It was quite the speech, not only for its tremendous force, logic, and clarity, but also for its tact. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (#15 FCIL) put forth a compelling case to Congress on Tuesday as to why the United States shouldn’t agree to any nuclear deals with Iran, something President Barack Obama (#13 FCIR) has been keen on. Still, Netanyahu began his speech by turning “the other cheek” and “praising President Obama even while the White House snubs him and seeks to discredit his stance on Iranian nuclear negotiations.”
In Benjamin’s own words, We appreciate all that President Obama has done for Israel. Some of it is widely known . . . Some of what the president has done for Israel is less well-known. He then went on for several minutes to detail what some of those “less well-known” things were, including the 2010 Carmel forest fire and the siege of the Israeli embassy in Cairo during the 2011 unrest.
Meanwhile, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (#15 FCIL) wasn’t abashed with her feelings, “applauding half-heartedly and then quickly exiting the chamber after the speech, before Netanyahu did.” Pelosi has been irate with House Speaker John Boehner (#7 FEIL) for inviting Netanyahu in the first place, saying, It is out of the ordinary that the speaker would decide that he would be inviting people to a joint session without any bipartisan consultation.”
Netanyahu showed the world exactly why he is a master of the podium, giving several sharp one-liners intended to stick in the minds of his audience. He urged the U.S. not to “be fooled” by Iran’s recent efforts to oppose the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, stating, “When it comes to Iran and ISIS, the enemy of your enemy — is your enemy.” Great emphasis was also put on the fact that the deal would leave in place a “vast nuclear infrastructure” that would not require nuclear facilities to be destroyed. As the restrictions would then expire in a decade, Iran would be poised to do its bidding without intervention. While 10 years seems like a long time from a political perspective, “It’s the blink of an eye in the life of a nation,” Netanyahu said.
We’ve often stated before that #15s typically aren’t reliant on teleprompters like their #13 cousins, and Benjamin didn’t disappoint. Several times throughout his speech he paused and gave statements from the heart, frequently looking up at his audience instead of down at his notes. At the beginning, he even stopped to diffuse partisan tension by acknowledging Harry Reid (#16 BCIL) and his recent freak exercise injury, saying, “You can’t keep a good man down.” Sincere or not, an honorable gesture on his part.
Yes, the cool, charismatic Q3 Benjamin was at his best, though it remains to be seen whether the speech will have any affect on nuclear negotiations. Regardless, he certainly did his job as an ever-so-rare, worthy world leader, putting the interests of his nation ahead of politics. It’s comforting to know that someone actually exists in global governance who is consistently principled, stable, and a genuine builder and protector of his country.
Written by: Staff
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