Some Democrats in Congress and all of the Obama administration, including the U.S. Ambassador to Israel, decided to politicize the speech that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu delivered to Congress at the invitation of Speaker John Boehner. They did not attend as a means of showing disapproval.
Congress has every right to invite, even over the president’s strong objection, any world leader or international expert who can assist its members in formulating appropriate responses to the current deal being considered with Iran regarding its nuclear-weapons program. Indeed, it is the responsibility of every member of Congress to listen to Prime Minister Netanyahu, who probably knows more about this issue than any world leader, because it threatens the very existence of the nation state of the Jewish people.Congress has the right to disagree with the prime minister, but the idea that some members of Congress will not give him the courtesy of listening violates protocol and basic decency to a far greater extent than anything Mr. Netanyahu is accused of doing for having accepted an invitation from Congress.
He also reminds the reader that President Obama sent British Prime Minister Cameron to lobby members of Congress in dealing with the Iranian negotiations. That move was clearly an intrusion into the separation of powers. Separate but equal powers, according to the Constitution. The man touted as a Constitutional Scholar conveniently ignores the document when it works to his advantage. It is the duty of both parties to listen to opposing views.
Before the speech, Speaker John Boehner released a video about the occasion and the details. Despite what the Democrats would have us believe, interest in attending the event was huge:
Prime Minister Netanyahu’s audience will include members of Congress from both parties, as well as guests in the gallery. Speaker Boehner’s guests include former Speaker Newt Gingrich and Elie Wiesel, a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize and the Congressional Gold Medal.· Given the ties between America and Israel, it’s no surprise that interest in attending the speech is high. We’ve had 10 times the number of requests for tickets than there are seats available in the gallery. In fact, demand is so overwhelming that both the House and Senate have set up separate viewing locations, which are also ticketed events.A list of those declaring their boycott of the speech beforehand was released. It included the usual suspects - far left Democrats, Muslim American politicians, Black Caucus members - who are not normally aligned with Israel anyway. How embarrassing for them that it all turned out so well. The speech was well received - rivaling any State of the Union address for the number of standing ovations and cheers from the audience - and Prime Minister Netanyahu made his case against an Iranian nuke deal in the first five minutes. The rest of the time he reinforced his conclusions and rallied support for Israel, which was his purpose in the first place.
President Obama was for a no nukes policy with Iran before he was against it. As noted in this brief history, Obama is unable, or unwilling, to show leadership against an ever increasing threat to Israel:
In June 2010 the administration pushed, and the U.N. Security Council adopted, Resolution 1929, which “demands” that “Iran halt all enrichment activities.” But now the administration will endorse Iran’s “right” to an industrial-scale enrichment capability—a right, incidentally, that the administration denies to South Korea.Resolution 1929 also states that Iran is “prohibited from undertaking any activity related to ballistic missiles.” But Iran continues to manufacture and test ballistic missiles, the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei demands they be mass produced, and Iran’s top nuclear negotiator is adamant that “we are not ready to discuss this matter with any foreigner.” All of which gives the lie to weak State Department protestations that a deal will halt the ballistic missile program.In December 2013, Mr. Obama personally assured a pro-Israel audience in Washington that, when it came to diplomacy, “no deal is better than a bad deal.” Now unnamed administration officials are selling the line that “the alternative to not having a deal is losing inspections, and an Iran ever-closer to having the fissile material to manufacture a weapon.” In other words, virtually any deal is better than no deal.In March 2012, Mr. Obama insisted “my policy is not containment, my policy is to prevent them from getting a nuclear weapon.” He has said as much on some 20 other occasions. But the deal being contemplated now, with a sunset provision that will ultimately give Iran the right to enrich in whatever quantities and to whatever levels it wants, is neither prevention nor containment.Despite what the doubting Democrats proclaimed, the speech was not about politics for Netanyahu, it was to state his opposition to a bad deal reported to be crafted together by Secretary of State Kerry and the Obama administration with Iran. Netanyahu is protecting his country when challenged.
“I deeply regret that some perceive my being here as political. That was never my intention,” he said. “I want to thank you, Democrats and Republicans, for your common support for Israel, year after year, decade after decade. I know that no matter on which side of the aisle you sit, you stand with Israel.”
Overall, Netanyahu avoided making his controversial speech more controversial, demonstrated that most of Congress is on his side, and left town without giving his U.S. critics inside and outside the administration new ammunition. It was a speech devoid of real news, but that was the Israeli prime minister's plan.Most of all, Netanyahu accomplished what Obama has been unable to do - explain in very plain terms the dangers of a nuclear Iran and the threats to the survival of Israel. Democrats should be ashamed of themselves.