The trigger for the post was a Facebook entry by Jack Lieberman, a member of a FB groop "Two States for Two People" and, as I gather, an American Jew. The post calls to sign a petition that asks the Congress to cancel Netanyahu’s scheduled talk to Congress and, if the talk is not cancelled, to refuse to attend it.
Before I go into the bits and bytes of the whole story, let me share with you my personal opinion on the planned speech by our dear PM.
- Did Bibi time the visit as close to the elections in Israel as possible? Check.
- Does Bibi hope that the speech will have a positive (for his party) impact on the electorate? Check.
- Did Bibi use his personal relationships (with Boehner, among others) to organize the invitation? Check.
- Isn't all of the above somewhat reprehensible? Check.
- Is Bibi a politician? Check.
- Is he like any other politician? Check.
- Is he, like any other politician, weighing his every move from the point of view of his personal career enhancement? Check.
- Are the (projected) contents of his speech - about a poorly thought through deal the White House is going to sign with Iran - warning the US Congress and the world about a real burning issue? Check.
- What is the best timing for such warning? Yesterday would have been fine.
- Don't this visit and speech more or less repeat his 2011 visit and speech? Check.
- Is the political and media storm raised by the WH and some democrats around the speech somewhat artificial and reflecting agenda other then purely protocol issues? Check.
- Was there really a breach of protocol in the whole invitation process? Not so much anyone could put his/her finger on so far.
Since the 2000 election cycle, the MoveOn PAC has endorsed and supported the campaigns of candidates, including the 2008 candidacy of then-Senator Barack Obama, presidential candidate, nominee of the Democratic Party.But beyond the Wiki entry, Moveon is quite well know for some activities of more inflammatory kind. Let's leave it at that for now.
Now we can proceed to the chief mover behind the petition: Rep. Keith Ellison. I am not at all sure I want to go into the man's alleged Jihadist sympathies, like some people do. But his dubious past(?) love affair with Nation of Islam and his affinity with CAIR (the Council on American-Islamic Relations) should light up a warning for a Jewish promoter of that petition, at least for one who cares about the State of Israel. And if not the personality of Rep Ellison, then the arguments brought by his initiative against Bibi's appearance in the Congress:
The invitation is controversial for three reasons:To address the above points:
1) contrary to precedent, Boehner did not consult the White House or the House Democratic leadership in scheduling the speech;
2) the speech will be two weeks before the Israeli election, essentially making the U.S. Congress the backdrop for a speech in Netanyahu's re-election campaign, also contrary to precedent; and
3) the express purpose of the speech is to bash President Obama's Iran policy and demand that Congress pass new sanctions on Iran, which would blow up the U.S./Europe-Iran talks and put the U.S. on a path to war with Iran, as European leaders and the Congressional Progressive Caucus have warned.
- Only the author of the above knows what "contrary to precedent" means. So far not a single objector to Bibi's appearance was able to provide a reference to an item in the Congress protocol that enforces a consultation with the White House for such an invitation. Moreover, the pitiful attempt to claim that Bohner didn't notify the WH about the invitation, fell apart quite quickly.
- Due to a very selective memory, the author of the item could ill afford to write it. Other Israeli (and non-Israel) leaders were invited and hosted before elections in their countries.
- The WH Iran policy will be a separate subject of that post. But re that "demand that Congress pass new sanctions on Iran" - first of all, the Congress has already prepared a (bi-partisan) package of such sanctions Then, where from comes the idea that Bibi will talk about the sanctions? And, besides, how exactly Bibi is supposed to "demand"? Oops, that all-powerful Jewish lobby, I forgot...
The problems raised by authorities... can be summed up in three points:And it quickly goes downhill from here. Isn't the leader of a (friendly) country, which is traditionally first on the declared list of Iranian targets for annihilation, owed at least a chance to express his worry in view of his worst fears becoming true? Especially since the executive branch doesn't seem to give a damn about his concerns?
First, a process that began with the goal of eliminating Iran’s potential to produce nuclear weapons has evolved into a plan to tolerate and restrict that capability.
As for the Jewish left wing opponents of Bibi in US: of course, folks, you have the right to be supportive or critical of anything that goes on this planet, including the Israeli leaders and their shenanigans. And of course, you are USA citizens first and anything else is secondary to that. Definitely, if you feel that Bibi's behavior, which I too find somewhat questionable from time to time, was offensive to your Chief Executive, you should denounce Bibi, it is your right and your privilege.
Saying that, however, the distance between criticizing Bibi and signing and promoting a questionable initiative like that Moveon petition is quite large.
In short, people, we here do appreciate your concern about our not-so-perfect democratic institutions and about our far-from-perfect leaders. We also appreciate your interest and your support.
But this is not the way.
P.S. And it may help some of the overly agitated people to read The Correction.
P.P.S. A telling quote:
That disapproval apparently was orchestrated, or at least strongly encouraged, by the White House through communications with lawmakers connected to the Congressional Black Caucus.From here.
‘I’m not saying the president called anyone personally,’ a current White House staffer told Daily Mail Online.
‘But yeah, the White House sent a message to some at the CBC that they should suddenly be very upset about the speech.’