Last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed a joint session of Congress. He was greeted with thunderous applause, which lasted nearly his entire speech. Israel is considered one of America’s strongest allies, but the relationship between Netanyahu and President Barack Obama is strained and chilly at this time.
To begin with, Speaker John Boehner invited Netanyahu to speak to a joint session of Congress without contacting the White House. The speaker did not follow proper protocol. This action drove a wedge between the two parties and showed disrespect for the president of the United States. Netanyahu is also behind in an election campaign in Israel, and Obama did not want it to appear that America was supporting the prime minister.
Either way, Netanyahu argued for an hour that Obama was putting together a bad deal with Iran, and he must be stopped. Even though no one knows what the deal is because it has not been finalized, the prime minister knows more than the president.
With dire warnings, a call to action and maybe war, the prime minster has tried to make it appear that Iran is the only aggressor in the region. But everyone seems to have forgotten that last year Israel devastated and destroyed the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip in a war that will take decades to recover from. Israel is holding the Palestinians as prisoners, controlling all commerce and trade, and forces people out of their homes.
It is very easy for the prime minister to make it appear that Israel is peaceful, but Netanyahu’s speech was designed to create more war hawks and start a war in the Middle East. Hearing that the Obama administration’s nuclear negotiations with Iran as a waste of time, many Americans don’t know who to believe. From Netanyahu’s perspective, Iranians are terrorists who must be controlled with sanctions, and peaceful diplomacy is not possible.
He told American lawmakers that Iran dominates the capitals of Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen, and the United States should demand that it stop aggression against its neighbors and threats to annihilate Israel before agreeing to any deal.
“We must all stand together to stop Iran’s march of conquest, subjugation and terror,” said Netanyahu.
Obama responded to Netanyahu’s speech, stating, “The prime minister didn’t offer any viable alternatives.” The president called the speech “theater” with no good ideas. “The alternatives that the prime minister offers is no deal, in which case Iran will immediately begin once again pursuing its nuclear program, accelerate its nuclear program without us having any insight into what they’re doing without constraint.”
Obama is trying to keep the lines of communication open with Iran and the Middle East because war is never a good solution. It is obvious that Israel is planning for another war in 2015, and they are willing to go alone without support from the West. Israel is not treating the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip as peaceful neighbors, and diplomacy is off the table.
Israel has the most powerful military in the Middle East, and they will bomb any country located near their borders into submission if they are challenged. Netanyahu made it clear that Israel is ready for war, and they will win because they are the strongest.
Obama is trying to stop the rush to war in the Middle East, and Netanyahu appears to want the opposite. War is a bad negotiating tool to create peace where there has only been bloodshed. America should continue to let Obama lead the way and support him in his negotiations with Iran.