Tag Archives: Netanyahu
HOW PROUD WE ARE!
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu gave the speech of his life today. His speech was not merely good, it was, as one commentator here put it, perfect.
His pacing and his delivery were masterful; he managed to take the high road and deliver a powerful message at the same time.
But let me back up just a moment: before he spoke a word, he entered the chamber to a packed house and received a standing ovation that was overwhelming. It brought me and many others to tears, I will say. Wow!
So much for the talk of boycotting the speech. Every seat was taken, and during that opening ovation, which went on and on, members of Congress cheered him, and reached out to shake his hand. As I said (lacking a better term): Wow!
I will include below both a full text of his talk and a full video. (If you haven’t seen the speech, I encourage you to watch – even though the video begins after that first standing ovation).
And so here I will simply touch upon his major points.
First, as to that high road. He began by assuring everyone that he had no partisan intentions in coming to speak and said he understood that both Democrats and Republicans stand with Israel (which brought great applause). He thanked President Obama for all of the ways in which he has helped Israel: and he enumerated several ways. Very gracious and non-confrontational.
Then too he refrained from revealing any secrets. This was one of the major “concerns” voiced by Obama prior to the speech: we fear he will ruin negotiations by speaking of matters that should not be public. Actually, what Bibi said was that the information he was sharing is available to anyone who Googles the Internet. Took the wind right out of Obama’s sail, there.
Bibi said he had a profound obligation to speak about Israel’s future, and Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons. He referred to the Book of Esther, and the upcoming holiday of Purim – which refers to an ancient threat to the Jewish people by Haman, in Persia. Today, he said, another potentate in Persia (Iran is ancient Persia) is threatening to destroy the Jewish people.
Iran, however, is not just a threat to Israel, but to the entire world, which point is of considerable significance. He then proceeded to describe the nature of the regime in Iran, the zealots who seek to fulfill an ideological mission of jihad, exporting revolution around the world. In the Middle East, states are collapsing and Iran is rushing in. In addition, Iran is promoting terrorism worldwide. We must stop this march of conquest, subjugation and terror.
These are exceedingly important points: It’s not “just” about Iran nuclear, Iran is a problem and source of unrest in the world now. What is more, in spite of the sweet words of Iranian leaders two years ago, there has been no moderation of Iran –it is as radical as ever.
Then Bibi delivered a warning: Do not make the mistake of imagining that in the battle between Iran and ISIS, Iran can become a friend. (Obama has promoted this ludicrous scenario.) Iran and ISIS are simply competing for the crown of the militant Islamic empire.
The greatest danger to the world is Iran with nuclear weapons. And, said Bibi, it could happen if the deal currently on the table is signed.
There are two major concessions that are of greatest concern:
1) Iran will be permitted to retain a vast nuclear infrastructure, which will allow a short breakout time. Not a single facility would be demolished, and thousands of centrifuges would keep spinning. The breakout time might be a year, but might be much less.
2) Apparently restrictions are to expire in about ten years. The Iranians have declared intention to have 190,000 centrifuges – which would permit a whole arsenal to be put together in a matter of weeks.
The deal, as structured, paves the way for Iran to get the bomb.
As to inspections, the major problem is that inspectors inspect, but do not stop anything from happening. In 2005, 2006, and 2010, Iran defied inspectors, sending them packing.
Iran can also play “hide and cheat.” Just yesterday, the IAEA said Iran won’t come clean. They could get to a bomb by violating the deal.
The question of development of ballistic missiles is not even on the table; in time they will reach the US.
Bibi does not believe Iran will change, but will actually become more aggressive with a deal. They will be aggressive abroad and have prosperity at home. A nuclear tinderbox will be created, as Iran’s neighbors rush to get the bomb too.
But there is another way to handle the situation:
Restrictions on Iran must be kept in place as long as it continues its aggression in the region, fosters terrorism around the world, and threatens to annihilate Israel.
It is argued that the clock cannot be rolled back, as Iran has the know-how. But know-how without infrastructure goes nowhere. Roll back Iran’s infrastructure.
And keep the pressure on. (That is, sanctions.) If Iran threatens to walk, call their bluff.
This is a very bad deal. No deal is better.
It is not true that the only alternative to this deal is war, the alternative is a better deal.
This is a fateful crossroad in history: Do not sacrifice the future for the present.
NEVER AGAIN. This, said Bibi, is the first time in 100 generations that the Jewish people are not powerless. We can defend ourselves. Even if Israel has to stand alone, Israel will stand. (The implication here is clear, and welcome on several levels.)
However, he knows that America stands with Israel. (This met with great applause.)
The story of Israel, he said, is the story of the human spirit that refuses to succumb to the world’s horrors.
Bibi ended by citing Moses: “Be strong and resolute, neither fear nor dread them…” This is Deuteronomy (D’varim) 31:6. The completion of that phrase is, “for the Lord your God goes with you” – unspoken in Congress today, but, I am certain, clearly understood by our prime minister.
This is the third time that Prime Minster Netanyahu has spoken before the Congress of the United States. The only head of state to be similarly honored was Winston Churchill. During the speech, there were some 24 standing ovations.
Here you can find both video highlights of the speech, and, if you scroll down a bit more, the entire speech:
And here you have the complete transcript:
There has been enormous critical praise for this speech, beginning from the moment it was over. Except on the left, of course. Obama is perhaps the biggest clown with his comments on the speech which he only read in transcript form, he said, and which he referred to as “theater.” (“theater”? and he wasn’t watching?) There was “nothing new,” he said, “no viable alternative” was offered.”
What nonsense. Bibi was quite clear: do not allow the infrastructure for enriching uranium to stand, and keep the sanctions on in order to apply maximum pressure as long as Iran continues to display hegemonic intentions, export terrorism, and threaten Israel. (Because the price of oil is down, sanctions will do even more damage, and bring Iran to its knees if applied stringently.) Do not ally with Iran, reducing sanctions in the mistaken belief that a US-Iranian partnership against ISIS is possible.
I am certain that the Senators and Congresspersons present understood this quite well. It now remains to be seen how much they will take this to heart. There is betting that they will.
Some Democrats are saying that this speech was just for political purposes, which is also nonsense. Iran is a topic that has been of deep concern to Binyamin Netanyahu for many years.
Of course, there are mindless comments coming from the left here in Israel as well. Take Zahava Gal-On, head of Meretz, for example. She called the speech “chutzpah” because Bibi told the US how to handle the negotiations with Iran. Oh, better he should have kept quiet and just watched Iran move towards the bomb? This is called grasping at straws in an election season.
In the end, it is still possible that negotiations will fall apart on their own. Just today, Iran declared that the US demand for a ten-year freeze on certain nuclear activities was “unacceptable.” They smell weakness, and push back against all restrictions. Precisely how many backward steps will Obama take, especially now, with Congress watching ever so carefully?
I would like to call your attention to a piece by Khaled abu Toameh – “Arab Joint Force”: A Vote of No Confidence in the West.”
Egyptian President al-Sisi has proposed a joint Arab force to confront Iran and radical Islam, and has gone to Saudi Arabia to discuss it. This indicates a lack of faith in the West, and abu Toameh suggests that it may be the start of a move towards the Arab states taking the lead in fighting the radicals.
When Bibi spoke today about Iranian aggression in the area, it was against these states that he was referring. There is reason to believe these states would likely provide backup for us, should it be necessary.
Tomorrow night is Purim (Thursday night in Jerusalem, which was a walled city and celebrates Shushan Purim). It is a joyous time, and I, for one, am eager for the celebrations. Time with grandchildren, a family dinner (seuda) and more. I even have my costume.
There will not be another posting, I suspect, until after Shabbat. I will pick up then on responses from Congress and other pertinent issues.
Now I wish all who are celebrating a Purim Sameach!
Large Majority of Democrats Defying President Obama by Attending Netanyahu’s Speech
By: Roger Aronoff
Accuracy in Media
Ahead of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s scheduled speech before Congress on Tuesday, the White House initiated a full-tilt public relations battle against the Israeli leader, both publicly and behind the scenes. Yet despite that lobbying by the Obama administration to dissuade some Democrats from attending Netanyahu’s speech before Congress, more than 75% of Democrats are defying the President, and plan to attend, whether out of cowardice or principle.
It’s hard to know which. Some, like Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), are attending, but are angry at Netanyahu and the Republicans for putting them in this position. It is a poor reflection on the President’s foreign policy that his own party has to choose between a long-standing ally and the President’s reputation.
The latest headline, as this column is published, states that 55 Democrats to skip Netanyahu speech to Congress. Considering that there are 188 Democrats in the House of Representatives and 46 U.S. senators who caucus as Democrats (including two Independents), that is still less than a quarter of all congressional Democrats. This Congress, the 114th, has the largest Republican majority since the Congress of 1929 to 1931.
The New York Times reported on Monday about the “uninvited problems” that Netanyahu’s speech brings for Jewish Democrats, and refers to the “bruising political showdown” that his visit has initiated. But the paper’s readers are left with the impression that the blame lies with Republican House Speaker John Boehner (OH) and Netanyahu, not President Obama and his administration’s ongoing opposition to the speech.
“Mr. Boehner—seemingly ready to try to separate Jewish voters from the Democratic Party they have long favored—remains resolute about his decision,” reports Jonathan Weisman for the Times. “He is also open about his hope that Mr. Netanyahu’s address will undermine the Obama administration’s efforts to negotiate an accord with Iran that halts that nation’s nuclear program.”
“But to many Democrats, this time Mr. Netanyahu appears to have gone out of his way to alienate them,” reports Weisman.
On Monday, President Obama’s controversial Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Powers, told the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) that “The United States of America will not allow Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon. Period.” The use of the word “period” at the end of her sentence, for the purpose of emphasis, was an unfortunate reminder of President Obama’s repeated promise that “If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan. Period” How did that turn out? It became PolitiFact’s Lie of the Year.
Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke to AIPAC after Powers, and assured the world that he had no intention of insulting President Obama, and that their differences were similar to a family feud. But an Israeli news outlet is reporting that as a result of Netanyahu’s opposition to the Iran deal, the U.S. has cut off intelligence cooperation with Israel “in terms of intelligence on Iran’s nuclear program.”
The opposition to Netanyahu’s speech has filtered down directly from the White House, even if the mainstream media refuse to report on this fact. They prefer to pin the blame for the current conflict all on the Israeli Prime Minister, and on Speaker of the House John Boehner (R\-OH). The media continue to misreport the timeline of events leading up to Netanyahu’s acceptance of the invitation from Boehner to speak before Congress. The White House was made aware of the invitation before Netanyahu accepted, as even The New York Times has acknowledged in a correction.
In early February the UK Daily Mail reported, “Two prominent black Democrats in the House of Representatives are vowing to skip Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to Congress next month, a move that a White House insider says was put in motion by the Obama administration.”
“I’m not saying the president called anyone personally,” David Martosko quotes the anonymous White House staffer as saying. “But yeah, the White House sent a message to some at the CBC [Congressional Black Caucus] that they should suddenly be very upset about the speech.”
The administration went on an outright “offensive against Netanyahu” at the end of February, according to Politico, through the words of Susan Rice, Press Secretary Josh Earnest, and Secretary of State John Kerry. But the day before Netanyahu’s speech to Congress, members of the Obama administration attempted to tone down their criticism a bit. Press Secretary Earnest said that the President believes each member of Congress should decide for him or herself whether or not to attend.
Vice President Joe Biden also will not attend the speech.
Despite all this, the vast majority of Congressional Democrats have chosen their side: Israel, and Netanyahu. More than 75% of Democratic Members from both chambers will be attending Netanyahu’s speech, as of this writing. It also turns out that many of those boycotting are among the most extreme left-wingers in Congress—no surprise there. As a matter of fact, 26 of the 55 who have announced they are not attending are either members of the so-called “Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC)” or of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), or both. The DSA no longer publishes a list of its Congressional members, but there are many who are in both groups. Some even hold leadership positions within these groups.
Bret Stephens makes the case in The Wall Street Journal that “The Democratic Party is on the cusp of abandoning the state of Israel.” He notes that “Over the weekend, a defensive White House put out a statement noting the various ways it has supported Israel. It highlighted the 1985 U.S.-Israel free-trade agreement and a military assistance package concluded in 2007. When Barack Obama must cite the accomplishments of Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush as evidence of his pro-Israel bona fides, you know there is a problem.”
Here is the list of those who will not attend PM Netanyahu’s speech, according to The Hill: Those who are members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus have CPC after their name. All are Democrats, or caucus with the Democrats.
SENATE – 8 members
Sen. Al Franken (Minn.)
Sen. Tim Kaine (Va.)
Sen. Patrick Leahy (Vt.)
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) CPC
Sen. Brian Schatz (Hawaii)
Sen. Martin Heinrich (N.D.)
Sen .Elizabeth Warren (Mass.)
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.)
HOUSE – 47 members
Rep. Karen Bass (Calif.) CPC
Rep. Earl Blumenauer (Ore.)
Rep. Corrine Brown (Fl.) CPC
Rep. G.K. Butterfield (N.C.)
Rep. Lois Capps (Cal.)
Rep. Andre Carson (Ind.) CPC
Rep. Katherine Clark (Mass.) CPC
Rep. Lacy Clay (Mo.)
Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (Mo.)
Rep. James Clyburn (S.C.)
Rep. Steve Cohen (Tenn.) CPC
Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (N.J.) CPC
Rep. John Conyers (Mich.) CPC
Rep. Danny Davis (Ill.) CPC
Rep. Peter DeFazio (Ore.) CPC
Rep. Diana DeGette (Colo.)
Rep. Lloyd Doggett (Tex.)
Rep. Donna Edwards (Md.)
Rep. Keith Ellison (Minn.) Co-Chair, CPC
Rep. Chaka Fattah (Pa.) CPC
Rep. Marcia Fudge (Ohio) CPC
Rep. Raúl Grijalva (Ariz.) Co-Chair, CPC
Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (Ill.) CPC
Rep. Denny Heck (Wash.)
Rep. Ruben Hinojosa (Tex.)
Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (Texas) CPC
Rep. Marcy Kaptur (Ohio)
Rep. Rick Larsen (Wash.)
Rep. Barbara Lee (Calif.) Whip, CPC
Rep. John Lewis (Ga.) CPC
Rep. Zoe Lofgren (Calif.)
Rep. Betty McCollum (Minn.)
Rep. Jim McDermott (Wash.) CPC
Rep. Jim McGovern (Mass.) CPC
Rep. Jerry McNerney (Calif.)
Rep. Gregory Meeks (N.Y.)
Rep. Gwen Moore (Wisc.) CPC
Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D.C.) (non-voting Member) CPC
Rep. Beto O’Rourke (Texas)
Rep. Chellie Pingree (Maine) CPC
Rep. David Price (N.C.)
Rep. Charles Rangel (N.Y.) CPC
Rep. Cedric Richmond (La.)
Rep. Jan Schakowsky (Ill.) Vice Chair, CPC
Rep. Bennie Thompson (Miss.) CPC
Rep. Mike Thompson (Calif.)
Rep. John Yarmuth (Ky.)
Zahor and Bibi’s Mission
Yesterday was Shabbat Zahor – the Shabbat before Purim, which comes this week. Zahor means remember. After the regular Torah reading there is an additional reading – Deuteronomy (D’vorim) 25:17-19 – that all are obligated to listen to:
“Remember what Amalek did to you on your journey, after you left Egypt — 18 how, undeterred by fear of God, he surprised you on the march, when you were famished and weary, and cut down all the stragglers in your rear. 19 Therefore, when the Lord your God grants you safety from all your enemies around you, in the land that the Lord your God is giving you as a hereditary portion, you shall blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven. Do not forget!”
“Amalek” was a people (the Amalekites), seen as singularly evil because of the way they behaved.
Much discussion by Jewish thinkers is devoted to the paradox of how we wipe out Amalek’s memory and also do not forget.
Sam Shore, one of the rabbis in my shul, addressed this with a powerful relevancy yesterday, which I want to share:
More than Amalek was a people, it was an ideology of evil. At one and the same time, we must work to defeat – wipe out – that ideology wherever we find it and we must remember what Amalek did so that we stay alert to what evil is possible in this world.
What is more, we Jews, having been commanded to remember, are charged with alerting others in the world about evil when we see it.
Netanyahu’s speech, he told me after his talk, is holy work.
This is a very powerful reading of our current situation. The world does not want to remember. People prefer to gloss over evil and pretend it is something else. They would rather believe that evil is too “judgmental” a term, and that it is more appropriate to think in terms of “understanding” the position of the other, and generating opportunities for inclusion and dialogue. You know the routine. This is Obama’s route to dealing with Iran.
Of course, then, Bibi’s plan to speak is like a thorn in the sides of those who would deny evil – a provocation, as they see it. And of course the response to him would be heated.
Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, former Chief Rabbi of the UK, wrote a compelling article about this very issue – “The Face of Evil” – about a month ago, which I share here (emphasis added):
Rabbi Sacks alludes to the question asked after 9/11 – “Why do they hate us?” – and to books written by American thinker Lee Harris, who provided thought-provoking answers:
“…we in the West had forgotten the concept of an enemy. Liberal democratic politics and market economics create a certain kind of society, a specific way of thinking and a characteristic type of personality. At their heart is the concept of the rational actor, the person who judges acts by their consequences and chooses the maximal option. He or she believes that for every problem there is a solution, for every conflict a resolution. The way to achieve it is to sit down, negotiate, and do on balance what is best for all.
“In such a world there are no enemies, merely conflicts of interest. An enemy, says Harris, is simply ‘a friend we haven’t done enough for yet.’ In the real world, however, not everyone is a liberal democrat. An enemy is ‘someone who is willing to die in order to kill you. And while it is true that the enemy always hates us for a reason, it is his reason, not ours.’ He sees a different world from ours, and in that world we are the enemy. Why do they hate us? Answers Harris: ‘They hate us because we are their enemy.’
“…We can become mind-blind, thinking that the way we – our society, our culture, our civilization – see things is the only way, or at least that it is the way everyone would choose if given the chance. Only a complete failure to understand the history of ideas can explain this error, and it is a dangerous one…Not everyone sees the world the way we do, and, as Richard Weaver once said: ‘The trouble with humanity is that it forgets to read the minutes of the last meeting.’”
Circling back to a discussion of the Amalekites, Rabbi Sacks cites Exodus (Shemot) 17:14-16 (emphasis added):
“Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Write this on a scroll as something to be remembered and make sure that Joshua hears it, because I will completely blot out the name of Amalek from under heaven.’ Moses built an altar and called it The Lord is my Banner. He said, ‘The hand is on the Lord’s throne. The Lord will be at war with Amalek for all generations.’”
Rabbi Sacks then compares the Egyptians – who did the Israelites, our ancestors, enormous harm over time – and the Amalekites, who attacked us just once, and asks why the Lord is not at war with Egypt for all time. The answer: the Egyptians were rational actors, trying to eliminate us because they feared they would be overpowered by the Israelites. While the Amalekites attacked us when we were “weary and worn out,” because we were weak. “Causeless, baseless hate lasts forever.”
Writes Rabbi Sacks, “There comes a point at which rational actors understand that the pursuit of self-interest has become self-destructive, and they learn to co-operate.
“It is not so, however, with non-rational actors. Emil Fackenheim, one of the great post-Holocaust theologians, noted that towards the end of the Second World War the Germans diverted trains carrying supplies to their own army, in order to transport Jews to the extermination camps. So driven were they by hate that they were prepared to put their own victory at risk in order to carry out the systematic murder of the Jews of Europe. This was, he said, evil for evil’s sake.
“The Amalekites function in Jewish memory as “the enemy” in Lee Harris’s sense.”
Rabbi Sacks explains that the Amalekites as a people can no longer be identified. We are not bidden to try to destroy them physically.
However, “Amalek has become a symbol rather than a reality.
“…Judaism marks a clear distinction between an ancient enemy who no longer exists, and the evil that enemy embodied, which can break out again at any time in any place. It is easy at times of peace to forget the evil that lies just beneath the surface of the human heart. Never was this truer than in the past three centuries. The birth of Enlightenment, toleration, emancipation, liberalism and human rights persuaded many, Jews among them, that collective evil was as extinct as the Amalekites. Evil was then, not now. That age eventually begat… some of the [most] brutal tyrannies ever known, and the worst crime of man against man.
“Today, the great danger is terror…
“…Evil never dies, and like liberty it demands constant vigilance. We are commanded to remember, not for the sake of the past but for the sake of the future, and not for revenge but the opposite: a world free of revenge and other forms of violence.
“Lee Harris began Civilization and its Enemies with the words, ‘The subject of this book is forgetfulness,’ and ends with a question: ‘Can the West overcome the forgetfulness that is the nemesis of every successful civilization?’ That is why we are commanded to remember and never forget Amalek, not because the historic people still exists, but because a society of rational actors can sometimes believe that the world is full of rational actors with whom one can negotiate peace. It is not always so.
“Rarely was a biblical message so relevant to the future of the West and of freedom itself. Peace is possible, implies Moses, even with an Egypt that enslaved and tried to destroy us. But peace is not possible with those who attack people they see as weak…Freedom depends on our ability to remember and whenever necessary confront ‘the eternal gang of ruthless men,’ the face of Amalek throughout history.”
My friends, it has been in my mind to write about so many different subjects – what is happening with Egypt and Gaza, what Abbas is doing these days, etc. But as I see it, all of this is trumped by what I write about today.
There is a horrendous disinclination in the Western culture to confront the reality of evil and the absolute implacability of our enemies – be they the mullahs in Iran or those heading ISIS and al-Qaeda. This disinclination can lead to the demise of the West.
What Binyamin Netanyahu is doing, then, has enormous import. Let there be no misunderstanding about this: Speaking to the Congress is the most effective way of delivering his message so that the maximum number of people hear and attend to his words. A speech in AIPAC would not substitute, nor would private meetings.
I, of course, am not privy to what Bibi is going to say.
In the most basic terms only, what I can tell you – keeping in mind that Iran has sworn to eliminate Israel – is that available information on the prospective deal indicates:
There are no controls in place on Iran’s development of delivery systems such as intercontinental ballistic missiles.
Neither is the entire issue of Iran’s hegemonic behavior and sponsoring of terrorism addressed. (Remember that Iran is in process of placing Iranian proxy terrorist groups on several fronts to surround Israel and is the single biggest fomenter and funder of radical terrorism in the world.)
Iran would be permitted to retain thousands of centrifuges, which would be available for uranium enrichment to 90%+ – for weaponry purposes – when the time was right. The Iranians are patient, and know how to “play the game” until the time is right. Originally, the West was committed to structuring a deal that would deprive Iran of this potential capacity, and that is now very far from what is emerging.
What is more, the IAEC has already reported that responses from Iran on its current situation are fuzzy and suggest the impossibility of tracking whether Iran is adhering to required stipulations. And this, in spite of the fact that an agreement is predicated upon IAEC monitoring. The Iranians have a consistent record of cheating on prior agreements. Extending them any sort of trust here is akin to suicidal insanity.
And then this latest bomb-shell: a “sunset clause” or “phased deal” seems to be developing in the US-Iranian talks. According to this, over a period of perhaps ten years, if Iran has demonstrated “good behavior,” constraints on its uranium enrichment would be lifted. By the end of this period – which is being referred to as “an on-ramp to developing a nuclear weapon” – the time period for completing that weapon would be very short indeed.
On Friday, Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Bob Corker (R-Tennessee) and ranking member Robert Menendez (D-New Jersey), as well as Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) and Tim Kaine (D-Virginia) advanced a bill that would provide Congress with the opportunity to approve or disapprove any comprehensive deal Obama would strike with Iran. Obama has already said he would veto any such legislation.
Corker, in response, has now slammed the president’s position, and we have not heard the end of this.
On Friday, Caroline Glick wrote a column addressing these issues and Netanyahu’s determination to confront them (emphasis added):
“It is hard to get your arms around the stubborn determination of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today. For most of the nine years he has served as Israel’s leader, first from 1996 to 1999 and now since 2009, Netanyahu shied away from confrontations or buckled under pressure…
“For his part, for the past six years Obama has undermined Israel’s national security. He has publicly humiliated Netanyahu repeatedly…
“He has delegitimized Israel’s very existence…
“But Netanyahu said nothing publicly in criticism of Obama’s destructive, dangerous policy.
”He held his tongue in the hopes of winning Obama over through quiet diplomacy.
”He held his tongue, because he believed that the damage Obama was causing Israel was not irreversible in most cases. And it was better to maintain the guise of good relations, in the hopes of actually achieving them, than to expose the fractures in US-Israel ties caused by Obama’s enormous hostility toward Israel and by his strategic myopia that endangered both Israel and the US’s other regional allies.
”And yet, today Netanyahu, the serial accommodator, is putting everything on the line. He will not accommodate. He will not be bullied. He will not be threatened, even as all the powers that have grown used to bringing him to his knees – the Obama administration, the American Jewish Left, the Israeli media, and the Labor party -grow ever more shrill and threatening in their attacks against him.
“As he has made clear in daily statements, Netanyahu is convinced that we have reached a juncture in our relations with the Obama administration where accommodation is no longer possible.
”Obama’s one policy that Netanyahu has never acquiesced to either publicly or privately is his policy of accommodating Iran.
”Since Obama’s earliest days in office, Netanyahu has warned openly and behind closed doors that Obama’s plan to forge a nuclear deal with Iran is dangerous. And as the years have passed, and the lengths Obama is willing to go to appease Iran’s nuclear ambitions have been left their marks on the region, Netanyahu’s warnings have grown stronger and more urgent.
”Netanyahu has been clear since his first tenure in office in the 1990s, that Iran’s nuclear program – as well as its ballistic missile program – constitutes a threat to Israel’s very existence. He has never wavered from his position that Israel cannot accept an Iran armed with nuclear weapons…
“But now we are seeing that far from being an opportunist, Netanyahu is a leader of historical dimensions…
“Whereas Israel can survive Obama on the Palestinian front by stalling, waiting him out and placating him where possible, and can even survive his support for Hamas by making common cause with the Egyptian military and the government of President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi, the damage Obama’s intended deal with Iran will cause Israel will be irreversible.
”For his efforts to prevent irreparable harm to Israel Netanyahu is being subjected to the most brutal and vicious attacks any Israeli leader has ever been subjected to by an American administration and its political allies. They are being assisted in their efforts by a shameless Israeli opposition that is willing to endanger the future of the country in order to seize political power.
”Every day brings another serving of abuse…
”Netanyahu is not coming to Washington next Tuesday to warn Congress against Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran, because he seeks a fight with Obama. Netanyahu has devoted the last six years to avoiding a fight with Obama, often at great cost to Israel’s national security and to his own political position.
“Netanyahu is coming to Washington next week because Obama has left him no choice. And all decent people of good will should support him, and those who do not, and those who are silent, should be called out for their treachery and cowardice.”
Last night, Prime Minister Netanyahu visited the Kotel.
Credit: Reuters/Marc Sellem
As I write this, he is in the air, on his way to the US. This morning, before departing, he said:
“A few days before the Fast of Esther [immediately prior and connected to Purim], I’m going to Washington on a fateful, even historic, mission. I’m going on behalf of every citizen of Israel and the entire Jewish people, including those who do not agree with me. I feel deep and sincere concern for the security of every Israeli citizen and the fate of our country and our people. I will do everything I can to ensure our future.”
What I request of each of you is that you pray for the success of this mission.
Threats, Lies and Politics
The situation surrounding the negotiations with Iran and Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech to Congress daily grows more ominous, more convoluted, and more contentious.
I would like to begin with the latest “scoop” – which is supposed to put the lie to Bibi’s charge in 2012 in the UN (complete with that famous chart) that Iran was on the cusp of becoming a nuclear power.
As Arutz Sheva described the situation yesterday:
“Al Jazeera began publishing Monday night several documents allegedly leaked from the Israeli Mossad – via the Spy Cables database shared with the British Guardian.
One of the documents alleged that, just a few weeks after the famous speech Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu gave in 2012 assessing Iran as being about one year away from building a nuclear weapon, the Mossad sent a confidential report to South Africa’s State Security Agency (SSA) stating that, in their estimation, ‘Iran does not engage in the necessary activities required for the production of weapons of mass destruction.’ (Emphasis added)
Ah ha! went the cries of those opposed to Bibi’s speech – See, he exaggerated, he misrepresented, he’s not to be trusted.
No so, my friends. And please do not take my word for this.
Today I contacted Brig. Gen. (ret.) Yossi Kuperwasser, until recently the director-general of the Ministry of Security Affairs. There is no contradiction between the alleged Mossad report and what Bibi said, Kuperwasser explained:
The Mossad was talking about weaponization. And it’s true that in 2012 Iran was not involved in the weaponization process – they had already done this before 2003. (I note that by 1998 Iran was domestically producing the Shahab-1 and Shahab-2, and by 2003 the Shahab-3 – ballistic missiles being one part of the weaponization.)
What the prime minister was talking about, said Kuperwasser, was the enrichment process: Iran had stocks of uranium enriched to 20%, and were in the position of being able to follow through to do enrichment to 90+%, which is what is needed for weapons purposes.
What must be made clear, however, is that in bringing the uranium to 20%, 90% of the enrichment effort has already been expended. That is, the hard part is getting it to 20%. To move it from 20% to 90+% – which is weapons grade uranium – is a relatively quick and simple process. This is the danger Netanyahu was warning the world about in 2012.
But there is even more, which I ask you to note as well, from Yossi Melman, intelligence correspondent, writing in the JPost (emphasis added):
“After promising to release a bombshell of leaked secret Mossad cables, Al Jazeera’s publication of documents later Monday fell short of that mark…Al Jazeera did not obtain an original and authenticated document from the Mossad…
“What they published was a South Africa Sate Security Agency (SSA document that is based on a briefing given to them by the Mossad. The document from 2013 contains no secrets and any reader, or follower of public reports on Iran’s nuclear program, especially the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is familiar with the facts written in that document.
“The Mossad provided details in its briefing, such as the quantities of Iran’s enriched uranium at its two levels – 3.5% and 20% – about the development of Iran’s nuclear reactor at Arak, and its statement that Iran is ‘not performing the activity necessary to produce weapons.’
“That assessment was correct – it isn’t possible to utilize fissile material for a bomb only with 20% enriched uranium – an enrichment of 93% is required – and Iran did not have it at the time of the document’s writing, and doesn’t have it now. Certainly it doesn’t present any evidence of a wedge between the Mossad and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with regard to Iran’s nuclear program…
“Israeli intelligence estimates are that Iran is working to be a nuclear power – a few months way from the ability to assemble the bomb – but not capable of building it now.
“More than anything, Iran wants the international community to lift the economic sanctions.
“Israeli intelligence researchers know that Iran is already on the verge of becoming a nuclear threshold state. It has the know-how, technology and materials to construct the bomb in a matter of a few months or perhaps a year, if and when the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei gives the order.”
And so please, my friends, do not believe everything you read and hear in the current effort to discredit Netanyahu.
Please see, as well, yet another piece – “Now we know who to believe on Iran,” by David Horovitz, editor of Time of Israel (emphasis added):
“The Obama administration claimed Israel was misrepresenting its deal with the ayatollahs. Reports from Geneva indicate Israel’s concerns were all too accurate…
“After anonymous sources in Jerusalem leaked to Israeli reporters in recent weeks the ostensible terms of the deal being hammered out, various spokespeople for the Obama administration contended that the Netanyahu government was misrepresenting the specifics for narrow political ends. They sneered that Israel didn’t actually know what the terms were. And they made the acknowledgement — the astounding acknowledgement for a United States whose key regional ally is directly and relentlessly threatened with destruction by Iran — that the Obama administration is consequently no longer sharing with Jerusalem all sensitive details of the Iran talks.
“And yet among the terms of the deal being reported by the Associated Press from Geneva on Monday are precisely those that were asserted in recent weeks by the Israeli sources, precisely those that were scoffed at by the Administration. Centrally, Iran is to be allowed to keep 6,500 centrifuges spinning, and there will be a sunset clause providing for an end to intrusive inspections in some 10-15 years. If anything, indeed, some of the terms reported by the AP are even more worrying than those that were leaked in Jerusalem: ‘The idea would be to reward Iran for good behavior over the last years of any agreement,’ the AP said, ‘gradually lifting constraints on its uranium enrichment program and slowly easing economic sanctions.’ There is also no indication of restrictions on Iran’s missile development — its potential delivery systems…
”It goes without saying that this weekend’s developments in Geneva have only bolstered Netanyahu’s determination to sound the alarm before Congress next Tuesday. It’s also still clearer today why the Obama administration has been so anxious to query his motives and seek to discredit his concerns.”
“It is also still clearer today why the Obama administration has been so anxious to query [Netanyahu’s] motives and seek to discredit his concerns.”
Keep this in mind, please, as you read the hysterical accusations against Bibi. And I ask that you do something else. Speak out with the facts. You know the routine: do talkbacks on the Internet, letters to the editor, call-ins on talk-shows, put this information on your FB pages and websites, put it up on group discussion lists, etc. etc. Here is an opportunity to help Israel.
Yet another charge that is being leveled at Netanyahu is that the unrest he is “causing,” the tension he is generating politically in the US, will result in a reduction of American support for Israel.
The only problem with this charge is that it’s not true. A Gallup poll conducted between February 8 and February 11 indicates that seven in 10 Americans continue to view Israel favorably, and there has been no significant change in that number from a year ago.
“According to Gallup’s explanation of the results, these numbers suggest that neither the friction between Netanyahu and US President Barack Obama nor last summer’s conflict in Gaza significantly impacted on the US public’s perceptions toward Israel or the Palestinians.”
And then this piece of news:
Two Democratic Senators, Richard Durbin (D-Illinois) and Dianne Feinstein (D-California), have written a letter to PM Netanyahu, inviting him to meet with Democratic lawmakers while he is in Washington next week. Their intention is to “maintain Israel’s dialogue with both political parties in Congress.”
I have no more information at this point, but this seems a positive turn of events.
The negotiations in Geneva? Terrifying. Rushing at break-neck speed to something disastrous. News about how the deal is shaping up, and other indications that it might not come together.
I will be writing about this in up-coming posts, needless to say, but hope also to touch some other bases.
The Mysterious “Frank” Returns
By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media
Yesterday’s news became big news on the Fox News Channel on Thursday when former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani brought up the name of President Barack Obama’s childhood mentor, Frank Marshall Davis. It was almost seven years to the day when we published our seminal piece about Davis, “Obama’s Communist Mentor.”
Davis was a member of the Communist Party and a suspected Soviet espionage agent. He was included in the FBI’s security index, meaning that Davis could be arrested or detained in the event of a national emergency. The FBI file on Davis documents his anti-white and pro-Soviet views, infiltration of the Hawaii Democratic Party, and other activities.
Davis also wrote an autobiographical and pornographic sex novel, Sex Rebel, disclosing that he had sex with a young girl and engaged in shocking and bizarre sexual activities.
Giuliani’s public identification of Davis and discussion of his role in grooming a young Barack Obama marks the first time, in my memory, that a top Republican has ever mentioned the Davis-Obama relationship. It was done in the context of Fox News’ Megyn Kelly of questioning how Giuliani could dare ask whether Obama loves America.
If the Republicans had brought this up during the 2008 campaign, Obama might have been defeated and the country could have been spared the last six years of “progressive” hope and change. The Davis-Obama relationship is something so damaging and corrupt that its public airing would have raised questions about the Democratic Party’s vetting of Obama and the direction of the Democratic Party itself.
However, Republican operative Karl Rove was warning Republicans not to accuse Obama of being a socialist. He said such a charge would generate a negative backlash. The result in 2012 was another Obama victory.
Now that it has become apparent to more and more people that Obama is not a traditional liberal Democrat and is, in fact, a Marxist with Muslim sympathies, a figure such as Giuliani feels compelled to speak out. So let’s take a look at what Giuliani said.
“I don’t feel it. I don’t feel this love of America,” Giuliani said, talking about Obama. “I’m talking about a man who grew up under the influence of Frank Marshall Davis who was a member of the Communist Party, who he refers to over and over in his book, who was a tremendous critic of the United States.”
Kelly countered that Obama “was raised in part by his grandparents. His grandfather served in World War II, his grandmother worked in a munitions plant to help the nation during World War II. I mean, to suggest he was raised by people who don’t love America or didn’t help him learn to love America.”
Giuliani argued that “his grandfather introduced him to Frank Marshall Davis, who was a communist.” He added, “You can fight in World War II, and then you introduce someone to a Communist and the young boy gets…”
After Kelly interjected that “it’s a political world view. It’s not a hatred for the country,” Giuliani responded, “Communism wasn’t hatred for America?”
Giuliani is correct about the Davis influence over Obama and the role that the grandfather played in picking Davis as a mentor.
But when Giuliani notes that Obama refers to Davis “over and over in his book,” Dreams from My Father, it’s important to point out that Davis was not identified as Frank Marshall Davis in that book. Instead, Obama identified him merely as “Frank.” The rest of the story was put together by anti-communist researcher Trevor Loudon, and we confirmed the identification with another source in Hawaii who was a close friend of Davis.
Even more of the story was put together by Paul Kengor in his authoritative book on Davis, The Communist. It appears that Davis was an influence over Obama for about nine full years, until Obama was 18 and went off to college. Obama went off to college and, by his own admission, would attend socialist conferences and pick Marxist professors as his friends.
This relationship alone would have disqualified Obama from getting low-level federal employment. The loophole in our system is that background checks are not required for federal elected officials. Our founders counted on a free press to review the fitness of those running for office.
When former Obama adviser David Axelrod talks about Obama being free from major scandals, he is ignoring the biggest scandal of all—how Obama concealed his Marxist upbringing and relationship with Davis. Axelrod of course was part of the cover-up. When “Frank” was identified as Davis, the Obama campaign insisted he was just a civil rights activist.
As we reported at the time, news organizations such as the Associated Press, The Washington Post, Newsweek and even Fox News ignored or downplayed Davis’s communist sympathies.
As Giuliani indicated, there are other influences on Obama that help explain his anti-Americanism. These include the “community organizing” philosophy of Saul Alinsky, his pastor Jeremiah Wright and the communist terrorists Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn.
Giuliani clearly feels, at this stage in Obama’s presidency, that some things have to be said openly for the sake of the country. A former crime-busting U.S. Attorney who was mayor of New York City at the time of 9/11, Giuliani fears for the future of our country. But it’s not just the fate of America that is at stake. It is clear that Obama has no love for America’s traditional allies, such as Israel. Hence, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is coming to America to plead his case personally. He is afraid that Obama wants to make a deal that will allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons.
Now that Giuliani has publicly raised some inconvenient truths about Obama, the “progressives” and their media allies will naturally scream and cry “McCarthyism.” Strangely taking this tack, Fox News’ Kelly wondered if Giuliani’s comments about Obama had damaged “the Republican brand.” The Republican brand will only be damaged by an inability to face facts and confront and expose anti-Americanism at the highest levels of the United States government. It is shocking that it has taken this long for the evidence to emerge publicly on a national basis on Fox News and other channels.
This controversy will help determine what direction the Republicans will take. The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank, who has made it his job to protect Obama from the fallout from major scandals, was quick to label Giuliani’s remarks about Obama as “stupid.” He also attacked Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker as “spineless” for saying Giuliani “can speak for himself,” and not directly challenging what the former mayor had said
“What Scott Walker did ought to disqualify him as a serious presidential contender,” wrote Milbank.
This is a signal from one of Obama’s best friends in the media that the information unearthed by Giuliani is of the blockbuster variety. Giuliani went for the jugular and hit a gusher.
The first thing Republicans can do is simply challenge the media to report on the Davis FBI file. They have been avoiding it for over six years.
Congress could also investigate Obama’s communist connections, which stretch from Hawaii to Chicago, and question the FBI about what they knew, if anything, about the Obama-Davis relationship. The reestablishment of House and Senate internal security committees, including a loyalty program for U.S. officials to eliminate security risks, should be considered.
Republicans could remind people that it was anti-communist Democratic President Harry Truman who started the first loyalty program. He issued executive order 9835 establishing the program in 1947.
The executive order said that “each employee of the Government of the United States is endowed with a measure of trusteeship over the democratic processes which are at the heart and sinew of the United States,” and declared that “the presence within the Government service of any disloyal or subversive person constitutes a threat to our democratic processes…”
It is time for a background check on the President of the United States. Does he pass the loyalty test?
How Ugly Can It Get?
Before I get to the ugly stuff, let me begin with a lovely scene: Jerusalem in the snow.
The snow fell this past Thursday night, accumulating to the better part of a foot and enfolding our beautiful city in a mantle of white. It is gone now because of heavy rains over Shabbat.
The windmill you see in this picture is a Jerusalem landmark. Built in the Mishkenot Sha’ananim neighborhood – the first Jewish neighborhood outside the walls of the Old City – in 1857, it was restored to working order a couple of years ago.
From the sublime – the beauty of Jerusalem in the snow – to the ridiculous. Because ridiculous is how I see the current political hoopla, which, yes, is also very, very ugly.
The issue is the scheduled talk by Prime Minister Netanyahu on March 3 in the Congress, on the subject of the negotiations with Iran. Should he go? Is he damaging Israel’s relationship with the US by doing this? Has the focus on Iran been lost because of the politics? Is this a partisan issue in the US, pitting Democrats against Republicans? And on and on and on…
Now it has been announced that Obama and Biden and Kerry may boycott the AIPAC conference, which is being held at the time Netanyahu will be in Washington.
And I doubt we’ve seen the end of this yet.
I am not going to belabor every step of this on-going maneuvering. It would be a waste of my time and yours.
For all who have eyes to see, the situation that underlies this is quite clear: Obama is seeking to throw up a political smokescreen. He wants to make things difficult for Netanyahu – to make him look small and less competent, to seem to be a trouble maker – because he desperately does not want the Congress or the American people to give credence to what our prime minister is going to say. For what Bibi intends to say stands a reasonable chance of undercutting the negotiations.
This is not about personal animosity between Obama and Netanyahu, it is about an existential issue.
It is not really a partisan issue, dividing Democrats and Republicans, either. A piece written in Algemeiner last week estimated that 98% of the Senate and 95% of the House of Representatives will attend. “Despite two weeks of intense anti-Netanyahu leaks, insults, and pressure, the White House has so far succeeded in persuading only a handful of Democratic members of Congress to stay away from the speech.”
I would say it is more an issue that divides the Congress from the White House. Which is why Congress should be given the courtesy of having Netanyahu share directly the information he has.
As to damaging our relationship with the US… In the end, what is being damaged is our relationship with one particular president, not our relationship with the US. Both Congress and the American people are with us. Note that just today Israel announced the purchase of 14 additional next-generation US-made F-35 fighter jets, to be delivered in 2016.
Were Israel to adhere to whatever Obama wanted of us now, it would be suicidal. In Hebrew we say, ein breira – no choice. Obama has to be challenged. Netanyahu has made the point repeatedly now that we have displeased American presidents several times over the years, and yet have sustained a solid relationship with the US. It started, our prime minister reminds us, with Ben Gurion, who flouted President Truman’s wish that he not announce Israeli independence when he did.
I am one of those who believes Netanyahu absolutely must not back down now – rescheduling his talk or changing the venue. There can be no backing down at this point. There has been so much talk about how politicized this issue has become. But for Bibi to decline to speak to Congress as scheduled would also be a political act, because of how the situation has been framed. He would be seen as weak, and Obama as the winner. And he would be letting down those who have spoken out for him to come.
Senator Marc Rubio (R-FL) makes yet another point: it is exceedingly important for Israel’s enemies to see that the Congress stands with Israel, for if they believe Congress is not with Israel as strongly as was once the case, they will be emboldened. He implores all members of Congress to be present, to provide the support that Israel deserves. They must not be distracted, he says, by the minor issues such as the way Boehner extended the invitation. Israel has been the most loyal of allies, and is in trouble now – and the members of Congress must provide public backing with their presence.
Please, see and then widely share Senator Rubio’s extraordinary speech:
The public figure who most recently voiced support for what Netanyahu is doing is former NY City mayor, Rudy Guiliani. In an interview with Israel Hayom, he said (emphasis added):
“Netanyahu’s speech is absolutely essential. If I had been in his position, and the third most important person in the U.S. [the speaker of the House of Representatives] invited me to speak before Congress to explain the danger of a nuclear Iran — of course I’d accept the invitation and come. You have to understand that I, as an American, fear a nuclear Iran no less than the prime minister of Israel and no less than the people of Israel. Think for a moment — a bad agreement with Iran would give a group of irrational and insane people nuclear capability. If I were Netanyahu, I would go to the ends of the earth to discuss Iran’s nuclear program — on any stage I was given and in every situation. In our case, it’s the Congress….
“I met with Bibi privately on two occasions two weeks ago. I told him I would be doing the exact same thing if I were him. I told him that the American people respect him and agree with him, even if Obama and his administration are trying to paint a different picture. Netanyahu is doing exactly what he needs to do: to come and speak out against a bad agreement, even if the government doesn’t like it. Most Americans agree with Netanyahu on the Iranian issue.”
In the course of this on-going political melodrama, we have just learned that Netanyahu has been accused of “leaking” information about the negotiations. In fact, Obama has now admitted that he has been withholding information about the negotiations from Israel.
Obama’s claim is that Netanyahu would “cherry pick” the information he wished to leak without placing it “in context.” He claims that Israel does not know the full context of negotiations, and thus is in no position to critique what’s going on. But truth lies elsewhere: Obama does not want anyone to know how bad the deal is.
As to not having full context, there are certain elements of what is going on that have been made public and are clear: that the infrastructure for enriching uranium would be left in place, that there are no restrictions on building of the missiles that would deliver a nuclear warhead, etc.
Key here is the matter of a confidential report from the IAEA, which has been obtained by AP and Reuters. Any deal with Iran that lifted all sanctions is supposed to be predicated on the ability of the IAEA to monitor its program. But, says, the IAEA, Iran is being “evasive and ambiguous” as it tries to do a full assessment of the Iranian nuclear program.
In the face of this evidence of the unreliability of Iran, world powers should not be wooing Iran for a deal, declared Netanyahu.
Not exactly “cherry picking,” is it?
I note with more than passing interest that Sunni Arab states have been voicing concern to the US about the impending deal with Iran.
What I wonder is whether these states would be speaking out if Netanyahu had not done so first.
Of course, they are not saying explicitly that they agree with the Israeli prime minister. Perish the thought. But this is implicit in what’s happening. And as I see it, it shifts the dynamic. While Obama is prepared to come out swinging when the critic is Netanyahu, his tone is more deferential with the Arabs.
In fact, we’re hearing something now that we haven’t heard in a while. For some time Obama has been saying that a deal is close, is possible. But yesterday, Kerry declared that there were “significant gaps” and that the US was prepared to walk away if terms were not satisfactory. Doesn’t mean they don’t still intend to push ahead (they do), but this is a different tone.
That the US is pushing ahead was made evident as Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Secretary of State John Kerry were meeting today for “intensive talks.”
I end with this piece, “Divided over that speech, not over a lousy deal with Iran,” by David Horovitz, editor of The Times of Israel (emphasis added):
“It is time to reframe the dispute. We are not witnessing what is being widely depicted as a battle between the Obama administration and the Netanyahu government over the timing, content and ostensible partisan implications of the prime minister’s scheduled March 3 address to Congress over Iran. We are, rather, watching the collapse of trust between the two leaderships over the critical issue of thwarting Iran’s nuclear weapons ambitions.
“The looming deal is similarly inexplicable to the political rivals of Netanyahu who are campaigning to oust him in general elections on March 17…
”Where [Zionist camp head Bujie] Herzog and other Israeli party leaders differ with Netanyahu is over his handling of the crisis. Like Herzog, centrist Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid does not underestimate the Iranian threat. They just both think that Netanyahu is acting counterproductively and for domestic political reasons by preparing to lobby publicly against Obama in Congress, when they say he ought to be working to shift the administration more discreetly, behind the scenes.
“Of course, party leaders like Herzog and Lapid have to publicly criticize and castigate the prime minister; we’re less than a month from elections, and their entire domestic political goal is to undermine Israeli public confidence in his leadership so as to unseat him…”
No, no. There is no “of course” here! Horovitz elaborates on this point:
”In truth, it can hardly be doubted that Netanyahu has tried to impact the president’s stance in years of one-on-one conversations and in the endless top-level contacts between his officials and the Obama administration. The nature of the imminent deal — whose terms cannot be independently verified, but are profoundly troubling to such diplomatic veterans as Henry Kissinger and George Shultz — would indicate that private argument and entreaty have failed…
”In these final weeks of the election campaign, the face-off with Obama has become one more issue for the challengers to use against Netanyahu…
”Three years ago at a graveside in Jerusalem, the prime minister eulogized his father, historian Benzion Netanyahu, for having ‘taught me, Father, to look at reality head-on, to understand what it holds and to come to the necessary conclusions.’
“The prime minister says it would have been unthinkable to turn down the invitation to set out his concerns in the world’s most resonant parliamentary forum.
“Israel and those who care for Israel should not be blindsided by the battling between Netanyahu and Obama, or between Netanyahu and his domestic rivals, over the Congressional speech.
“They should be sounding the alarm to prevent a deal that would allow Iran to maintain an enrichment capability and other core aspects of its nuclear program.
“Those who care for Israel, in short, should look at reality head-on, understand what it holds, and come to the necessary conclusions…”