The address to the U.S. congress of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel needs to be judged in the underlying belief system of the Jewish Ultra-Orthodox leadership. During his speech, he proclaimed his stance on a 4,000 year history that declares the land of Israel theirs, promised to Abraham.
In the words of Professor Ze'ev Herzog of the Tel Aviv University, Department of Archaeology, this contradicts scholarly findings that attest merely small tribes to the land of Canaan (Israel) and refute historicity to the biblical tales. “It turns out that part of Israeli society is ready to recognize the injustice that was done to the Arab inhabitants of the country and is willing to accept the principle of equal rights for women—but is not up to adopting the archaeological facts that shatter the biblical myth. The blow to the mythical foundations of the Israeli identity is apparently too threatening, and it is more convenient to turn a blind eye." (Ze’ev Herzog, Deconstructing the walls of Jericho, 1999).
It is true, as Netanyahu stated, that the Palestinians, and with them the Arab world oppose a Jewish state in the Middle East. The fundamental question that is unasked then is this: why? Netanyahu’s position is based on the Torah and on his Ultra-Orthodox beliefs. This position includes the reconquest of all of the land of Canaan. It is an eternal command in the Torah, encompassing the Sinai Peninsula, Lebanon, Jordan, most of Syria, and the parts of Iraq south of the Euphrates River. The command includes the cleansing of any non-Jewish ethnicity (Josh 13:2). For his end, Netanyahu subtly suggested a preemptive strike against Iran.
They have a standing mandate not to enter treaties with anyone who lived in the land of Canaan (Ex. 34:15-16). This has consequences for the prospect of peace between Israel and the Palestinians, where Israel cannot go beyond lip service. “You shall make no covenant with them, nor with their gods. They shall not dwell in your land, lest they make you sin against me, for if you serve their gods, it will surely be a snare to you (Ex. 23:32)." Palestinians are on the Jews’ extermination list, and this will not change as long as the Torah guides the Ultra-Orthodox Jews.
Netanyahu’s latest maneuver is to decline peace negotiations as long as the Palestinians do not terminate their agreement with Hamas and consent to demilitarization. The real message is simply that there will be no peace, and full blame is placed on the Hamas. The context seamlessly feeds into his extremist long-term biblical outlook, and the (Christian/Jewish) American Congress honors his speech?almost a declaration of war?with standing ovations.