Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s historic speech to the joint session of Congress lasted about 40 minutes Tuesday morning, was interrupted 40 times and brought the chamber to its feet nearly every time.
Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, however, was seen in tears, distraught over its content. More than 30 other Democratic members of the Congress actually boycotted the address; U.S. President Barack Obama didn’t even watch, nor did any member of his staff attend the session, completing the total boycott from the Obama White House and his administration.
As promised, Israel’s prime minister focused solely on substance and no politics after first addressing, as he did at the AIPAC convention a day earlier, the “controversy” over his appearance at the direct invitation by GOP House Speaker John Boehner months earlier.
“It was never my intention,” Netanyahu said. “Thank you for your support for Israel, year after year, decade after decade… The remarkable alliance between Israel and the United States has always been above politics and must always remain above politics,” he said.
“Israel is grateful for the support of America’s people and its presidents, from Harry Truman to Barack Obama.”
Some of what Obama has done for Israel is widely known, he commented, and some is not known, and “may never be known.”
But while Netanyahu was praising the American president, Obama made sure that every media outlet carried the news that neither he nor his staff watched the speech. Nor was any member of his staff present in the chamber during Netanyahu’s address. That point was repeated by every American media outlet; one has to wonder why.
“Israel is grateful to you, the American Congress, for supporting us in so many ways,” Netanyahu continued. “Thank you, America, thank you for everything you have done for Israel.”
The Message Netanyahu Came to Deliver Netanyahu then turned to the reason he had come to speak to the joint session of America’s lawmakers so close to Israeli elections, risking his own position to do so.
“We are an ancient people,” he began. “In our nearly four thousand years of history many have tried to destroy” us. The Israeli leader went on to briefly summarize the story of Purim, how 2500 years ago, a Persian potentate named Haman nearly succeeded in his genocidal attempt to wipe out the Jews.
“Today the Jewish people face another attempt by yet another Persian potentate, Iran’s Supreme Leader, the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who spews the oldest hatred, anti-Semitism, with the newest technology. He tweets – in English – that Israel must be destroyed.”
Lebanon-based Hezbollah terror chief Hassan Nasrallah has been coordinating with Iran, as has been clear from recent speeches; Netanyahu noted Nasrallah has urged the “ingathering” of Jews to Israel “so we can destroy them all.”
Netanyahu also pointed out that Israel is now surrounded by Iran on three borders: “Iran’s goons in Gaza, its lackeys in Lebanon, and the Iranian Revolutionary Guards in the Golan Heights are clutching Israel with three tentacles of terror.”
Iran also currently “dominates four Arab capitals” in the Middle East – Baghdad, Damascus, Beirut and Sana’a — and if left unchecked “more will surely follow.” So while the major nations led by the U.S. are trying to reach an agreement with Tehran over its nuclear program and bring them into the family of nations, “Iran is busy gobbling up the nations,” he said.
ISIS and Iran As frightening, Netanyahu told the Congress that the battle between Iran and ISIS (the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria terror organization, or Daesh), “does not turn Iran into a friend of America.
“Iran and ISIS are competing for the crown of militant Islam… first in the region, and then on the entire world. They just disagree among themselves who will be the ruler of that empire.