Prime Minister Netanyahu delivered a compelling, articulate, and emotional speech before Congress that outlined the negatives of the current Iran deal, drew parallels between the story of Purim and modern day Iran, and reiterated the message that never again will the Jews be victims of genocide. During his speech, Netanyahu defended both the integrity of Israel and the importance of peace throughout the entire world. Prime Minister Netanyahu recapitulated the message that most Jews throughout the United States share; we will not cower in the face of danger, and we must stand up and pressure Iran.
Netanyahu was greeted with significant applause. He shook hands with both Republicans and Democrats, displaying the intended bipartisanship of his speech. He began by speaking about how his speech was surrounded by immense controversy, and viewed as a Republican campaign speech and a way to disrespect President Obama. He stated that in no way was this speech a political ploy, or a way to campaign for the Israeli elections. Realistically, this speech was nothing more than a warning to the American people about the growing threat of Iran’s nuclear capabilities, and the dangers the proposed agreement poses. This address to Congress was made a partisan issue by Democrats, who decided they cared more about their party alliance than the safety of the Jewish State.
Once Netanyahu concluded discussing the media frenzy regarding his address, he began to speak about how much President Obama has done for Israel. He mentioned how whenever Israel came calling in dire situations, Obama answered and was willing to help. At this point in the speech, the Democratic side of the chamber applauded more. While I understand that Obama has done some good for Israel, the fact that nobody from his administration was attending the speech is inexcusable.
After mentioning Obama, Netanyahu went on the offensive, illuminating and attacking all that was wrong with the proposed Iranian deal, and how grave Iran’s threat is not only to Israel, but to peace and stability in the Middle East as well. He drew a parallel between Haman in the story of Purim, and Ayatollah Khomeini. “Today the Jewish people face another attempt by yet another Persian potentate to destroy us. Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei spews the oldest hatred, the oldest hatred of anti-Semitism…” he stated.
Eventually, Netanyahu laid out his three demands for a new deal to place pressure upon Iran:
1) Stop the aggression,
2) Stop supporting terror,
3) Stop threatening Israel.
Throughout the entire speech, I was drawn to the way Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke. It was almost as if he was giving a sermon in a synagogue, connecting various pieces of Torah to modern day events. Bibi’s speech allowed me to understand the importance of taking a new approach to the Iranian situation. Additionally, the address expressed the independence of Israel, and that if Obama will not stand with them, they will stand alone and defy all odds. Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech made clear that never again will the Jewish people fall, never again will a mass amount of Jews be wiped off the face of the earth, and never again will the Jewish people live without a homeland.
Now is the time to act on Iran. Now is the time to bolster the security of Israel. Now is the time to secure peace.
“Be strong and resolute, neither fear nor dread them.” -Moses
“May we neither fear nor dread the challenges ahead. May we face the future with confidence, strength and hope.” -PM Netanyahu
Am Yisrael Chai.