A poll published on Friday shows that nearly two-thirds of Israelis think that the Obama administration is interfering in the elections, and more than half of the respondents back Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s planned visit to Congress.
President Barack Obama already has stated he will not meet with Netanyahu two weeks before the elections, but many Democrats in Congress have thrown salt on the wounds of American-Israeli relations by stating they will boycott the Prime Minister’s speech.
The survey, carried out by the Hebrew-language Maariv weekend newspaper and The Jerusalem Post, stated that 62 percent of Israelis think Washington is putting its two cents into the election campaign, while 31 percent disagreed and 8 percent expressed no opinion.
Support for Netanyahu was a bit less, with 56 percent backing his acceptance of an invitation from Republic House Speaker John Boehner to speak to Congress, where he received an enthusiastic ovation in 2011 when he spoke to a joint session of Congress.
Almost lost in the controversy over the Prime Minister’s planned speech is its content – Iran, which may be the real reason President Obama and many Democrats are so angry at the Prime Minister.
Netanyahu has constantly warned that Iran is stalling for time and not negotiating. He has explained over and over that Iran wants to gets its hands on a nuclear weapon, hell or high water, and that the Obama administration is far too dovish.
Netanyahu’s speech in Congress comes until three weeks before a deadline for Washington and Tehran to agree on the basis to conclude negotiations on Iran’s nuclear development.
Pervious polls have shown that most Israelis think Netanyahu is exploiting the planned speech to help voters in Israel focus on the Iranian nuclear threat and vote for him, an assumption that is a certain bet given that nothing happens in Israel without political intentions.
That does not contradict the real concern of the Iranian threat and that the Obama administration will not stop it.
The United Nations 10 years ago passed resolutions for its nuclear inspectors to inspect Iran’s program, and the United States spearheaded Western sanctions on Iran to convince it to cooperate. Nothing has worked.
Iran has whittled down the will of the Obama administration and Western powers to the point that the deal being put together simply would delay Iran’s nuclear capability and not eliminate it. The deal also is based on Iran’s allowing United Nations inspectors to enter all of its nuclear facilities, even though it has built underground operations while it was supposed to be cooperating with nuclear inspectors.
That is why Netanyahu is willing to risk worsening relations with the Obama administration and speak out against the expected deal, regardless of polls and boycotts of his speech by Democrat Congressmen,.
Given Iran’s consistent refusal to play ball by mutually agreed rules, Netanyahu’s visit will be unnecessary if Tehran balks and refuses the “P5+1″ offer. It is generous but not enough for Iran. It would allow Iran to keep a large part of its nuclear infrastructure but supposedly block Iran from building a nuclear weapon.
Netanyahu is not taking any chances.
Below is the video clip of Netanyahu’s speech to Congress in 2011, when he received 29 standing ovations.