The broohaha surrounding Prime Minister Netanyahu’s impending address to Congress has manufactured a rift between two allies where none does, or should, exist and has reduced a substantive conversation to a simplistic ad-hominem attack.
I write this as someone who has never voted Likkud and will not support Netanyahu in the forthcoming elections. I agree with those who argue that Netanyahu, among other objectives, wants to use his address to Congress as a platform to increase his chances of continuing to serve as Israel’s prime minister, something that appears more than likely to happen.
That having been said, the emergence of Iran as a regional power in the Middle East with a potential nuclear capability is far too serious an issue to be ignored. I urge everyone to read David Suissa’s remarks in the Jewish Journal.
As he, in my opinion, correctly observes: “With the stakes so high and the deadline for a deal so close, it’s about time we had this crucial debate.”
No one is arguing that Iran is not a major threat or that it shouldn’t be addressed. The debate about Netanyahu’s speech is about whether a) this is an appropriate forum; b) whether the GOP Congress is being wise getting into a dissing/pissing match (everyone acting like six-year-olds) with Pres. Obama serves anyone’s interest; and c) whether Netanyahu’s speech (in which he will likely say nothing new that people haven’t heard him say thousands of times over the years) will create a backlash against him, and perhaps Israel. Netanyahu speaking before Congress is one of the stupidest ideas to come down the pike in a long time, and that’s saying something.
Since the networks haven’t invited PM Netanyahu to address the nation, and since Congress needs to ratify treaties, and many Representatives and Senators aren’t specialists on Iran’s nuclear program, having someone speak who does know what’s going on makes sense. That the administration is having a hissy-fit is, unfortunately, par for the course.
If my house were threatened with destruction, I’d be shouting pretty loudly about the threat. Obama and the WH were informed about the invitation before it was sent; they don’t like Netanyahu and don’t care about the consequences of their personal negative opinions. This country needs to hear things told straight, and Congress is a good place to start.