I had the privilege of hearing Bibi Netanyahu speak on Monday at the AIPAC Policy Conference before he addressed the joint session of Congress. I did not post on this originally because I had conflicting views. On the one hand I felt Boehner made a mistake in not consulting Obama and that this was a serious breach of trust. On the other hand I felt that Bibi’s message was extremely important to convey and I’m glad he did despite pressure not to. I strongly agree with him that Iran cannot be trusted and can see them making an agreement while covertly continuing their stockpile of uranium to make a bomb.
Bibi’s “speech of a lifetime” was extremely compelling to me. The alternative that he gave, that sanctions for Iran will have to be ratcheted up in order to cripple the regime, would work, as sanctions is what brought Iran to the table in the first place. At whatever the cost, this government, which threatens to wipe Israel off the face of the earth, must be eliminated. There is no alternative if we want to maintain stability in the Middle East.
One could argue against me that Bibi insulted the United States by coming to “lecture.” It’s not that I fault US intelligence, which alongside Israel’s is second to none. It’s that I believe that negotiating with someone who wants an Islamic caliphate and who wants to destroy Israel is a grave mistake. Yassir Arafat illustrated to us the dangers of “double speak”: saying one thing at the negotiating table and quite another to your own people. I am afraid that is being amplified here, that “playing nice” at the negotiating table will lead to buying time to create a nuclear weapon.
One could also argue that Bibi’s speech was an “election ploy” for Israel’s March 17 elections. Perhaps that is the case. However, Bibi did not choose to come before Congress two weeks before Israel’s elections: he was invited in what he was told was a bipartisan invitation to address Congress. We will have to wait and see if the timing (which clearly was opportune for Bibi) will impact the Israeli elections.