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Friday, April 22, 2011

What will Netanyahu tell Congress?

House Speaker John Boehner has invited Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to address a joint session of Congress in May. What will Netanyahu say? The New York Sun recalls Netanyahu's last speech to a joint session of Congress when he was also facing a hostile Democratic President, and then comes up with this:
It happens that Prime Minister Begin used to warn against fighting the battle of Jerusalem in the halls of Congress. We were told of that years ago by Senator Moynihan, and we’ve repeated the story here on a number of occasions, including when Mr. Obama, as a presidential candidate, made his own trip to Jerusalem in 2008.

It is going to be illuminating to see whether Mr. Netanyahu, if he gets the chance to address the Congress, makes that point again. He would be speaking at a most dangerous time, when an administration that has been floundering on the democratic movements in the Arab countries and Iran can’t seem to get it’s policies aligned with a Jewish state that is, save for Iraq, the only democracy in the Middle East. It is also a moment when the Palestinian Arabs are trying to make an end run around the United Nations Security Council by taking their case for statehood directly to the General Assembly.

It is clear that Mr. Netanyahu is aware that it is a dangerous game for the head of government of a foreign country to play off the White House and the Congress. It is less clear whether the White House comprehends that it — because of the shabbiness of its own treatment of Mr. Netanyahu and of Israel — has left itself open to just such a demarche as Mr. Boehner made when he issued the invitation to Mr. Netanyhu. In any event there is also at least the opportunity for something constructive to come out of a visit by Mr. Netanyahu to Capitol Hill, including a reminder that there has been broad, bipartisan support in the Congress for the idea that in the Battle of Jerusalem, America and Israel are on the same side.
Sounds like Netanyahu has a fighting chance. What could go wrong?

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At 12:54 AM, Blogger valthunder said...

please bibi, please please just announce that Israel is going to quit the U.N!!!!

At 2:42 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

As long as Netanyahu doesn't do what his own country's suicidal Far Left and the Quartet are urging him to do: outline his agreement to Israel's national suicide.

Its easy enough to be superficially popular; the real question for the Prime Minister in the face of widespread worldwide hostility, can he be resolute in defending Israel's vital national interests?

We'll find out soon the answer to that question.


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