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The Oval Office.

U.S. President Barack Obama sat in the Oval Office surrounded by media, his body tense, prepared to rebut Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s speech to the Congress barely two hours after the event.

After a perfunctory acknowledgment of the points which America shares with Israel – the “unbreakable bond” between the two, etc. – Obama went straight to the point.


Netanyahu, he said, had “nothing new” to sell in his points about the Iranian nuclear threat.

“On the core issue, which is how do we prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon which would make it far more dangerous … the prime minister didn’t offer any viable alternatives,” Obama told reporters crowded into the Oval Office as he met with newly appointed Defense Secretary Ashton Carter.

“We don’t yet have a deal,” he said. “It may be that Iran cannot say ‘yes’ to a good deal. I have repeatedly said that I would rather have no deal, than a bad deal.

“But if we are successful in negotiating, then in fact this will be the best deal possible to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

“Nothing else comes close.”


Although the president said he “scanned” the transcript of the prime minister’s speech, one has to wonder whether he actually, really read it.  To claim that Netanyahu offered “no viable alternative” to the current agreement being negotiated was painting a swathe with a rather broad brush, to say the least.

Here’s the “viable alternative” that Israel’s prime minister came up with, and brought to the U.S. Congress on Tuesday:

“Nuclear know-how without nuclear infrastructure doesn’t get you very much. A race car driver without a car can’t drive. A pilot without a plan can’t fly. Without thousands of centrifuges, tons of enriched uranium or heavy water facilities, Iran can’t make nuclear weapons. Iran’s nuclear program can be rolled back well-beyond the current proposal by insisting on a better deal and keeping up the pressure on a very vulnerable regime, especially given the recent collapse in the price of oil….

“We can insist that restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program not be lifted for as long as Iran continues its aggression in the region and in the world… Now, if Iran threatens to walk away from the table — and this often happens in a Persian bazaar — call their bluff. They’ll be back, because they need the deal a lot more than you do. And by maintaining the pressure on Iran and on those who do business with Iran, you have the power to make them need it even more.

“My friends, for over a year, we’ve been told that no deal is better than a bad deal. Well, this is a bad deal. It’s a very bad deal. We’re better off without it. Now we’re being told that the only alternative to this bad deal is war. That’s just not true. The alternative to this bad deal is a much better deal.”

Netanyahu added that the deal currently being negotiated could, in fact, even spark a nuclear arms race “in the most dangerous part of the planet. This deal won’t be a farewell to arms. It would be a farewell to arms control. And the Middle East would soon be crisscrossed by nuclear tripwires. A region where small skirmishes can trigger big wars would turn into a nuclear tinderbox.

“If anyone thinks — if anyone thinks this deal kicks the can down the road, think again. When we get down that road, we’ll face a much more dangerous Iran, a Middle East littered with nuclear bombs and a countdown to a potential nuclear nightmare.”


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


  1. Alinsky* RULE 5: “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.” There is no defense. It’s irrational. It’s infuriating. It also works as a key pressure point to force the enemy into concessions. (Pretty crude, rude and mean, huh? They want to create anger and fear.)

  2. Let's face it; Obama is a vindictive child who was angry & jealous that the PM received more praise & acceptance from a bipartisan congress & supporters around the nation than he ever has. Actually, it was Obama who set the stage for the amazing reception.

    The people that respect Netanyahu are far more aware, knowledgeable & engaged than any of Obama's "followers". The PM laid it ALL out-Obama heard only what he wanted to hear. He was all too ready to criticize.

  3. Exactly right. Netanyahu got it right. He did offer solutions Obamination and his ilk chose not to listen.Sure he's been saying it to no avail that's why he came to say it again, and again and again until it sinks in here I hope. G-d help us!

  4. Obama must be made to realize a bad deal is worse than no deal. How about the US just saying "No, Iran, you can not have the bomb." and fight it from there. Because Obama has no balls to do the right thing.

  5. Bea Pollack You are really an ignorant person! Netanyahu's only suggestion has always been the same – The US needs to go to war! And that MS. Pllock is NOT AN ACCEPTABLE ALTERNATIVE! Just remember when Netanyahu addressed the congress after 9/11 he also called for war against Saddan because he was developing nuclear weapons and that was a flat out lie. This war cost the US over 4,000 of our bravest young men and women and another over 40,000 wounded some so badly they will never be whole again. This war also did not make the Middle East and further gave rise to ISIS. I listened and I also know what he has said before I Listen with BOTH ears and my brain! This is more than I can say for a lot of people! Remember Ms. Pollock, God gave us Jews one thing better that anyone else, he gave us Brains and we must use them!

  6. Maria Ferran Tell me, do you practice being stupid or were you born that way? Did you listen to what Netanyahu speech? Our Congress is not BIPARTISAN and your thinking it is shows how little you know! You are too ignorant to know that when Netanyahu addressed the congress after 9/11 he spoke of the same thing! How we must get Saddam to make the world safe and he guaranteed that is we got Saddam and stopped his building of nuclear weapons things would be great! You are too damned stupid to understand that it cost the US over 4,000 of our bravest young men and women who were murdered and another over 40,000 more who were wounded, some so badly they will never be whole again! Don't forget that Saddam is gone and the Middle East is no safer now than it ever was, Also do not forget that this totally unnecessary war led to the development of ISIS so now who is correct? Certainly not Netanyahu who has a miserable track record of failure!

  7. Edward Lobel, you is a Moe-ron after the likes of Korach. Bibi offered an alternative that you don't like and so anyone who likes his alt. is ignorant. However, who is quoted as saying "Go possess the land. If the inhabitants stand in your way of possessing the land then have at it and KICK THEIR ASSES and throw them all out. I will stand with you." A true Yahud supports his fellow Jew, The Land of Israel and Torah. If you can't do that then shut up you LIU type baffoon.

  8. Edward Lobel Thank you for confirming the lack of intelligence of Obama followers. Your ignorance & rudeness proved it. Netanyahu has many followers in America & Israel & has a good track record. Israel would not be as safe today if it wasn't for him. Your hate for him is noted. Rep & Dems both supported his speech in the chamber of both parties, who BTW, were both present. Many more Dems would have been there except for fear of punishment from Obama.

    The Iraq & Afghanistan wars were necessary & would have been successful if not for Obama's meddling. Instead of pontificating, do some homework. I suggest you take it up with him regarding ISIS-he allowed the group to propagate. Yes, there were many unfortunate deaths but those soldiers would have done it again if given the choice. You see, that's the difference between someone like you & a patriot.

  9. Edward Lobel You only heard what you wanted to hear, like Obama. Anger & ignorance can prevent one from hearing pertinent info. Israel wouldn't be as safe today if it wasn't for Netanyahu. Many people respect him & he has done a good job.

    If the US had taken Hitler more seriously, millions of Jews might be alive today. And maybe 408,000 American soldiers wouldn't have died in WW2.

  10. Edward Lobel I would like to remind you that after 9/11, the vote to go to war was BIPARTISAN. Then, Senator Biden was certain there were WMD's as the intelligence comm confirmed. Both parties were anxious to go to war after being attacked. I'm curious as to how you would respond to rockets & threats of annihilation being lobbed at you continually if you were in charge of Israel???

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