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On April 16, 2008, former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told a Bar Ilan University something that some, but not many already know: the horrible attacks on September 11, 2001 have been beneficial for Israel.
Here is the quote as reported by the Israeli newspaper Ma'ariv:
"We are benefiting from one thing, and that is the attack on the Twin Towers and Pentagon, and the American struggle in Iraq," Ma'ariv quoted the former prime minister as saying. He reportedly added that these events "swung American public opinion in our favor."
The day after the September 11 attacks, Netanyahu issued a similar statement in a NY Times article entitled A Day of Terror: The Israelis; Spilled Blood Is Seen as Bond That Draws 2 Nations Together:
"It's very good. Well, not very good, but it will generate immediate sympathy.''
Not surprisingly, the American mainstream media and press has not bothered to cover this story, but the blogs and forums, now the true indicator of the world's pulse, have spoken. The overall reaction is shock and utter disgust.
Netanyahu's statements can actually be interpreted in several ways. From a political perspective, the statement could be interpreted as realism from a pragmatic thinker's perspective. American sympathy towards Israel certainly increased after 9/11, and Americans finally understood the dangers of radical Islam. With regards to Iraq, Israel has long considered Saddam Hussein as a threat their safety and to the overall stability of the Middle East. Since 1998, there had been consistent lobbying efforts for unilateral action against Iraq. So America going in and taking out Saddam has literally been beneficial to the state state of Israel. Is this insincere to the American citizens and the US military? Yes, but it is still a true statement nonetheless. We went to war for Israel.
However, there is a school of thought that Netanyahu's controversial statements will give plenty of fodder for the 9/11 conspiracy theorists. Foreign Policy's blog, Passport had this to say:
"This is sure to provide fodder for conspiracy theorists. It amazes me that despite the fact that Osama bin Laden has admitted multiple times that he ordered the September 11th attacks, there are still plenty of people -- especially in Arab countries -- who believe otherwise. Netanyahu just gave those folks a huge gift."
The editors at Foreign Policy are correct in saying this is a tasty morsel for those that think the official government explanation of 9/11 is a complete lie, but they completely miss the point as to why this is so.
The official explanation of 9/11 attacks has been given by elected and unelected officials. You either believe it or you don't, but rarely has the reason as to why we were attacked, and who benefited ever been asked. To find out 'the why', one must ask "who stood to gain," or, "cui bono." Did the radical Muslims/Al Qaeda really benefit from 9/11? And if they did, exactly how they benefit?
Cui bono, or "to whose benefit," literally, "good for whom" is a Latin adage that is used either to suggest a hidden motive or to indicate that the party responsible for a thing may not be who it appears at first to be. With respect to motive, a public works project which is purported to benefit the city may have been initiated rather to benefit a favored campaign contributor with a lucrative contract.
Commonly the phrase is used to suggest that the person or people guilty of committing a crime may be found among those who have something to gain, chiefly with an eye toward financial gain. The party that benefits may not always be obvious or may have successfully diverted attention to a scapegoat, for example.