hamas in Gaza to the nuclearized “new Hitler” in Iran. But these evildoers have expressed little, if any, interest in attacking the United States. And judging from Netanyahu’s past statements, he does not view this fact as “very good.”

7 thoughts on “Top Republicans to welcome Netanyahu, who called 9-11 attacks “very good,” said anti-US terror helps Israel

  1. silverdog

    Here’s a fact Max: It took the 9-11 attack for the US to wake up and start listening to Israeli leaders…who had been pummeled for 18 months straight by the Second Intifada…while the US press gave sanctuary to the Palestinians on American news channels every night. It was one of the most disgusting displays of American Media anti semitism I can recall.

    Kudos to Netanyahu for telling it like it was at the time. The US and George Bush then woke up and all is forgiven…what’s your excuse?

  2. Evan

    Your quote from Netenyahu is bogus. You linked to the NY Times article in which it is sited, but apparently have neglected to read it. He was not saying that 9/11 was good, but when asked by a reporter what effect it would have on US/Israeli relations said it would have a very good effect. This is objectively true. It more than anything else steered the Bush administration towards an ultra-militarist world posture which fit very well into Israel’s vision of the world.

  3. AdamAW

    Does criticism of the Vatican for its prohibition of contraception make someone anti-Christian?

    Does criticism of Sharia law in Saudi Arabia make someone anti-Islamic?

    Does criticism of the caste system in India make someone anti-Hindu?

    Does criticism of the oppression of Tamils in Sri Lanka make someone anti-Buddhist?

    Does criticism of the Israeli oppression of Palestinians make someone anti-semitic?

  4. Max Post author

    The quote is completely accurate. And so is the quote from 2008 that David Horowitz’s writer would not even acknowledge (probably because it’s so damning).

  5. AdamAW

    I don’t see that it makes a lot of difference whether Netenyahu said that 9/11 was good, or that it was good for US- Israeli relations. It is obvious that Netenyahu would not be celebrating the suffering that occurred on 9/11 as an end in itself (I don’t think anyone is suggesting that). The fact that he is so narrow-minded as to even think of it in terms of its effect on US-Israeli relations is damning enough in itself, although not remotely surprising.

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