Since Prime Minister Netanyahu addressed the joint session of Congress about the threat and danger a nuclear Iran will pose, there have been critics lambasting him incessantly. In America, we have all heard Nancy Pelosi’s pathetic remarks talking about how emotionally distraught the address made her and other senior Democrats’ ridiculous reactions as well.
This type of reaction was to be expected considering the fact that not all elected members of Congress are Israel’s friends. But what has bothered me is the outpouring of criticism Prime Minister Netanyahu has been on the receiving end of, in Israel. Yes, of course I understand that with the upcoming elections that is to be expected. Knee-jerk reactions for the purpose and intent of political gain and traction is only natural in the midst of an election year. But I would argue even within this context, that the criticism has been not only unfair but exposes an element in the opposition that tells us much about them.
Putting politics before country is never right. In this case, I believe that’s what we’re witnessing. Prime Minister Netanyahu’s address before Congress was a brilliant strategic move on his part. President Obama through his very willingness to negotiate with Iran has shown a naiveness that is unmatched. It was important that the Prime Minister address Congress in the hopes of stopping this “deal”.
It could potentially have catastrophic consequences on Israel’s safety and security. With the incredible amount of attention the Prime Minister’s address generated, it is not only members of Congress but also the American public that have now begun voicing their opposition to this deal. It’s a necessary pressure that the American public will place on their representatives.
Prime Minister Netanyahu did the right thing by coming to address Congress about the gravest threat facing Israel, in our time. Those in Israel criticizing the Prime Minister for their own political interests, ought to be ashamed of themselves.
I have been utterly dismayed by the brouhaha that an invitation to an ally has generated. Ever since Speaker John Boehner extended an invitation to Prime Minister Netanyahu to address the joint session of Congress, there has been an immense amount of controversy manufactured.
I use the word manufactured purposefully to indicate the absurdity of the controversy. It’s become clear to most objective observers of the way this administration has handled its relationship with Israel that there is no love for not only the country but also for its Prime Minister. But regardless, with all the snubbing that Prime Minister Netanyahu has experienced by President Obama and all the lost love, in this case the President and his administration have gone too far.
President Obama ignorantly came to a decision that somehow easing sanctions on Iran, a country in the midst of nuclear development will lead Iran to peacefully resolve the matter at hand and stop continuing its development of a nuclear bomb. What President Obama fails to understand, is that unlike the Soviets, the Iranians are ruled by leaders who make decisions according to theology. They are therefore not rational decision-makers.
As the leader of the nation of Israel, Prime Minister Netanyahu is uniquely qualified to address this issue and lending him a platform in the United States Congress is not only appropriate but I would even argue necessary. The threat Iran poses is not only a danger to the nation of Israel. It is also a danger to all of western civilization. Of course Iran’s leaders hate Israel for a myriad of reasons, but one of the primary sources of their animosity is Israel’s western way of life. It’s values of freedom and Democracy are what Iran and its leaders disdain. All Congressional Democrats that are refusing to attend Bibi’s speech must understand this and wakeup to reality. Don’t put politics before your own country. Because anybody that is not in attendance, is doing just that.
I urge the American people to call those Congressmen that are refusing to be in attendance for the Prime Minister’s address to Congress. This is no laughing matter. Iran does and will continue to pose a danger to America. We must act now and do something about it. We have a responsibility as citizens of this great country to do everything in our power to help keep it secure. If our representatives choose to act recklessly and irresponsibly, then it is our duty to vote them out when they are up for re-election. In the meantime however, we must pressure them into coming to hear the address.
This address has nothing to do with partisanship. It is only Israel’s detractors in the administration and in Congress that are portraying it that way. They do so to create a context where it will be more convenient for lawmakers lacking the courage of their convictions to be seated in the audience during Netanyahu’s address. We must all stand together as one during this time and ensure that our lawmakers come to hear what the Prime Minister has to say.
Israel has traditionally been considered a bi-partisan issue in American politics. With a few exceptions, both Democrats and Republicans have supported Israel in Congress. Unfortunately, the Obama administration has been less than supportive. That of course, is a generous characterization of the way the administration has treated our lone friend and ally in the middle east.
But instead of rehashing the past few years and the way President Obama has continuously snubbed Prime Minister Netanyahu, I’d like to focus on the present. Prime Minister Netanyahu is scheduled to address a joint session of Congress on March third. The speech is meant to serve as a platform for the Prime Minister to address the existential threat Iran and its nuclear development poses not only to Israel, but to the entire western world.
President Obama has repeatedly shown the world that he does not comprehend the magnitude of the threat Iran poses. His decision to ease sanctions on Iran has turned America into a laughing stock of sorts among many in the world.
I recognize the desire of some to play a game of political chicanery, but this is certainly not the time for it. Whether it’s a Republican Congress or a Democratic Congress that extended the invitation. Whether there indeed is an underlying degree of partisanship at play with the invitation, Americans of all stripes ought to stand strong behind Prime Minister Netanyahu.
The point is that his speech is not a partisan one. It is one about our country’s very national security, not just about Israel’s. Of all the leaders in the free world, Prime Minister Netanyahu has proven to have the gravitas necessary to both understand the threat of Iran and to combat it. If you love America and you are a patriot, you will support Prime Minister Netanyahu’s right to address the joint session of Congress about this incredibly important issue. This issue isn’t just an Israeli one. It’s an American one as well.
In most countries around the world, when there are elections quickly approaching, there’s divisiveness that is palpable in the given country. Of course the Israeli elections are approaching quickly and they are surely hotly contested. However I believe there’s an extra need for solidarity among not only the contenders no matter which party they represent, but also among Israelis themselves.
As Jews we are presently living in very challenging times. The level of anti-Semetism across the globe is as severe as it’s been since the 1930’s. There’s so much that must be done to combat this widespread issue, but at the least the Jewish people must stay united as one.
As the Torah says, “K’ish Echod B’lev Echod”. “We are like one with one heart.” This verse from the Torah was on full display when on Sunday Nir Barkat tackled a knife attacker. I cannot possibly think of a better anecdote that illustrates this point of unity and achdut.
In what other country, civilized or not would the Mayor of the capital city commit such an incredible act of selflessness? Let’s be clear – Nir Barkat is a hero and ought to be treated as one. His heroism ought to be exposed in the mainstream press, especially when Israel is being portrayed worse than it ever has been by the media worldwide.
Nir Barkat is deserving of our applause. He is a hero of the Jewish people and irrespective of one’s politics, should be treated like one. The story illustrates an important principle to the rest of the world.
That when it comes to Israel and the life of Israelis, the class that the person comes from is irrelevant. We are all looking to help one another – irrespective of whether it’s the Mayor of Jerusalem or just an ordinary citizen.
My message is that we must continue to unify up until and after the election takes place. Let’s not allow politics to get in the way of the broader and more important message. The world is against us. We must band together.
With all the lopsided press we’ve unfortunately grown used to hearing and reading, it is easy for some to forget about the beauty of the country. What a breathtaking experience it is traveling to Israel. Visiting the holy sites in Jerusalem and exploring the incredible historic landmarks around the city. The beaches are equally as beautiful.
The following are some quotes about the beauty of Israel:
“Israel was not created in order to disappear – Israel will endure and flourish.
It is the child of hope and the home of the brave.
It can neither be broken by adversity nor demoralized by success.
It carries the shield of democracy and it honors the sword of freedom.”
John F. Kennedy, President of the United States
“Now, when I hear that Christians are getting together in order to defend the people of Israel, of course it brings joy to my heart. And it simply says, look, people have learned from history.” – Elie Wisel, Professor & Political Activist
“From the day I started to think politically and to develop my own moral values, from my earliest youth, I have been an ardent defender of Israel.” –Steven Spielberg, Film director & Producer
You know, I get much more Jewish in Israel because I like the way that religion is done there.” – Natalie Portman, Israeli born Actress
“We in Congress stand by Israel. In Congress, we speak with one voice on the subject of Israel.” – Nancy Pelosi, Minority Leader of the US House of Representatives