Mr. Netanyahu is set to speak at the US Capitol this Tuesday about Iran. This came near a time when the US, along with the UK, France, Germany, Russia and China, are seeking to reach an accord to curtail Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned the United States on Monday that the nuclear deal it is negotiating with Iran could threaten Israel’s survival and insisted he had a “moral obligation” to speak up about deep differences with President Barack Obama on the issue. The tense personal relationship between Obama and Netanyahu has sunk to a new low over the Israeli leader’s planned speech to Congress just weeks before an end-of-March deadline for a framework nuclear accord with Iran.
The invitation to Netanyahu was orchestrated by Republican congressional leaders with the Israeli ambassador without informing the White House. This move was part of the Republican’s attempt to undermine President Obama’s power. The Republicans like Netanyahu have favored harsher methods in dealing with Iran over nuclear talks. Netanyahu had according to news reports that just surfaced planned to bomb Iran nuclear sites in 2014 before it was aborted by President Obama’s threat to shoot down Israeli jet.
Recent polls have shown that Netanyahu have lost much of the support from the people of Israel. Many people believed Netanyahu’s planned speech was an attempt to garner support for the upcoming presidential election. However, in an attempt to save his power he has done more harm for the country of Israel.
Netanyahu’s speech has led to many to criticisms from many Israel supporters in the US. Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky called the speech a “dangerous mistake”. “As a Jew, support for Israel is in my DNA,” she said. “I feel particularly anguished that the ill-advised invitation from Republican house speaker John Boehner has managed to threaten, in my view, both the security of Israel and the historic bipartisan support in the Congress.” The speech has also divided influential Jewish organizations that have previously stood solidly behind Netanyahu over issues from settlement expansion to the wars with Hamas in Gaza. Nearly 30 democrat members have said they will not attend Netanyahu’s speech.
Netanyahu stated goal is to mobilize Congress to foil what he predicted would be a bad deal between the great powers and Tehran. But the consequence of bitter feuding with the Obama White House has been a dramatic loss of critical support for the prime minister’s position among House and Senate Democrats. Relationship is at a historic low point between the United States and Israel. The strategic relationship has not been this low since President John F. Kennedy was president.
At a time when Israel is losing support from EU, also losing the support of US will be detrimental for Israel’s future. A senior State Department source told Al-Monitor that the US administration is considering a policy change toward Israel. Washington is seriously contemplating not vetoing UN Security Council resolutions on the settlements. Also, Washington might not restrain EU members from taking measures, such as enhancing the boycott on Israeli businesses active beyond the Green Line.
Many of the retired military generals have come out and criticized Netanyahu for his political ploy. Six retired Israeli generals came out against the upcoming speech by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the U.S. Congress about Iran, arguing that it would embolden Iran by damaging Israel’s credibility with the White House. “When the Israeli prime minister argues that his speech will stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, he is not only misleading Israel—he is actually strengthening Iran,” said Amnon Reshef, a former general who headed Israel’s armored corps.
So, if Netanyahu’s goal really were to save his country from Iran then why are his actions showing otherwise? Why does his speech have to be two weeks before his reelection? According to haaretz website, Netanyahu and his aides maintain that the issue of forestalling a dangerous deal with Iran was so urgent that the speech could not wait until after the election. If Netanyahu truly believed the speech was urgent then why did he postpone John Boehner’s original invitation date for February 11? Also if Iran have any common sense, why will they nuke one of US biggest ally? A nuclear weapon has not been used since World War 2, and it’s pretty much a clear understanding that any country using a nuclear bomb on another country will turn the whole world against them. The backfire from US and the world clearly shows that the world knows the real motive behind Netanyahu’s political ploy but will the Israeli electorate?
– Yutong Zhu