Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu gave a powerful and inspiring speech before a joint session of the United States Congress last week.
The single most compelling thing about this speech was his commitment to Israel. I would give anything if American elected officials actually cared about America the way that he so obviously cares about Israel.
Prime Minister Netanyahu came before Congress to speak on behalf of Israeli interests. He told us that Israel would stand alone if it had to, but that the days when Jews silently and obediently marched into the gas chambers were over. Jews would defend themselves. He underscored this by bringing Elie Wiesel, the well-known survivor of the Holocaust, to sit in the gallery while he spoke.
The primary concern he raised during his speech was about a possible agreement between the United States and Iran concerning nuclear development in Iran. He is opposed to this agreement on the grounds that it not only will not stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons, it actually facilitates them in doing this.
President Obama went nuts in a public way in his opposition to the invitation to Prime Minister Netanyahu. He felt — rightfully so — that the invitation was a partisan jibe at the White House by a Republican Congress. What he forgot is that he doesn’t have a vote in Congress. Congress can invite whomever they want to address them. The prez has nothing to say about it.
There was the usual tut-tutting in the press, most of it appearing to have been fed to it by the White House. Several members of the Obama Administration gave interviews trying to cast the speech as oh-so-damaging to America’s interests. Then the prez got 50 members of Congress to boycott the speech, making themselves look like party hacks in the process.
I believed at the time and I still believe that the reason the White House was so upset was that Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech could very well have served the purpose of drawing the American people into the debate. I don’t think the prez cares all that much what Congress thinks, since Congress has consistently proven itself to be completely indifferent to matters of governance.
I think the president of the United States was upset because there was a possibility that the people of the United States might become informed about this potential agreement and voice opinions of their own. I also think that much of the press were his allies in trying to keep the people from hearing this speech. In other words, I don’t think his objective was Prime Minster Netanyahu talking to Congress. I think the president — and his hacks in the press and Congress — objected to the fact that the American people would hear him do it.
Think about that for a moment. The press is allied with the government to keep the people uninformed, because the President doesn’t want the American people meddling in their own government. That’s what I’m saying.
I’m going to stop this analysis at this point and take it up again tomorrow. I think the comments I’ve made about the run-up to the speech itself and the situation in Washington are enough for us to chew on today. They strike to the heart of the American malaise.
What are you feelings about this?
1. Has Congress abdicated its responsibility and allowed the president to govern as an elected dictator?
2. Do you wish that American elected officials cared as passionately about America as Prime Minister Netanyahu cares about Israel?
3. Was the president angry about the speech because he didn’t want the American people to hear a viewpoint that opposes his plans for this agreement with Iran?
4. Is the press colluding with the White House in keeping the American people in the dark about the agreement?
Those are serious questions. I want you to think them over before we move to the questions raised by the speech itself. We’ll talk about what Prime Minister Netanyahu said tomorrow.