Netanyahu Dictates U.S. Foreign Policy and Receives Thunderous Applause

Benjamin_Netanjahu Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu was in Washington today to give a speech before the U.S. Congress, amid a rift with that country’s administration.

He began his speech by praising the United States’ unwavering support for Israel, but quickly moved to condemning Iran’s nuclear program. With an outline agreement with the Islamic Republic on track for the end of the month, Iran is set to receive lesser sanctions in exchange for putting its nuclear ambitions on hold. But for Netanyahu, that is not enough.

Calling Iran “a threat to the peace of the entire world,” he listed a series of demands of the country, including ceasing both its sponsoring of terrorism and calling for the destruction of Israel. Both overwhelmingly reasonable requests of course, but it didn’t stop there. Netanyahu argued that without completely abolishing Iran’s nuclear facilities, there would be no assurance that they weren’t working on a bomb behind closed doors.

Netanyahu was unabashedly attempting to sway America’s opinion on the issue, mere weeks before the next step of discussions between Iran and six world powers. The leader of a foreign country seemingly dictating foreign policy in a place more appropriate for a democratically elected American leader. And perhaps the most surprising part of it all(or not) was that the largely Republican Congress gave him standing ovation upon standing ovation-seventeen in total.

Not present for the speech were at least fifty Democrats, including both president Barack Obama and vice president Joe Biden. The entire event was seen as a snub to the White House, which gave no authorization for the invite to Netanyahu given by House Speaker John Boehner.

The Israeli leader was definitely fear mongering, both his own people in the days before an election in his country, and the Americans who are supposedly his closest allies. His words were “an insult to the intelligence of the United States” as said by House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, but few seemed to agree, as emphasized again and again by the cheers ringing throughout the room.

“Even if Israel has to stand alone,” Netanyahu said at one point. “Israel will stand.” And he’ll be exactly right if he gets his way, for as long as he is at the helm, Israel will seek to start wars whenever and wherever it can.

No wonder Republicans love him.

Further reading:

Image: Benjamin Netanjahu by Dragan Tatic CC BY

This entry was posted in Americas, Iran, Middle East, United States and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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