If you read the transcript of the Israeli Prime Minister’s speech before Congress Tuesday, you heard more of the same, and no new ideas; perfect for Republicans. If Benjamin Netanyahu is reelected on March 17th he must thank John Boehner for holding a campaign rally in Washington. I commend those who refused to attend the Prime Minister’s speech; our government should not show partiality for any candidate in a foreign election. Boehner should have invited Netanyahu’s opponent Yitzhak Herzog as well; both candidates should have had the same opportunity to reach voters.
This is the way Washington is run by Republicans. It has been less than three months since they took control of both houses of Congress, and look how much they’ve accomplished! It’s the same old government, nothing of substance has been accomplished.
You say, ‘what about the funding bill for the Department of Homeland Security?’ It was finally passed with the TEA Party kicking and screaming and voting against it. A poll revealing that voters would have blamed Republicans if it failed to pass is the only reason it was extended.
Netanyahu spent most of his time Iran bashing. That’s fine, he is after all a hawk. What was the response from Iran and voters in Israel?
Don’t misunderstand my intentions; I am not supporting Iran. I don’t support rushing into unwinnable wars either; look where they have taken us and the world. Waging two wars inside Islamic nations has made the world less safe. I do support the creation of dialogue between nations as a first effort. Doing so is simply a demonstration of intelligence.
Iranian foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, claims that Iran has no desire to attack the state of Israel. He makes the point that Netanyahu threatens Iran daily. Can Mr. Zarif be believed? Time will tell. Teddy Roosevelt said it best: “Speak softly, but carry a big stick.”
How impressed were the voters in Israel? Apparently not very. In one poll 90 percent of those who participated said that Netanyahu’s speech had no effect on them. There is absolutely no doubt in Israel that this was a calculated move to help him retake the lead against his opposition. Recent polls are a mix between Netanyahu and his opponent Herzog in an even battle, and some insist that Herzog is slightly ahead.
One interesting poll asked Israelis if they believed Netanyahu’s speech was important, although it may have resulted in some damage to the relationship between the United States and Israel. Only 29 percent agreed that the speech was worth the risk, while 43 percent said it was not.
Herzog stated that he believes Netanyahu’s speech will have little or no consequence.
Boehner is not well-informed regarding foreign relations. And he obviously has no skills as a diplomat. Israel needs the United States. More than $3 billion in aid is granted to the small nation annually. Since the United States began sending aid to Israel in 1962, it has received more than $100 billion. These figures do not include other aid given to Israel for projects deemed beneficial to both nations.
Inviting Netanyahu to speak before Congress without the consent of President Obama can only be called ‘grandstanding.’ It was no more than a political move; a demonstration to impress voters in the 2016 election.
It did confirm something we all knew; John Boehner is incapable of doing his job. He will go down in history as the worst man ever to hold the position of Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Commentary by James Turnage