Netanyahu Says Congress Speech Is 'Not Intended to Show Any Disrespect

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  1. Stacie L profile image86
    Stacie Lposted 8 years ago

    National Journal
    Marina Koren
    The Israeli prime minister was speaking at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee's policy conference ahead of an even more hyped speech on Tuesday, in which Netanyahu is expected to make an aggressive case against the United States' handling of nuclear negotiations with Iran. Netanyahu had previously said that Obama and other world leaders appeared to him to have given up on pressuring Iran to give up its desire to acquire nuclear weapons. … ar-BBi9ajY
    Is it disrespectful for one country's leader to speak to a government of another without the president?...
    seems so... Others think it's a political move.

    1. Credence2 profile image78
      Credence2posted 8 years agoin reply to this

      It is out of line, Netanyahu has earned a reputation over several AMERICAN administrations for being unreasonably myopic and dismissive in regards to the objectives of his nation's ally, the U.S.

      He knows better, and so does Speaker Boehner. This will only serve to make Washington less receptive to him and his message

      1. profile image57
        Education Answerposted 8 years agoin reply to this

        The POTUS couldn't be much less receptive.  Didn't a senior Obama official reportedly call President Netanyahu "chickensh*t" late last year?  Wasn't this prior to the planned visit?  That seems pretty unreceptive to me.   

        Your post seems to imply that the relationship between America and Israel is strained because of one myopic leader, Benjamin Netanyahu.  You state that he "earned a reputation over several AMERICAN administrations for being unreasonably myopic and dismissive in regards to the objectives of his nation's ally, the U.S."  It's true that other American leaders have not seen eye-to-eye with President Netanyahu.  President Bush was accused of refusing to meet with him.  President Clinton questioned Netanyahu's determination to reach peace. Still, no other president prior to the POTUS has had such a strained relationship with President Netanyahu.  Could it be that President Obama is myopic too, or is it that we have a strained relationship with many other nations now?  German Chancellor Angela Merkel isn't too fond of President Obama.  Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff delayed a visit to America to protest the N.S.A. spying scandal.  Numerous state leaders aren't fond of President Obama or his policies.  President Netanyahu certainly has plenty of company when it comes to leaders who are displeased with the POTUS and America.

        Let's be clear here.  Politics aside, the world will rue the day we have a nuclear Iran.  Both President Obama and President Netanyahu should put aside their differences and strive to work together on this difficult, important issue.  It's time to stop playing politics and start leading.  Since America is supposed to be a/the world leader, whether we accept or want this responsibility, I put the onus of responsibility on America, thus President Obama.  It's time for leadership.

        It's good to hear from you.  Best wishes.

        1. Credence2 profile image78
          Credence2posted 8 years agoin reply to this

          EA, nice to have you back

          I am not aware of any specific incident as you described in your first paragraph. All I know is that Netanyahu has been abrasive in relations with our government. Not having any particular affinity for Israel over that I would have for most other nations, I resent so much of our tax dollars going to their country only so that they flip us the bird whenever alternatives are explored that Netanyahu disapproves of.

          Why do you give this man any credibility beyond the ability to cry 'wolf'.?Regardless of how many leaders claim to dislike Obama and his policies, they at least show respect for the office and our government by following protocol.

          Netanyahu needs to figure this out, if have wants an international response in regard to his security concerns about Iran, then he needs to get on board and work with president and others. Short of destroying Iran what does Netanyahu have to offer ? Iran is not just going to sit still and allow Netanyahu wishes to thwart its objectives.

          Israel is a nuclear power so I suppose that they expect their adversaries to be content to be disarmed? Netanyahu and the Isreali government have a choice of giving Obama and the negotiators a chance or unilaterally attack and accept the consequences for themselves within the region. I would not put it past them, they have done it before

      2. GA Anderson profile image88
        GA Andersonposted 8 years agoin reply to this

        Regardless of whether you, (generic you), applaud or criticize his appearance, I don't think it can be denied that it does show a disrespect for the president.

        The question then becomes one of validity. Is the disrespect one of unavoidable necessity because the consequences are so dire for Israel, or is it simply a Republican political move?

        My thoughts lean to the former. I believe Netanyahu is too politically savvy to do this for pure politics. Whether you agree with his evaluation or not, I believe he believes the consequences of an Obama-sponsored Iranian deal are too important to the future national security of his nation.


        1. profile image57
          retief2000posted 8 years agoin reply to this

          It is also the position of most of America's NATO partners, that Iran not get the bomb. It is also a legitimate American security concern. The leaders of Iran have stated their desire to destroy Israel. The leaders of Iran teach an "end times" prophecy about the 12th Imam, in a country where the religious leaders run the government. Iran celebrates "Death to America" day. Iran plotted the assassination of a Saudi national on American soil.

          It is a long litany. Iran is a threat to regional stability, international peace and the national security of several nations around the world. A nuclear Iran would feel free to act ever more aggressively under a nuclear shield. This is what Obama's great diplomatic success will bring.

          The surge of antisemitism in Europe, to the point that French Jews are fleeing their homes. American Jewish college students experiencing ever growing antisemitism on campus - from the left. An American president who has threatened Israel if they decided to take action against Iran. All suggest that Tel Aviv turned into a smoking nuclear crater would not disturb many in the West, as much as standing firm against the oppressive, terrorist government of Iran.

          1. Credence2 profile image78
            Credence2posted 8 years agoin reply to this

            Retief, this banter between Israel and her neighbors has been going on for decades. I am less interested in threats and more interested in the capacities for carrying them out.

            Intolerance, is by definition a characteristic of the political right, they are defined by it. I never heard about this great 'surge' of antisemitism, perhaps I can trouble you to provide a credible source or two?

            By the way, perhaps you can tell me why the AMERICAN Jewish electorate have voted overwhelmingly for the democrats even in the face of all this 'so called' betrayal by the 'left'? Perhaps, they are being misled by the liberal media, If they only started watching Fox News, they would get it?

          2. GA Anderson profile image88
            GA Andersonposted 8 years agoin reply to this

            "This is what Obama's great diplomatic success will bring."

            How can you be sure of this when it appears that no one really knows what is really in the agreement being pursued?

            I know some "basics" have been leaked - but can the current interpretations of those basics be trusted?


        2. Credence2 profile image78
          Credence2posted 8 years agoin reply to this

          GA, Yes, Bibi shananigans constituted an insult to the president as commander and chief and chief diplomat, after all the Secy of State reports to the President. The end run is not appreciated.

          On the contrary, it is the "latter". This is a GOP political stunt that has backfired. How many years ago was it when Israel made the preemptive attack on an Iranian facility that Israel considered a threat? It was so long ago, I can't even remember the year. Bibi cries wolf, for the last 20 years Bibi warned us that an Iranian nuclear capacity was always "just around the corner".

          yes, Bibi is taking advantage of partisan politics here the way that a Rabin or Sharon would have been loathe toward.

          Israel foreign policy has too much been unilateral action asking the U.S. to involve itself after the fact without consultation. Obama negotiations is Israel's best bet, because we have a variety of interests in the region and I am not willing to defend Israel on a unilateral basis no longer.

          Obama and prominent reps of the global community has the best chance of controlling and containing Iran on terms mutually agreeable to all parties with enforcement not solely based on the AMERICAN military. So, what do the conservatives have as an alternative ? Bibi can go it alone with more preemptive strikes, asking for retaliation in kind by its neighbors. Or better yet, he can have us break off negotiations with Iran with the assistance of the G-5 and goad us into a war with Iran while they stand on the sidelines. The dopey GOP, are being manipulated by Bebi, playing into his hands. I did not think they were so gullible I think THAt the current negotiations with the current parties should be given a chance before the GOP starts its saber rattling

          1. rhamson profile image71
            rhamsonposted 8 years agoin reply to this

            I think it goes deeper than dopey GOP congressmen. Boehner is for sale to many different causes. That he wants to inject himself into the foreign policy of the US is a joke. Wasn't it Boehner who gave out tobacco lobbying checks on the House floor?

            1. Credence2 profile image78
              Credence2posted 8 years agoin reply to this

              Rh, Boehner is engaged in distraction politics. He needs to create a diversion from his dismal failure as house speaker to short circuit the president's initiatives. John of Orange is a trapped and desperate political animal. He couldn't care less abut the actual issues involved here. Whether it's Iran or tobacco,  Boehner is a two bit phony

              1. profile image57
                retief2000posted 8 years agoin reply to this

                If I accept your premise ( I do not) then it is the current fashion for the President, as well. An American woman is murdered by ISIS and Obama releases his little self indulgent "selfie/YOLO" video. Thank God it was the 50th Anniversary of Selma, an important event in contemporary American History, or the Media would have to address how ISIS is destroying entire ancient archeaological treasures of Western Civilization - like the ancient cities of Nimrud and Hatra.

                Boehner has provided the leftist media another propaganda opportunity to ignore the crucial condition of the world. Was Netanyahu's worthy of ire and distraction - no, but it had its value if emotions could be stirred. The media is an instrument of the left and it has availed itself of every opportunity to distort, obfuscate, conceal, excuse, distract, etc.... Outside the alternative media, where are the stories of Obama's golfing? His distortions and out right lies? His use of drones to murder the poor collateral innocents surrounding his personally selected targets?

    2. wilderness profile image94
      wildernessposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Not when the leaders refuse to listen or speak themselves. 

      "...that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."  (A. Lincoln, Gettysburg Address)

      When a politician won't listen, all that is left is that "by the people".  In this case, congress as a whole.

    3. Shinkicker profile image53
      Shinkickerposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Definitely disrespectful for this mass murderer to be lauded and applauded in Congress. He's a war criminal for his slaughter of thousands of innocent Palestinians.

    4. rhamson profile image71
      rhamsonposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      I say let him speak if he wishes. This country was supposedly founded on freedom of speech. If what he says makes sense then the people should write their congressmen and express it. But what of the special interest people? Do the defense contractors gain anything from this? What of the Jewish lobby? But more importantly what about his re-election possibilities? All of this is part of the paradigm. I would not worry about Obama feeling slighted in this as his influence in the world has not changed very much. As far as diplomatic protocol it is about the same as political respect. When politicians are tired of dealing with an issue they pick a scapegoat and throw them to the wolves.

    5. profile image57
      retief2000posted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Congress is perfectly within its authority to invite whomever they choose to address their body. I find it disrespectful that the President of the United States would snub the leader of an allied nation when he visits our country. Was it disrespectful of Democrats in Congress to send letters of support to Sandinista dictator Daniel Ortega? or Pal around with the likes of Hugo Chavez or Bashir al Assad?

    6. rhamson profile image71
      rhamsonposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Well he seemed to Pi$$ off a lot of Israelis. … m-1.645757

      1. Writer Fox profile image32
        Writer Foxposted 8 years agoin reply to this

        On the contrary, that rally was very small by Israeli standards.  With elections just 10 days away, all of the parties are holding rallies.  The one you noted, by the way, was funded by foreign sources: … PyL_3yUdac

        It's very hard for you to understand the political system in Israel, because it is more democratic than the two-party system in America.  The current Knesset (Parliament) has 120 members from 12 political parties.  And, the political party which wins the most Knesset seats is not necessarily the party of the next Prime Minister.

        Also, unlike Obama, Netanyahu is a career politician and if he loses the election, he will still lead the Likud party and sit in the Knesset as leader of the opposition. American Presidents are put out to pasture on the lecture circuit and have little influence on U.S. decisions after their terms expire.

        1. rhamson profile image71
          rhamsonposted 8 years agoin reply to this

          Quickly refuting something by deterring validity is a good way to cover something up now isn't it. Had anybody not shown up would be the real story of solidarity not the other way around. Many have verified the Prime Ministers intent and political aspirations with his latest foray into American politics. As far as putting our Presidents "out to pasture" maybe you should consider it too. Too much power in the hands of career politicians is a good way to assure that nothing gets better in some aspects of government. As far as the two party system I do agree that it has many serious drawbacks. One being usurping diplomatic protocol and using outside influence to create controversy and derision.

    7. Writer Fox profile image32
      Writer Foxposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      U.S. Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address a joint meeting with the U.S. Senate on March 3rd on the subject of further sanctions/actions against Iran's nuclear ambitions. Congress is an independent branch of the U.S. government and doesn't require the President's approval to perform its duties under the constitution. Congress can veto and override any treaty signed by the President.

      The independence of Congress is part of the checks and balances under which the U.S. government operates.  Congress can also vote to increase sanctions on Iran without the president's approval.

      So, the speaker was definitely acting within his duties to examine the question of lifting sanctions against Iran.  The conflicts Barack Hussein Obama II has with Congress are not the result of anything the Israeli Prime Minister controls or influences, but are a result of a Republican dominance in Congress and a lack of respect for the President by a majority of its members. To exclude Congress from the decision making process on Iran is Obama's mistake, because Congress can override him.

      When Congress first imposed sanctions on Iran for its nuclear ambitions, it had 200 centrifuges.  Today, it has 20,000 centrifuges. 

      Netanyahu's speech before the joint session was interrupted by applause 44 times from congressional members from both political parties and ended with a standing ovation. He argued the United States should insist the restrictions remain in place until Iran has stopped “its aggression against its neighbors in the Middle East”, stopped “supporting terrorism around the world,” and stopped “threatening to annihilate my country, Israel.”  Congress is well aware of Iran's 'Death to America' threats chanted almost daily on the streets of Teheran.

      There are 17 countries which have nuclear energy and they don't enrich uranium.     You don't need to enrich uranium to have nuclear fuel. In an age when nuclear bombs can be carried in a suitcase, why does Iran need to enrich uranium?

      Prime Minister Netanyahu made two specific points in his address: 1) Netanyahu is calling for a longer breakout time than one year and 2) he is calling for an agreement which doesn't automatically expire in 10 years without a behavioral change on the behalf of Iran.

      Saudi Arabia (the land of Mecca), as it vies for head of the Islamic world against Iran, was in urgent meetings Wednesday with Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, the day before Secretary of State John Kerry's visit to the capital Riyadh. Saudi Arabia, in fact, helped Pakistan (which shares a border with Iran) gain nuclear weapons and provided financing.  Pakistani nuclear missiles can be shipped to Saudi Arabia at any time. Saudi Arabia is extremely concerned about Iran's nuclear capabilities because Iran threatens his country and his country's allies.

      Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer in a Fox News interview with Greta Van Susteren said, "When the Israelis and Arabs are on the same page, people should pay attention because that doesn't happen too often." … latestnews
      From the Fox News link above, "In Riyadh, Kerry met Thursday with counterparts from the Kuwait, UAE, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman -- all Sunni nations concerned about Iran's intentions in Iraq, Syria and Yemen.

      "At a press conference Thursday, Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal expressed concern over Iran's involvement in helping Iraqi forces in Tikrit. 'The situation in Tikrit is a prime example of what we are worried about. Iran is taking over the country.'"

      Since the declaration of the Islamic Republic of Iran in 1979, the government of Iran has been accused by the U.S. of funding, providing equipment, weapons, training and giving sanctuary to terrorists.

      Since 2001, Iran has funded the Hamas terrorist organization and supplied it with weapons, resulting in more than 12,000 rockets fired into Israel by Hamas.

      Iran sends entire shiploads of rockets and weapons into the now independent Gaza strip for use by its proxy, Hamas, in attacks against civilians in Israel:
      The Karine A, January, 2002
      The Victoria Affair, March, 2011
      Operation Full Disclosure, March, 2014

      Obama should listen to the concerns of Congress because without its support, Obama can't cut a deal with Iran.  Also, any of the other countries involved in sanctions against Iran are in no way obligated to accept Obama's agreements with Iran.  Obama is demonstrating complete arrogance in ignoring the concerns of other countries and of Congress.

      1. rhamson profile image71
        rhamsonposted 8 years agoin reply to this

        "Prime Minister Netanyahu made two specific points in his address: 1) Netanyahu is calling for a longer breakout time than one year and 2) he is calling for an agreement which doesn't automatically expire in 10 years without a behavioral change on the behalf of Iran."

        Your points both have no specific or measurable results and is why Israel is not qualified to be involved in continuing talks. Your rant on centrifuges also does not allow for some agreement to be met. Israel's want is to say no to just about everything Iran wants except when it comes to trading with the Iranians. Khomeini cut ties with Israel and Ahmadinejad complained heavily about Mosad assassinating their top nuclear scientists. Sounds like Israel wants to take things into their own hands and then demand some type of cooperating treaty. Getting it both ways is an Israeli trait and staple.

      2. Credence2 profile image78
        Credence2posted 8 years agoin reply to this

        WF, obviously you are quite interested in this topic and will not dismiss your points of view out of hand, but:

        1.    Yes, Congress is and independent branch of the government. But the Constitution clearly provides that the authority to negotiate treaties with foreign governments is vested in the Executive Branch, the President and his Cabinet, (Secy of State).

        2.     The SENATE not inclusive of the House of Representatives have the function of advise and consent and must ratify any treaty negotiated by the Executive. Boehner is House Speaker, so where does he fit in in all of this?
        3.    The initiative and prerogative in the conduct of foreign policy belongs to the president, not 535 individual negotiators. If Congress can muster the sufficient votes to override the President’s veto pen, then bring it on! We will all find this quite counterproductive.

        4.    The lack of respect in this ‘end run’ is not helping. Netanyahu being this shrewd politician everyone gives him credit for should have known full well that what he was doing was immersing himself in our partisan politics instead of his keeping his focus and using the appropriate channels.

        5.    Regardless of the centrifuges, does Iran have the bomb? How many nuclear bombs does Israel have? I know that if I were Iran, I would not be comfortable being disarmed in the face of potential enemy.

        6.    Netanyahu’s perspective indicates that his objective is war and the total destruction of Iran, which he tries to sugarcoat with the niceties of diplomacy. Bibi has been harping about this for 20 years, so what has changed?  Are you prepared for war? We have an obligation to exhaust every peaceful alternative.

        7.    He can always act unilaterally, but he and unfortunately the nation he represents will pay the price. Have you heard that he recently decided to ‘deep six’ the two-state solution that he signed up for a few years ago?  That is going to play well in the field of international diplomacy.

        8.    If he is not going to take steps to promote peace in the region, then I have to question why should I ‘have his back’. I need a return on my investment of so much of my tax dollars every year.

        9.    The way to get Iran to stand down short of war is international cooperation between those in the region and the prominent nation-states in the world. When it comes time to confront Iran, it is an international crusade, not a pax-americana. So, I stand with the President and his approach to this problem.

  2. mishpat profile image61
    mishpatposted 8 years ago

    Keep up the good work, Ben.  It is good to see there is real leadership somewhere in the world.

  3. mishpat profile image61
    mishpatposted 8 years ago

    There must be a reasoning or venue in which one can or should give or show respect to or for a person.  Lacking that, which is the case here, disrespect is a moot point.  One does not "deserve" respect because of who they are but for what their actions say they are.

  4. mishpat profile image61
    mishpatposted 8 years ago

    Got an opinion? Fine, make it known.  But please don't include me as one that agrees with you using those well worn euphemisms of "the people agreed",  "the nation agrees", "Americans agree".  By doing so, in my eyes, you lose credibility since you really have no idea what another thinks, much like the news parrots and boisterous politicians. 

    And, btw, that include making statements that have a nuance of the above, another favorite of the disingenuous and cowardly.  It allows one to make a subliminal statement but later deny having "said that."



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