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The Jarring Gong



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The Israeli ambassador to the U.N., Ron Prosor, gave a speech in that body that was short but powerful — powerful because true. (Sometimes, it doesn’t take that long to say the necessary.) The speech was essentially about the moral absurdity of the United Nations. It took as its theme a statement of Churchill’s: The world is timorous and muddled “until the emergency comes, until self-preservation strikes its jarring gong.”

Prosor said to the U.N.,

It might be too much to ask you to stand on our side in this battle between civilization and barbarism [that’s for sure]. But at least have the decency to swallow your selective outrage as Israel wages war against the extremist groups seeking to eradicate the values that we all hold very dear.

He ended,

Seventy years ago, Winston Churchill bemoaned what he saw as the inability of mankind to act until the emergency comes. Today, I am here to issue a warning: Stand with Israel and stand against terror before it is too late, before the danger lands on your doorstep and self-preservation strikes its jarring gong.

To watch Prosor’s speech, go here.

Listening to him, I was reminded of some American ambassadors to the U.N.: Kirkpatrick, Walters, and Bolton. (I exclude Moynihan simply because I was too young to witness his tenure.)

Words are not everything, and sometimes they can seem terribly impotent. But you recall Murrow’s line about Churchill (of which there are many versions): He mobilized the English language and sent it into battle.



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