Max Blankfeld

The Speech That Obama Should Have Written and Delivered

For those that have the capacity of being open-minded and don’t have predisposed positions (Nancy Pelosi, can you try it for just a few minutes?), I’ll submit the following proposal: let’s forget that Netanyahu received an invitation to speak at the Congress, and let’s imagine that we have a President that is a true leader of the free world.

Now, let’s read the key points of a speech that most of us have heard or read, but let’s remove from it the references to Israel and the Holocaust, leaving only the following elements that pertain to the United States and the free world.

– In the Middle East, Iran now dominates four Arab capitals, Baghdad, Damascus, Beirut and Sanaa. And if Iran’s aggression is left unchecked, more will surely follow…. Iran is busy gobbling up the nations. We must all stand together to stop Iran’s march of conquest, subjugation and terror.

– Iran took dozens of Americans hostage in Tehran, murdered hundreds of American soldiers, Marines, in Beirut, and was responsible for killing and maiming thousands of American service men and women in Iraq and Afghanistan…. Just last week, near Hormuz, Iran carried out a military exercise blowing up a mock U.S. aircraft carrier. …But unfortunately, for the last 36 years, Iran’s attacks against the United States have been anything but mock. And the targets have been all too real.

– Beyond the Middle East, Iran attacks America and its allies through its global terror network. ….It helped al-Qaeda bomb U.S. embassies in Africa. It even attempted to assassinate the Saudi ambassador, right here in Washington, D.C.

– Rouhani’s government hangs gays, persecutes Christians, jails journalists and executes even more prisoners than before.

– Iran’s regime is as radical as ever, its cries of “Death to America,” that same America that it calls the “Great Satan,” as loud as ever.

– Iran and ISIS are competing for the crown of militant Islam. One calls itself the Islamic Republic. The other calls itself the Islamic State. Both want to impose a militant Islamic empire first on the region and then on the entire world. They just disagree among themselves who will be the ruler of that empire.

– The difference is that ISIS is armed with butcher knives, captured weapons and YouTube, whereas Iran could soon be armed with intercontinental ballistic missiles and nuclear bombs.

– We must always remember – I’ll say it one more time – the greatest danger facing our world is the marriage of militant Islam with nuclear weapons. To defeat ISIS and let Iran get nuclear weapons would be to win the battle, but lose the war.

We can’t let that happen.

Wouldn’t it be nice to hear our President deliver this speech? I will say with no shadow of a doubt that we would all be as proud as we can be of a President that has such a moral compass and that has no fear of leading the world in its fight against evil.

But unfortunately, that’s not our President.

Our President is one that since the beginning of his administration six years ago, has abdicated the title of leader of the free world.

Our President is one that uses a personal rift with the Prime Minister of our country’s most trustworthy friend and ally – the only democracy in the Middle East — as a screen to hide one of these three, according to different currents of opinion: weakness, naïveté or bad-faith.

Now, let’s bring Netanyahu’s speech back to the picture. Were our President a true leader, we would not have gotten to the point where a) an invitation was extended by Boehner to Netanyahu (no matter where the initiative to the invitation came from) and b) Netanyahu felt compelled to accept that invitation.

The invitation was extended, and the Prime Minister accepted, because while Iran shows every day that it is a threat to the entire world – even without nuclear weapons – Israel is the primary country affected and endangered by the Iran’s state-sponsored terrorism, and the only country specifically threatened by a nuclear Iran. Therefore, Netanyahu, as the leader of that country, had the moral obligation to issue the warning in the loudest way he could. Nothing is louder than speaking at the U.S. Congress.

Now, Ms. Pelosi, I’ll bring you into the picture. Instead of being “insulted” after listening to his speech, I would have expected that you have the courage to applaud it. Beyond applause, work with the President towards a deal that does not favor containment or postponement of Iran’s nuclear bomb aspirations and, at the same time, does not ignore the terrorism that it sponsors and spreads around the world.

There are situations in life when we cannot afford the risk of looking back and say, “I told you so…”, or “in hindsight, this is what we should have done…”

Netanyahu delivered the speech, Obama can still execute on it. Let’s hope that humility and leadership prevail.
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About the Author
Max Blankfeld is a Houston based entrepreneur and pro-Israel activist; Born in Germany, he moved at the age of 2 to Brazil, where destiny took his parents who were Holocaust survivors; From 1970 to 1976 he studied at the Technion and Tel Aviv University, and was a stringer for Brazilian newspapers; Upon his return to Brazil he was the local correspondent for Yedioth Aharonot for two years; He serves on the Boards of Honest Reporting, FIDF and the Jewish Studies Program at Rice University. Follow me on twitter @mblankfeld .
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