The Politics of Netanyahu's Invitation
On Tuesday, the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, spoke to Americans about the future of his people and nation in the wake of President Obama's attempt to strike a nuclear deal with Iran . The politics surrounding the invitation, and breach of diplomatic protocol, was apparently so egregious that it sparked a boycott of the address from not only the President, but a majority of Congressiona Democrats.
And, as if non-attendance was too subtle to convey a sufficient level of tantrum, key members took to the airwaves after the speech blasting the Prime Minister and comparing him to a spoiled child who wants to go to Disney World every day and drink Coca Cola...and drink Coca Cola?
The Democratic response was embarrassing. Not only did they mock a twice wounded and decorated war veteran who leads a nation purported to be our closest ally, but even more disturbing, is the lack of historical perspective and empathy for what Israel and its people have endured throughout history. Prime Minister Netanyahu leads a nation surrounded by enemies and his concerns are neither overblown nor alarmist. Isn't the greatest danger faced by both Israel and the U.S. the union of militant Islam with nuclear weapons?
Jihad is not Nikita Khruschev shoe banging. No U.S. official has argued that the threats of genocide are mere saber rattling and easily disregarded. Iranian officials actually talk about blowing Israel off the Earth. Couple this with the fact that Iran is a state sponsor of terrorism - this point even our apologist President concedes - and Israel is entirely justified in its concern.
But reason and logic are trumped by soundbites in the romper room of modern day political discourse. Netanyahu is a spoiled child because he concludes that once Iran has a nuclear weapon it won't be long before Hammas, Hezbollah, Al Queda or ISIS will have a nuclear weapon. Netanyahu further reasons that once this occurs; Tel Aviv will be first in the crosshairs. The nerve of that brat!
If Iran obtains a nuclear weapon then Israel is faced with an existential threat from a nation that has both the intent and capability to destroy them. Netanyahu, as Israel 's leader, has a moral obligation and a sworn duty to do what he can to protect his country from extinction, including ruffling the feathers of a few prickly thin skinned politicians. Israel can ill afford to wait in the futile hope that President Obama can negotiate a solution before militant Islam has a weapon of mass destruction.
Netanyahu's address was an attempt to make a direct appeal to the American public. A desperate effort to prevent a mutual enemy from obtaining the capability to build a nuclear bomb, and potentially start World War III. Unfortunately, the politics and bickering over the form of Netanyahu's visit overshadows the real question of what we are prepared to do as a nation to prevent terrorists from obtaining weapons of mass destruction.
At the risk of the dramatic, the future of our nation, and maybe the planet, depends on our ability to appreciate and address the danger of militant Islamic states possessing nuclear weapons. Israel understands the threat because they are surrounded by it - this ain't their first rodeo. We should listen more and swagger less. American politicians should save the vitriol and name calling for the machete wielding murderers who deserve that and much more. We owe the Prime Minister an apology. This is no way to treat our friends.
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