On Benjamin “Bibi” Netayahu’s Speech In the US Congress
Or: When Bibi Went To Washington.
As he set off to Washington, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu had set off a press fireworks campaign, replete with social media and public relations coups.
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Memes, infographics, posts, status updates, pins, pages and other web assets have been spreading their viral wings solidly for the past 4 days. It all started, logically, just several days before his trip, which has now been a constant item in cable news networks and internet media outlets since the speech to Congress was first scheduled and announced to the press.
Amid the barrage of media noise, Leonard Nimoy, an iconic and sagacious American with a beautiful Jewish background who was most famous for playing Dr. Spock on the original Star Trek television show, died. And then his best known friend, William Shatner, announced that he could sadly not attend Mr. Nimoy’s funeral due to prior engagements. And then, surprise! Surprise! Mr. Shatner did attend Mr. Nimoy’s funeral, after all, albeit with muted publicity, and only known after the fact.
OK, enough about the Shatnering of Nimoy’s funeral (for now).
Back to Bibi. Speaking at an AIPAC conference just one day before his scheduled address to the United States Congress, Bibi insisted that he had never intended to inject Israel into the United States’ debate on policy regarding Iran.
If you believe that, then I have a nice beachfront property to sell you, in North Dakota.
Speaking of Jews and Persia, isn’t it a nice coincidence that Bibi’s on the soap box just hours before the Fast of Esther and the holiday of Purim begin? Yeah, it’s not a coincidence. At this point, Israeli leaders cautioning Iranian leaders about any aggression against the State of Jews happens like clockwork, even if in different fora. Doing so is so symbolic and powerful, that you might even say it’s most logical.
That said, Bibi would be most remiss were he not to address the elephant in the room: Iran’s nuclear ambitions, even if it does poke a finger in the eye of President Obama.
For nearly two decades now, Mr. Netanyahu has been sounding the alarm about Iran’s ever-approaching “no going back” deadline. In fact, if you review the original dates, you’ll notice that we have well passed those suggested dates by now. In all actual likelihood, there is a high probability that Iran is merely beefing up its existing arsenal, rather than simply trying to achieve its first atomic device.
If you think that theory’s nuts, then would you please point out to me the last time that UN IAEA inspectors had it right?
Anyone? Anyone ?? Bueller?
* chirp * chirp * …
I can hear the pin drop in the sheer silence, as these so-called inspectors have essentially never made an accurate prediction. And in fact, they have a record of estimating that the various countries they “inspect” will have sundry WMDs “soon”, even after those nations have already established arsenals full of them.
In case you need a reminder: Pakistan achieved nuclear status right under the nose of the IAEA and then openly boasted about it with very public tests. This left the UN’s atomic agents with their bottoms exposed as nincompoops (that’s a technical term for the diplomatic protocol name of ‘ninny’).
So did India.
So did North Korea.
What Bibi did in Washington, was to use the stage to highlight the major threat that Tehran poses, not only to Israel, but directly to Europe and the United States. The Islamic Republic of Iran already has ICBMs capable of reaching Europe, and the US is not so much farther on the map. Frankly, they may already have the necessary firepower.
Keep in mind, stopping Iran from going nuclear, is not about the danger that an Islamic nuke poses to global stability, since there are already Islamic Nukes owned in Islamabad. It’s about stopping illegitimate proliferation. It’s about stopping Iran from opening the floodgates to tiny terror cells getting their hands on serious WMDs. It’s about standing up for the values of truth, honesty and accountability. It’s about doing what you say and saying what you do.
Iran lied again and again for nearly two decades after it signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. They swore up and down that they were not doing anything with nuclear energy. And yet they did. They said one thing, and did another. And when they were forced to admit that they were pursuing nuclear energy, they swore it was for peaceful purposes only. This, from a country that has built ICBMs.
In case you don’t know, ICBM stands for Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile, and ICBMs exist for one purpose only: To carry a nuclear bomb, often with multiple warheads, or other massive WMD payloads halfway around the world, in order to cause the maximum death and destruction possible to the target. Each modern ICBM is designed to kill millions of people instantly, and injure and slowly lethally poison millions more.
This is classical Islamic manipulation, as promoted by the Koran and its extremely violent Prophet, Mohamed, and taught by the most mainstream Islamic schools for centuries. In their view, it is not only perfectly acceptable to lie in the face of your enemy, and to say and do whatever it takes to have that enemy believe you, and then to stab them in the back. It is in fact a requirement of mainstream Islam to do so. Fortunately, and this point is worth underscoring, most Islamic individuals do not practice such horrible behaviour (or at least I like to think not). They are, by all accounts, mostly peaceful people. Unfortunately, most of their dictators and other so-called ‘leaders’, do practice these terrible religious edicts, whether they are religious or not. And they usually do it at the expense of their own people.
The bigger problem is, when it comes to the question of Iran and nukes, then it extends well beyond the borders of their own nation and their own people. Then, it affects nations that frankly have little to do with them, other than buying that black gold they are able to siphon out of the ground.
President Obama says that the War on Terror is not a War on Islam, or even a War on Violent Islamic Extremism. And he’s right. It should not be. But the fact is, 99% of the world’s political terrorism is currently (and has historically been) conducted by people who identify themselves as Muslims and who follow Islam in one form or another. So to deny that the War on Terror is not a War on Violent Islamic Extremism is like saying that a War on Gunshot Murders is not a War on Killers, because not every Killer uses guns to kill their victims.
Of course, it does not help that there are abject morons who do not understand the differences between the various hate-mongering groups, and who actually align themselves with xenophobic and ultra-nationalistic wackos, in the name of patriotism. This nonsense should also be called-out and stopped, because it does not help achieve the overriding goal of winning the damn war on terror.
At the end of the day, President Obama is making a huge mistake by signalling to Israel that he does not fully support Israel’s policy of denying Iran the bomb. This mistake will send an equally clear signal to Iran that they are welcome to continue pursuing the bomb. After all, a nuclear Iran could well directly threaten the United States one day.
On the other hand, it could well be that Obama has secretly drafted a deal with the Ayatollahs, to allow Tehran to wipe Israel off the map, and become the new regional power in the Middle East, as long as they keep the oil flowing cheaply to the U.S. and do not threaten the United States of America.
Personally, I don’t believe that has happened. Unfortunately, every ounce of credit I have given President Obama about maintaining peace and stability in the Middle East, he has squandered like so much excess water in an oasis, rather than saving it like so much precious liquid life in the desert.
Ahhhh, if only Dr. Spock was here to inject some logic into the March madness of this irrational debate.
Full disclosure: When not writing down thoughts about the events of politics and injustice, Yasha Harari spreads the best medicine, humor, for free, to millions of people, writes music and composes songs, has performed in front of millions of people, built and torn down homes and invested in music, the internet, media and political organizations in the U.S., Europe and Israel.