The sideshow of Netanyahu’s speech to Congress


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The report notes the increasing flood of Democrats who say they will boycott Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to Congress next month. It also makes this cogent point:

In a sane world, as soon as Netanyahu expressed an interest in speaking, Boehner and McConnell could have responded to both the Prime Minister and our President and said it was a fine idea, set up a time and moved forward. If Obama didn’t want this to be a mess and conceivably even find a way to turn it into an advantage, he could have extended an offer to meet privately with Bibi before the speech or even show up at it with him. That would have presented a unified front between two allies for the rest of the world and the whole thing could have been a done deal by now. There’s nothing remarkable about a world leader making a speech in Washington. It’s pretty much what the place exists for.

While the House Republicans have worked this event for their own political advantages, their invitation to Netanyahu did no harm to American interests or our ally. Obama and the Democrats however have done everything they can to push back politically, even though their push back apparently threatens our ally while damaging our interests in the Middle East.

To put it another way, ask yourself whose actions are doing real harm to the diplomatic relations between the United States and Israel? Who is rejecting an ally and refusing to talk or listen to him?

Update: Check out this very pointed column noting the different reactions of the President and the Democrats to two identical invitations from Congress: “A Jew and a Catholic were invited to Congress…”

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2 comments

  • Cotour

    BiBi, the person, and what he stands for, the continued security of Israel, is counter to our presidents perspective on the subject. This president apparently sees things only from the Palestinians side and the state of Israel is an anomalous modern construction of the power of America and the British.

    Given a black or white choice that is how the president chooses to see things, I can respect that. I disagree with it but I can respect it. That being said I have no problem with the Congress inviting BiBi to speak about the reality of being Israel at this moment in time.

    I think it is a good bet that the president is working to create his version of the “equality” of power between the forces that exist in the middle east, in other words empowering Iran to the point that they become an existential threat to Israel.

    IMO it is only a naive and weak person or a person committing an act of treason who chooses to give power away to an enemy in order to create a power structure that they will no longer have any sway with once it is done.

    My hope is that BiBi makes an historical speech that directly confronts, shames and questions the motives of this American president and those Democrats that choose to stand with and support him.

  • PeterF

    When you get right down to it, we really don’t know why the president appears to despise Bibi Netanyahu and the state of Israel. His apparent anti-semitism may have nothing to do with his early education in an Indonesian Madrassa. A place where the young Barry Soetoro would have been the skinny, big-eared, new kid everybody would have picked on.
    Perhaps our President’s dislike of Bibi Netanyahu stems from the simple fact that in any comparison, Barack comes out the lesser…

    Of course that would make the abandonment of Israel even worse

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