Akron, OH (PressExposure) September 29, 2009 -- At the United Nations last week, Benjamin Netanyahu forged a compelling argument to the UN audience and the world. In a world of subtlety and innuendo, the clarity of his message stands out like a beacon in the night.
Every speaker has multiple audiences and Bibi was no exception. He had the delegates sitting in front of him, the International press, foes, friends, and Israeli citizens. From a communication standpoint, here is why his speech is circling the Internet as proof that effective use of the English language is not entirely dead.
The Prime Minister used the three C's of speaking: clarity, conviction, and confidence. Juxtapose his clarity with the 90-minute regurgitation that Kadafi humored himself with when he had the opportunity, the first in 40 years, to address the UN.
Netanyahu began immediately, in the second line of the speech, reminding the delegates that the UN had created this Jewish state 62 years ago. No jokes, no humor, no story telling. He moved with lightening clarity to his agenda.
He used an effective rhetorical device throughout the first point of his speech. He called out Ahmadinejad for being a Holocaust denier, but more importantly to that event, he called out the delegates who sat and listened to the denier hold court. The way he called them out was with the repititve mantra, Is this a lie?
He cited documents preserved by successive German governments, and asked, Is this a lie?
He held up the actual construction plans for Auschwitz and asked, Is this a lie?
He referenced President Obama's visit to the Buchenwald concentration camp., and asked, "Did President Obama pay tribute to a lie?" He stood in front on his audience, and calmly and confidently told those who stayed and listened to the "denier" that their actions were a disgrace. Think about it. It takes courage to call out the audience to whom you are speaking. It is masterful to call out your audiecne, and then ask them to perform the call of action of your choice.
Then he masterfully transitioned to his next point. Masterfully, because transitions are often rough or used not at all in today's world of extremes: either text or bluster. He went on to point out that, "History has shown us time and again that what starts with attacks on the Jews eventually ends up engulfing many others." This transitoin enabled him to move from Israel's legitimacy to his next agenda point, Iran.
He did not position Iran as a Jewish problem. Not a terrorist problem, nott even an American problem. He postioned Iran as a challenge of who will win the minds of the world: how we think. He said, the Iranian regime pits the 21st century against the 9th century.
In positioning this struggle for our future he said, "What seemed impossible a few years ago is already outdated, and we can scarcely fathom the changes that are yet to come. We will crack the genetic code. We will cure the incurable. We will lengthen our lives. We will find a cheap alternative to fossil fuels and clean up the planet."
What he did not say, is that many of these discoveries will take place in Israel. The terrorists who live on cell phones, deny or don't know that it was the Israeli's who brought us the cell phone and instant messaging.
He reminded delegates that out of all of the quotes that could have selected to be inscribed on the outside of the United Nations, only one was selected. Inscribed is the great Biblical vision of peace: "Nation shall not lift up sword against nation. They shall learn war no more."
Important to hear his next words, "These words were spoken by the Jewish prophet Isaiah 2,800 years ago as he walked in my country, in my city, in the hills of Judea and in the streets of Jerusalem."
Late in his speech he says simply, "We want peace." How many world leaders have spoken with such clarity? This address stands as an example of a world leader who chose to speak with Clarity, Confidence, and Conviction.