For close to forty minutes in an electrifying appearance before Congress, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu eloquently and expertly laid waste to the Obama administration’s developing nuclear agreement with Iran.
Forcefully declaring that the agreement President Obama is pursuing with Iran’s “dark and brutal dictatorship of religious zealots” is not just a bad deal, but “a very bad deal,” Netanyahu told a joint meeting of Congress: “It doesn’t block Iran’s path to the bomb; it paves Iran’s path to the bomb.”
Opening his controversial address with a few minutes of thanks to President Obama for his past help for and support of Israel, Netanyahu then proceeded to make his case that the administration is making a dangerous deal with a regime that “will always be the enemy of America” as well as Israel.
Piling point upon point and example upon example, the Israeli leader argued that the deal now in the works will have the opposite effect of what President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry claim:
“The deal will not prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons; it will all but guarantee it gets nuclear weapons — lots of them.”
Obama’s proposed arrangement with an Iranian regime that “poses a grave threat to the peace of the entire world,” said Netanyahu, relies on the integrity of a nation that cannot be trusted. Already, he observed, nuclear inspectors have been thwarted and deceived by Iranian officials.
It’s a faulty deal, said the prime minister, that would leave Iran with a vast nuclear infrastructure capable of a quick breakout to build numerous weapons capable of plunging the planet into a prolonged “nuclear nightmare.”
Dozens of times during Netanyahu’s third address to Congress, lawmakers interrupted the speech with applause — occasionally thunderous, sustained applause. Even Democrats — those who had not boycotted the appearance — often showed their approval of what the Israeli leader had to say.
Democrats applauded, for instance, when Netanyahu told the gathering there are three specific actions that Iran must take if it wants “to be treated like a normal country” in the community of nations:
– stop their aggression in the Middle East,
– stop their support of terrorism, and
– stop threatening to annihilate Israel.
However, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and their Democrat colleagues were not so enthusiastic when Netanyahu proclaimed that Obama’s negotiations with Iran are leading to “a bad deal, a very deal deal…we’re better off without it.”
The prime minister warned the lawmakers and others attending the speech under the Capitol dome that allowing Iran a path to the bomb would “spark a nuclear arms race in the most dangerous part of the planet” as other countries in the Middle East would surely launch their own weapons development programs.
In a firm and formidable tone, Netanyahu assured the gathering Israel would not let that happen. “The days when the Jewish people remain passive in the face of genocidal enemies — those days are over.”
As he wrapped up the address which he noted came at a time when “history has placed us at a fateful crossroads,” Netanyahu acknowledged that the process of achieving a better deal with Iran would be difficult but must be undertaken. He urged world leaders not to repeat mistakes of the past that have led to such atrocities as the Holocaust.
After concluding his historic speech, which no high-ranking member of the Obama administration attended, Benjamin Netanyahu left the House chamber the same way he had entered — to several minutes of loud and appreciative applause.
BCN editor’s note: This article first appeared at Western Journalism.