Today, I watched Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu give a vitally important address to the US Congress regarding the threat to world peace posed by Iran and any possible “bad deal” with Iran which allows it to obtain nuclear weapons. It was an outstandingly pragmatic and realistic appraisal of the threat posed to Israel, the USA and the world by Iran’s nuclear program. It is important to remember, among all the charges about the timing of this speech, that Netanyahu was speaking to Congress at the invitation of US House Speaker John Boehner. Congratulations to Speaker Boehner for inviting him!
In a speech that was warmly received by the US Congress and which elicited several standing ovations by both Republican and Democratic members of Congress, Netanyahu outlined the strong case against the weak agreement with Iran that seems to be in the offing at this time. I have included the links to Parts 1 and 2 of Netanyahu’s speech below, and I urge all readers of this blog to take the time to watch and hear this remarkable speech. From a historical point-of-view, I felt I was watching a modern parallel to the warnings of British leader Winston Churchill when he warned about the dangers of allowing Adolf Hitler to continue to build up his military forces and foolishly trusting he wouldn’t start a war with them. Churchill proved to be totally right. If the world does not take strong action to stop (not just delay) Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, Netanyahu will prove to be as right as Churchill was in the 1930s. Netanyahu also quite accurately warned that if Iran obtains nuclear weapons, it will set off a nuclear arms race in the Mideast as many nations will need to obtain nuclear weapons for themselves to defend against Iran’s weaponry.
Interestingly, in spite of US president Obama’s refusal to attend or (according to media reports, even watch) this notable speech by a key US ally, Netanyahu was gracious to Obama and was very warm and courteous to all Americans in his remarks. Netanyahu has an excellent command of the English language, and some of his remarks are downright Churchillian in their formation and impact. He introduced in the audience, Ellie Wiesel, a survivor of the Nazi Holocaust and honored Mr. Wiesel as he warned about similar dangers to the Jewish people and the world posed by Iran today as were posed by Hitler’s Nazis in the 1930s.
Netanyahu also showed some steel and resolve in two statements that leaped out to my attention. He stated (and I hope I have the words correct): “The days when the Jewish people remain passive in the face of a great threat are over!” He also said: “Even if Israel has to stand alone, Israel will stand!” I felt like leaping out of the chair in my office and cheering him. Many members of Congress gave him an ovation at these stirring words. I took these words as not just a promise, but also a veiled threat to Iran that further efforts to build nuclear weapons to wipe Israel “off the map” will be met with deadly force. In doing so, Netanyahu stated the obvious resolve that he or any other Israeli leader must have to preserve the survival of their nation. As he made those statements, I thought of Zechariah 12:1-7 that God Himself guarantees that he will defend Judah and Jerusalem in the latter days of our age even if all nations of the earth “be gathered against it” (verse 3).
In listening to the clear-eyed realism and steely resolve of Netanyahu, I couldn’t help but wish that the USA had a leader like Israel’s Netanyahu. The USA and the world would be a safer place if we did have such a president. Where was President Obama? Again, he (and apparently everyone in his administration) not only refused to attend Netanyahu’s seminal speech, Obama reportedly refused to even listen to it. Apparently, the US president chose to go off somewhere and pout like a child who cannot bear to have his fantasies exposed for what they are. There were also some Democratic Members of Congress who mocked and attacked Netanyahu after his speech. Even the media commentators on Fox News that I was listening to thought these Democratic Members of Congress were over-the-top in their comments vs. Netanyahu. Personally, I thought the Democratic Members of Congress who mocked and criticized Netanyahu’s speech made fools of themselves.
In a related sidebar, my previous post cited two media links that reported that US President Obama, with the advice of a former top Jimmy Carter adviser, threatened to shoot down Israeli warplanes if they tried to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities. I hope that report wasn’t true, but a third media report (first item in third link below) affirms that it is true. If it is true, we all need to ask ourselves: Why would Obama be so pro-Iranian and so anti-Israeli? The intense ostracism of Netanyahu by President Obama and (apparently) all his senior officials while Netanyahu is in Washington, DC does give some credence to these very ominous reports. If, God forbid, Israel does have to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities, I doubt that Israel will be acting alone. I think other Mideast nations threatened by Iran will be cooperating with Israel in any such a strike if it becomes necessary. If the world had forcefully stopped Hitler and nipped his military build-up and “Final Solution” plans in the bud in the 1930s, World War II might have been prevented and tens of millions of lives might have been saved. The world may now again be at such an important juncture. If so, Netanyahu is playing the role of Winston Churchill and President Obama appears to be playing the role of Neville Chamberlain.
I strongly urge readers to listen to the first two links below which present Netanyahu’s speech in two halves. I think you will be glad you took the time to do so.