Photo Credit: Glenn Fawcett, US DOD
Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta at a Congressional hearing.

Former U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told CNN’s “State of the Union” program on Sunday that he is “afraid” of the impact Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will have in Congress next month.

Panetta told CNN, “I’m afraid what is going to happen here with what Netanyahu will do, is to make this partisan divide between Democrats and Republicans and that makes it a very dangerous trap.”


Panetta said the real focus should be on unity, not on fighting. “We need to get back to presidents and Congresses who can work together to try to confront the challenges we face,” he said.

Netanyahu was invited by House Speaker John Boehner months ago to address a joint session of Congress on the impact of Iran’s galloping nuclear technology program – both globally and existentially for Israel.

The prime minister has been clear from the outset that the agreement currently being discussed between Iran and world powers led by the Obama administration is one that would enable Iran to complete the process for building an atomic weapon of mass destruction.

Iran has repeatedly vowed to annihilate Israel once it has achieved that goal; thus any agreement enabling Tehran to succeed in that direction is certainly one to be considered an existential threat to the Jewish State.

Every Israeli leader has reiterated to the U.S. over the past decade that Iran cannot – and will not — be allowed to reach that goal, with or without the cooperation of Washington or anyone else.

Netanyahu is set to address the Congress and other American leaders on March 3 in a speech in which he will likely try one more time to explain why it is essential to derail the agreement and instead force Iran to entirely abandon its uranium enrichment program.

Because President Barack Obama’s staff has invested a great deal in this agreement, clearly hoping it will serve to secure their boss a place in history, even as the failed Israeli-Palestinian Authority peace talks failed to do so. As such, the president’s staff has worked hard to derail Netanyahu’s scheduled address, claiming its timing – the proximity to the deadline of the talks as well as Israeli national elections – is wrong.

Various “experts,” government leaders, community organizers and even American Jewish organization heads have been trotted out, one after the other, hoping the pressure will force Israel’s prime minister to crack and yield.

Since the issue is one of Israel’s existence, however, Netanyahu can hardly afford to do so – and so he has grimly stuck to his guns and maintained he will address the Congress on time as scheduled.

Even if it costs him the election, as clearly the Obama administration is hoping it might.

But with each new terror attack that takes place in Europe – and there have been many more than one might “normally” have expected in recent weeks – it becomes clear as day that Netanyahu is not wrong.

Imagine what such attacks might be like with the addition of a nuclear weapon in the hands of terrorists in Europe – or America – or anywhere else.

This is not as far fetched as one might think: chemical weapons that exist in Syria were on their way to Hezbollah terror bases a while back when the convoy carrying the “treasure” was targeted by missiles in an air strike later blamed on Israel.

Hezbollah, usually trying to figure out new ways to annihilate Israel, is generously funded and equipped by Iran. It has one of the best-armed forces in the entire world, boasting an arsenal of up to 100,000 rockets, mortar shells and missiles of varying ranges.


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Rachel Levy is a freelance journalist who has written for Jewish publications in New York, New Jersey and Israel.


  1. I’m no prophet but this coming Israeli election almost seems like David (Bibi ) vs Goliath
    ( Obama/islamo-left).
    This could be a defining moment not only in Israeli history but world history. The fate of the Jewish State could be in the balance.
    David is coming to Congress and Goliath is doing everything politically possible to ‘kill’ him.
    My hope is that David will not back down from this epic battle.
    With an Iranian nuclear sword about to be unsheathed David must be brave and risk everything including his political future.
    David must strike with his sling and ‘kill’ the Giant with words of Stone that will fell the Goliath in its tracks.
    It may not be an exaggeration to say that David’s speech in Congress could be a seminal turning point in world history, for Good or for Evil.
    Recite Psalm 94 to help defeat Goliath:
    “G-d of Vengeance, Arise! Render to the arrogant one his Just Reward.”

  2. Netanyehu MUST address Congress, and I for one hope nothing stops it. Democrat Congresspeople have said they will simply not attend…it should be mandatory. Obama's treatment of Netanyahu has been nothing less than shameful…for years!! He says ISIS poses no existential threat to the United States? Nonsense, of course they would Iran's continuing it's enrichment program. Just as Yemen was to keep watch over the 5 top AlQeda operatives Obama traded to terrorists for one US deserter no longer hold up (ISIS now controls Yemen..I guess THEY will watch over them for us now..), Enriched plutonium will eventually fall into the hands of ISIS too! And what our President fails to understand, is that changing our American way of life in effect DOES end our existence as we know it! Imagine if we were to live as Israel has had to.. shopping mall bombings, drive by gunning down of cafe's..etc on a daily basis..the America we love..would no longer exist. Speak strong and clear Netanyahu..not ALL Americans are anti-semetic like our Democrats in Washingtin or their sheep. Welcome, and God bless you.

  3. That’s right anti Bibi speaking idiots – your defending the ability of Barak Obama to carve some moronic place in history vs. the continued existence in safety and security of the Jewish Homeland – the State of Israel. Obama will swallow hook, line, and sinker any line of garbage spewed by those who actually assume the Iranians will be good partners – bringing peace and stability to the Mideast – but NO normal person truly believes that. Obama figures that by the time the Iranians have developed their Nuclear weapon he will be secure on his paradise estate in Hawaii leaving Israel and the world to deal with the problems. If you believe that the Iranians are good partners you also believe in tinkerbell, snow white, and the tooth fairy.

  4. Hezbollah, is right at this moment a grave threat to Israel.
    There long range rockets, are something that can not be tolerated
    Hezbollah must be totally destroyed, if ISRAEL, WISHES TO SURVIVE.
    Then it will be Iran's turn, to face the wrath of that great nation of OF

  5. The real reason
    …clearly hoping it will serve to secure their boss a place in history, even as the failed Israeli-Palestinian Authority peace talks failed to do so…

    It’s ALL about your Amerikan presidents ego and his narcissistic leadership.

  6. The only partisanship is by the Democrats who are afraid that the American people will discover that they are being betrayed by a pro Islam President who has abandoned Israel, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and other pro Western governments.

  7. The only partisanship is by the Democrats who are afraid that the American people will discover that they are being betrayed by a pro Islam President who has abandoned Israel, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and other pro Western governments.

  8. As Benny is the real leader of the free world he must go and speak the truth. When the USA said they would protect the Ukraine, will guess what, Hussin Obama has not done anything,time and time and time again, Mr Obama has shown he is afraid of Islam because he truly wants to be a good Muslum, and that is not good for Israel or for that matter,… the rest of the world, as the leader of the free world Prime Minister,you must go

  9. When people start saying free speech worries them, because they don't agree with it, it should be a very big warning sign. We still have a thing called the constitution ( I think) which gives us that right. This isn't just about Israel. Iran is developing ICBMs, and not for Israel, but for the U.S.So be an anti semite if you want, but the mullahs in Iran think the same about killing you (Americans) as they think about killing Jews. A nuclear ICBM won't care if you are black or white, liberal or conservative. Don't take my word for it, listen to the words of Irans radical leaders. We, the U.S. are called the Great satan, while Israel is called the little satan. Ignore this at your own peril.

  10. What he probably fears is that Netanyahu will make everyone understand how Obama has LIED to them, and that his administration really is selling out Israel just like the British and French sold out Czechoslovakia to Hitler.

  11. It's GOOD to be afraid! Perhaps this will stimulate Demoncraps and Repugnicans to grab hold of both ears, pull, and get their heads out of their dark and forbidden places in order to face reality…

  12. When we get someone capable of being a president to the entire country, perhaps we can "get back" to the business of being president and Congress. There's not chance Bibi was born in the US and would be willing to run for the job in 2016, is there?

  13. Seems to me this has history repeating itself….we just need to "talk" have "unity"…did this happen with the politician in England and Hitler? Look what happened. Got to ask yourself, why are they so afraid of little Israel……if the world is against them, God is for them, then who can stand against them. Yeah for Bibi !

  14. paneta worries that bibis speech to congress will break the bi partnership towards Israel. the bi partnership will break only if the democrats desert Israel .if they believe iran wont take a shot at Israel then barack Hussein Obama is going to win his betrayal of Israel.he has nothing to lose. but the democrats will pay dearly at the polls and in the pocket book come election time..

  15. The US spokespeople are raising straw dog arguments. Now Bibi is being accused of trying to play democrats against republicans. He could care less about silly US politics. He's been spreading the message about Iran and nukes for years trying to get someone to listen. Now he's being asked by Congress because they realize Bibi has intel they apparently don't, or at least insights they lack. The US fools are more afraid of egotistical concerns about their saving face than they are about the survival of America. It's disgusting. Bibi needs to speak.

  16. Let us remind Mr Panetta that HERR obama is the most divisive inept amateur US Pres in history. He is the LIER-IN-CHIEF who must not be trusted especially with regard to the NUCLEAR iran and any decisions that affect the safety and security of the JEWISH Homeland and her JEWISH citizens.He is the epitome of a BLACK RACIST. He also is a serial practitioner of ANTI ISRAEL ANTI SEMITISM.

  17. Sam you are so right ! The democrats are to represent their districts which includes people of all walks of life and beliefs. It is THEIR job to show up and earn their pay…they might learn something. Bibi did a great job on his speech at the UN when he came….he will not lie through his teeth when speaking of Iran to Congress…lets see how the press is going to handle this one! Bibi has backbone for sure!

  18. Could it possibly be that Obama is trying to force Israel to take matters into their own hands and bomb the Iranian nuclear facilities? Thus, starting a war there in which Obama's military will swoop in and save the day making Obama the hero in all of it? Meanwhile bolstering the military complex. Then Obama can say he didn't start the war but he sure did finish it. So many scenarios.

  19. God's promises for Israel will never change, His Words are true and without error. Allah (the moon god) is an idol and their teachings will be put to an end one day. Since if you aren't a muslim, then you are an infidel…to the muslims you die. They do not teach peace in the Quran…it is ok to lie and kill an infidel…doesn't sound peaceful to me………I am sticking to God since He and He alone will deal out the final judgement on all that don't follow Him. He will blot them out….never to be heard of again. But keep in mind there are Muslims that are doubting their religion now except they are quiet about it…they don't want to get the sword themselves by there fellow family members or imans.

  20. Panetta has more to fear with Valerie Jarrett advising obama since both of them have a history of far-left political advocacy. Their mantra of deception and blatantly lying is legion…Panetta: Your fears are misplaced…Netanyahu is not the one to fear

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