NPR logo Israel's Netanyahu Likens His Nation To New Jersey


Israel's Netanyahu Likens His Nation To New Jersey

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may be getting a little desperate in his attempt to garner international sympathy for Israel's effort in recent years to respond to the provocations of extremists in Lebanon and Gaza in recent years. He likened Israel to New Jersey in his speech before AIPAC Monday that was carried by C-Span.

Knowing that all geopolitics is local, Netanyahu was actually trying to help Americans understand Israel's situation better by comparing Israel's size to New Jersey.

He said:

Let me express to you the difficulty of trying to explain Israel's security predicament to the citizens of the United States, a country that's 500 times the size of Israel. So I thought how I could best bring it home. And I ask you to imagine that the territory of the United States was compressed down to the size of New Jersey. Now, I'm not picking at New Jersey because our Amb. Michael Oren comes from New Jersey. It happens to be the right size.

So now you squeeze the United States down to the size of New Jersey. And next, you put on New Jersey's northern border an Iranian terror proxy called Hezbollah which fires 6,000 rockets into that small state. Then imagine that this terror proxy amasses another 60,000 more missiles to fire at you.

Now, I'm not finished. You take New Jersey's southern border and you put another Iranian terror proxy on it, you call it Hamas. And it too fires 6,000 rockets into your territory while smuggling even more lethal weapons into its territory. You think you'd feel a little vulnerable? You think you'd expect some understanding from the international community when you have to defend yourself?

This may be the first time in history that an international leader has likened his nation to New Jersey in an attempt to win sympathy. Maybe things really are looking up for the Garden State.

It makes you wonder how far to extend the analogy. Is Newark the West Bank? Or is it Gaza? Is Trenton Jerusalem?

Anyway, it will be hard for some of us to drive up the New Jersey Turnpike anymore without having the mental image of rockets being fired at it from, say, Philadelphia. To that end, Netanyahu's comparison will probably work on some minds the way he wanted it to.