Netanyahu’s Candle of Truth
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made an eloquent stand for truth at the UN in September. But what he told the Israeli news media outside the Assembly Hall may have been as important as what he said inside. Here are his insightful remarks to Israeli reporters concerned about Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s Holocaust-denial rhetoric.
When I came to the United Nations as UN ambassador many years ago, a short time after my arrival, I met the (Chabad) Lubavitcher rebbe. It was the eve of Simchat Torah. He requested to speak with me. There were thousands of Hasidim [ultra-Orthodox] in the synagogue hall. He began to speak to me—in Hebrew.
He spoke with me for five minutes, 10 minutes, 20 minutes. The Hasidim were already wondering, Who is this? Who is holding up our rebbe? He spoke with me for a full 40 minutes—I remember clearly. Do you know what he told me? This is what he told me then, in 1984.
He said, “You are going to the UN. There is an assembly hall there that has eternal falsehood, utter darkness. Remember, when you light one candle of truth in the greatest darkness that there can be, the darkness is dispelled. Light one candle of truth!”
I have endeavored since then, not only during my time here, but in every place possible, to light a candle of truth. The darkness—the lies of Holocaust denial—there is only one way to dispel it: to stand proudly and present the truth in a reasoned fashion, in a convincing manner, and in a proud way. And this, believe me, is much more important than the evening news. This is something that goes on and on. So the time has come to do this: to simply repeat and repeat the truth, again and again. Darkness is dispelled through truth.