Following his impassioned speech to Congress yesterday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has received praise and criticism from both sides of the political spectrum, as well as in America and back home in Israel.
Having already created controversy for delivering his speech to the US Congress, the Israeli premier was received in the warmest possible way, even by those on the Democratic side of the house, with a standing ovation on his arrival which was quite a sight to behold.
Despite media rhetoric about strained diplomatic ties between America and Israel under the Obama administration, yesterday’s reception of Netanyahu to Congress was proof that this is not the case.
As well as being a completely packed house of lawmakers, Netanyahu spoke in perfect English, with his uncanny American accent, and received something like 30 standing ovations, accompanied by applause and cheering during his speech.
He began by thanking America for being such a close ally of the Jewish State, saying,
“Israel is grateful to you, the American Congress, for your support, for supporting us in so many ways, especially in generous military assistance and missile defense, including Iron Dome. Last summer, millions of Israelis were protected from thousands of Hamas rockets because this capital dome helped build our Iron Dome. Thank you, America. Thank you for everything you’ve done for Israel.”
However, Netanyahu’s speech was about a whole lot more than just thanking America for having Israel’s back.
The Prime Minister spoke at length, and in detail, about the forthcoming American “deal” over Iran’s nuclear program, virtually pleading with the American people not to allow the flawed and problematic Obama deal to go through.
In prefacing his real intention for speaking to Congress, Netanyahu said, “My friends, I’ve come here today because, as prime minister of Israel, I feel a profound obligation to speak to you about an issue that could well threaten the survival of my country and the future of my people: Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons.”
Having set the stage for the subject of his speech, the Israeli PM spoke about the Jewish festival of Purim, which begins tonight for Jews in Israel and around the world,
“We’re an ancient people. In our nearly 4,000 years of history, many have tried repeatedly to destroy the Jewish people. Tomorrow night, on the Jewish holiday of Purim, we’ll read the Book of Esther. We’ll read of a powerful Persian viceroy named Haman, who plotted to destroy the Jewish people some 2,500 years ago. But a courageous Jewish woman, Queen Esther, exposed the plot and gave for the Jewish people the right to defend themselves against their enemies. The plot was foiled. Our people were saved.”
He went on to compare those turbulent times in history to today, and directly to Iran and its desire to achieve nuclear weapons,
“Today the Jewish people face another attempt by yet another Persian potentate to destroy us. Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei spews the oldest hatred, the oldest hatred of anti-Semitism with the newest technology. He tweets that Israel must be annihilated — he tweets. You know, in Iran, there isn’t exactly free Internet. But he tweets in English that Israel must be destroyed.”
Netanyahu added that a nuclear Iran would be a major problem, not just for Israel, but for America and the rest of the world.
“Iran’s regime is not merely a Jewish problem, any more than the Nazi regime was merely a Jewish problem. The 6 million Jews murdered by the Nazis were but a fraction of the 60 million people killed in World War II. So, too, Iran’s regime poses a grave threat, not only to Israel, but also the peace of the entire world. To understand just how dangerous Iran would be with nuclear weapons, we must fully understand the nature of the regime.”
The real question now is: What will happen in terms of the Iran deal and will President Obama heed his Israeli counterpart’s warnings about a “bad deal’ with Iran which could prove to be catastrophic for the United States, as well as threat to the very existence of the Jewish people.
[Lead image via WikiRecent.]