In this third speech before a joint meeting of the Senate and the House of Representatives, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel made it abundantly clear where he stands—and “stand” is the operative word in this 40-minute address—on the deal now in process between the U.S. and Iran.

“My friends,” Netanyahu told a nearly packed chamber—some 50 to 60 Democrats boycotted the Tuesday morning speech—“for over a year, we’ve been told that no deal is better than a bad deal. Well, this is a bad deal. It’s a very bad deal. We’re better off without it.” A good majority of the spectators rose and applauded for several moments.

After acknowledging the strong approval, Netanyahu continued on the deal, dismissing the idea that the only alternative to the bad deal is war. “That’s not true,” he said. “The alternative to this bad deal is a much better deal. A better deal that doesn’t leave Iran with a vast nuclear infrastructure and such a short breakout time. A better deal keeps the restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program in place until Iran’s aggression ends. A better deal that won’t give Iran an easy path to the bomb.”

But at no point did he indicate any of the details of a better deal, or what Israel’s response might be if there were no deal.

“It’s all rhetoric and no action,” was the immediate response from the White House. Although Netanyahu praised President Barack Obama, who did not attend the session, at the beginning of his speech, noting his support on several occasions when Israel was threatened or faced a domestic crisis, it was merely a prelude to his denunciation of the negotiations with Iran now being conducted by Secretary of State John Kerry in Switzerland in meetings with Mohammad Javad Zarif, the Iranian foreign minister. Kerry is seeking to limit Iran’s nuclear program; Netanyahu wants to see it totally eliminated.

Dianne Feinstein, chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, told a CNN reporter that she was concerned not only about the length of the deal proposed by the Obama administration, suggesting a 15-to 20-year arrangement, not a decade, but also about Netanyahu’s plans if there is no deal. She stopped short of saying that Israel would engage in a pre-emptive strike to destroy Iran’s nuclear capability.

“He doesn’t speak for me on this,” Feinstein told the press before Netanyahu’s speech, noting his arrogance and his claim of speaking for all Jews. “I think it’s a rather arrogant statement. I think the Jewish community is like any other community. There are different points of view. I think that arrogance does not befit Israel, candidly.”

That presumed arrogance was on full display in the chamber, and Netanyahu kept the audience on its feet with every mention of the word “stand.”

From his opening sentences, this command was evident. “I know that no matter on which side of the aisle you sit, you stand with Israel,” he said. “The remarkable alliance between Israel and the United States has always been above politics. It must always remain above politics.”

This was a curious statement, considering that his invitation from Speaker John Boehner to address the Congress two weeks before elections in Israel had nothing but politics written all over it. One way he sought to conceal the political intentions was to focus on Israel’s 4,000-year history, which he did masterfully well in citing the arrival of the Purim holiday and the courageous Queen Esther.

There were also several literary strokes, such as the evocation of the poet Robert Frost, with mention of the fork in the road, and Hemingway’s “Farewell to Arms.” But his best metaphor was to connect the Capitol dome with Israel’s Iron Dome, the air defense system that guards against rocket and artillery attacks.

And Israel’s history was given a current salute when Netanyahu recognized the presence of Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel in the audience. There were several moments of sustained applause for the Nobel Prize-winning author and humanitarian.

Israel received a final word when Netanyahu observed that at the top of the chamber was the image of Moses, looking down on the session. “Moses led our people from slavery to the gates of the Promised Land,” he said. “And before the people of Israel entered the land of Israel, Moses gave us a message that has steeled our resolve for thousands of years. I leave you with his message today.” He then spoke in Hebrew before delivering the words in English: “Be strong and resolute, neither fear nor dread them. My friends, may Israel and America always stand together, strong and resolute. May we neither fear nor dread the challenges ahead. May we face the future with confidence, strength and hope.”

“Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech in the U.S. Congress was a blatant exercise of hypocrisy,” slammed New York Assemblyman Charles Barron. “The United States and Israel lack the moral authority to call for countries to adhere to non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, when both of these countries possess stockpiles of nuclear weapons. It’s hypocritical! The U.S. and Israel should commit to nuclear disarmament if they want others to commit to non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. Let’s call on all countries to disarm their stockpiles of nuclear weapons.”

Barron noted that the state of Israel with the “support of the United States military weapons, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund, killed more than 500 children, injured 3,300 and left hundreds of thousands of children in need of psychological support to deal with the emotional distress of living through conflict as a result of the last military attack on the Gaza strip. Stop the Israeli occupation of Palestine! Free Palestine!”