Netanyahu under siege in 'the most embattled democracy on earth'

Over the weekend, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel has made two statements that demonstrate that a siege mentality has enveloped him due to the progress of the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign (BDS).

First, he issued a statement to the Sheldon Adelson "summit" in Las Vegas aimed at countering BDS to thank those gathered for allowing "young Jews to stand tall" for Israel, "the most embattled democracy on earth that seeks a genuine peace while fending off the forces of barbaric terrorism." In that statement he references the recent challenge in FIFA and the comment by an executive of the French telecom company Orange that he wanted to get out of Israel.

Then Netanyahu made a statement at the start of his Cabinet meeting this morning that seemed even more dire. Notice the Prime Minister's grave gaunt demeanor in the video below as he begins by speaking of Hamas rockets and says the international community will not keep Israel from using "our full strength to uphold our right to defend ourselves." Another attack on Gaza?

He stated, "The spreading hypocrisy in the world will not tie our hands."

Then he says he is organizing an "offensive" effort against the BDS movement, which aims to delegitimize the Jewish state, not only in the settlements.

And Netanyahu appears very defensive about the failure to undertake any peace negotiations.

Below are both statements, this morning's first. I believe a crisis is approaching. Consider Netanyahu's militant warnings. Consider that President Obama and the liberal Zionists - Peace Now - have both opposed the resumption of peace talks because they say Netanyahu is not serious. And because of the farce of the peace process, BDS is making strides in Europe; and being debated in mainstream American spaces; and everyone says the status quo is unsustainable.

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Netanyahu's comments to his Cabinet (thanks to Yeshiva World for transcription):

"Israel holds Hamas responsible for all firing from Gaza at our territory. I have not heard anyone in the international community condemn this firing; neither has UN said a word. It will be interesting if this silence continues when we use our full strength to uphold our right to defend ourselves. Let it be clear: The spreading hypocrisy in the world will not tie our hands and prevent us from protecting Israel's citizens. Thus we have acted; thus we will act.

"An additional action that we are in the midst of is establishing an offensive, first of all offensive, but also defensive, network in the face of attempts to boycott the State of Israel and harm the IDF's right to defend the citizens of the country. As far as those pushing the boycotts are concerned, the settlements in Judea and Samaria are not the focus of the conflict, but our settling in Tel Aviv-Jaffa, Beersheva, Haifa and - of course - Jerusalem.

"While we call for a resumption of the diplomatic negotiations, the Palestinians are taking steps against us at the UN and at the international court in The Hague. They shun negotiations and at the same time are also pushing international sanctions and UN Security Council decisions against us because there are no negotiations. They ran from Barak, Sharon and Olmert, they ran from them all, and then they accuse us. Here as well their cynicism knows no bounds, and I regret that there are those who fall into this trap of organized hypocrisy.

"Against attempts to attack Israel with lies, false accusations and boycotts, we must line up - Right and Left - to rebuff the pressure, expose the lies and attack those who attack us. We will gather forces in Israel and around the world to shatter the lies of our enemies, and we will fight for Israel's right to live in peace and security, to live at all."

From the Prime Minister's office; the following are Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's greetings to participants at the anti-BDS summit in Las Vegas:

"Greetings from Jerusalem.

I wanted to commend all of you for participating in this weekend's summit and for all of your hard work on campus.

Delegitimization of Israel is a major challenge facing the Jewish people and the Jewish state.

Just in the last week, there was an attempt to throw Israel out of FIFA;

The National Union of Students in the UK voted to support boycotting Israel;

And the CEO of a French telecommunications company declared his intention to end the company's business dealings with Israel.

His subsequent words of admiration for Israel don't square with his unequivocally hostile remarks in Cairo.

Delegitimization of Israel must be fought, and you are on the front lines.

It's not about this or that Israeli policy.

It's about our right to exist here as a free people.

Our right to defend ourselves.

Our right to determine our own future.

There is no Jewish future without the Jewish state.

And I thank each and every one of you for defending Israel on campus.

So young Jews will know they can stand tall and be proud of Israel.

And so friends of Israel can be armed with facts to defend the truth.

And so everyone will see that Israel, the most embattled democracy on earth that seeks a genuine peace while fending off the forces of barbaric terrorism, deserves their support.

The Israeli government is committed to launching assertive and innovative programs and to joining you any many others around the world to combat the lies and slander that are leveled against us.

Our most potent weapon is the truth.

We must speak the truth - loudly, clearly, proudly.

I wish you all a productive summit.

Shabbat shalom."

Thanks to Allison Deger.