Netanyahu at UN: 'You Couldn't Make This Thing Up'

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu didn't receive the same enthusiastic welcome given to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at the U.N. General Assembly on Friday.

While Abbas received multiple standing ovations from most member delegations, there was a demonstrably cooler reception for the prime minister of the Jewish state.

But the lack of enthusiasm didn't keep Netanyahu from articulating Israel's historical desire for peace with its Palestinian neighbors, surrounding Arab countries and with the United Nations itself.

"Ladies and gentlemen, in Israel our hope for peace never wanes. Our scientists, doctors, and innovators apply their genius to improve the world of tomorrow. Our artists, our writers, enrich the heritage of humanity," Netanyahu said.

"Now, I know that this is not exactly the image of Israel that is often portrayed in this hall. After all, it was here in 1975 that the age-old yearning of my people to restore our national life in our ancient biblical homeland -- it was then that this was branded shamefully, as racism.

"And it was here in 1980, right here, that the historic peace agreement between Israel and Egypt wasn't praised; it was denounced! 

"And it's here, year after year that Israel is unjustly singled out for condemnation. It's singled out for condemnation more often than all the nations of the world combined. Twenty-one out of the 27 General Assembly resolutions condemn Israel -- the one true democracy in the Middle East.

"Well, this is an unfortunate part of the U.N. institution. It's the theater of the absurd. It doesn't only cast Israel as the villain; it often casts real villains in leading roles: Gadhafi's Libya chaired the U.N. Commission on Human Rights; Saddam's Iraq headed the U.N. Committee on Disarmament.

"You might say: That's the past. Well, here's what's happening now -- right now, today, Hezbollah-controlled Lebanon now presides over the U.N. Security Council. This means, in effect, that a terror organization presides over the body entrusted with guaranteeing the world's security.

"You couldn't make this thing up.

"So here in the U.N., automatic majorities can decide anything. They can decide that the sun rises in the west. But they can also decide -- they have decided -- that the Western Wall in Jerusalem, Judaism's holiest place, is occupied Palestinian territory," Netanyahu continued.

To read his remarks in full, click here.

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