Speaking before a joint session of Congress Tuesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made it unequivocally clear that if the United States strikes a deal with Iran that Israel believes is flawed – as the one currently being negotiated is – it will attack the Iranians and try to deprive them of a nuclear weapons capability.
“Even if Israel has to stand alone, Israel will stand,” Netanyahu declared.
Tasked with explaining the weakness of the deal the White House is about to enter into with Iran, Netanyahu rose grandly to the occasion, delivering a stirring speech that had members of Congress constantly on their feet in bipartisan applause. In a phrase, he hit it out of the park.
Netanyahu explained the agreement not only forced the United States to trust Iran, a country that is not trustworthy, but that by sunsetting in ten years, it “paves Iran’s path to the bomb.”
The logic would seem irrefutable, except for the administration’s contention that this is the best that can be done. To this, Netanyahu responded that Israel could actually accept a better deal that was also one that doesn’t run out while the Iranian regime retains its current character.
He turned President Obama’s own words against him, saying:
My friends, for over a year, we’ve been told that no deal is better than a bad deal. Well, this is a bad deal. It’s a very bad deal. We’re better off without it.
Netanyahu sought to erase the mythology promulgated by the White House that the Iranian regime could be made into some kind of ally, casting the Iran as an implacable strategic adversary with “Jihad” at its core that is “gobbling up” other nations, fomenting terrorism, and that could soon have nuclear weapons to radically augment its menace.
Weakness that would “sacrifice the future for the present” and “ignore aggression in the hopes of gaining an illusory peace” had been tried before in history, with catastrophic results, Netanyahu said.
Addressing Elie Wiesel, who was seated next to Netanyahu’s wife in front row of the gallery, the prime minister said:
Elie, your life and work inspires to give meaning to the words, “never again.” And I wish I could promise you, Elie, that the lessons of history have been learned. I can only urge the leaders of the world not to repeat the mistakes of the past.
The Jewish state was created in the aftermath of World War II for a reason: to safeguard the Jewish people, no matter the actions of friends or foes.
That mission, Netanyahu vowed, would be accomplished:
I can guarantee you this, the days when the Jewish people remained passive in the face of genocidal enemies, those days are over.
We are no longer scattered among the nations, powerless to defend ourselves. We restored our sovereignty in our ancient home. And the soldiers who defend our home have boundless courage. For the first time in 100 generations, we, the Jewish people, can defend ourselves.
This is why — this is why, as a prime minister of Israel, I can promise you one more thing: Even if Israel has to stand alone, Israel will stand.
The invocation of his soldiers’ “boundless courage” was a clear indication that Israel would fight, even with the task so daunting.
And with Obama and Secretary of State Kerry determined to avoid conflict and strike a deal at all costs, the boundless courage of Israel’s young fighters may be all that stands in the way of a homicidal regime that would wage Jihad with nuclear weapons.