Sunday, July 26, 2015

Why Did Netanyahu Make a Speech to the US Congress?

On March 3, 2015 Prime Minister Netanyahu made a speech before the US Congress condemning the negotiations with Iran about its nuclear program.

But was this speech really about Iran's nuclear program? Here's one Israeli who suspects there were other motives behind the speech.
At the invitation of House Speaker John Boehner, Netanyahu was originally scheduled to address a joint session Congress on February 11. Netanyahu later asked that the speech be postponed by three weeks, slotting the high-profile address just two weeks before the March 17 election.

If Netanyahu truly believed the speech was of the utmost urgency to the Iran question – and not just a grand ploy to sway voters and distract them throughout the campaign from social issues the prime minister wants to avoid - why would he ask to have it postponed?

Then there is the timing of the speech itself. The Tuesday speech to Congress, as well as a companion Netanyahu address Monday to the AIPAC pro-Israel lobby, have both been scheduled for low-rating, midweek, mid-morning Eastern Standard Time, yawningly early in the Western U.S. – but perfect for prime time viewing here in Israel. (Bradley Burston, Think Netanyahu's speech is really about Iran? Think again, Haaretz, March 2, 2015. )
Before reading that article I did not know that the speech was delayed like that on Netanyahu's initiative.

But there's more. Turns out there is a housing crisis in Israel. Burston proposes that the speech was made to shift focus away from the housing crisis during the recent Israeli election.
Alluding to the housing report, Netanyahu told Likud activists last week that "When we speak about housing prices and the cost of living, not for one moment do I forget the matter of sustenance itself, of living, that is to say, life.

"And the greatest challenge that we face it the threat of an Iran arming itself with nuclear weapons, with the declared goal of annihilating us."

The quote was posted to Netanyahu's Facebook page, where it caused a brief storm, and was summarily deleted. (Bradley Burston, Think Netanyahu's speech is really about Iran? Think again, Haaretz, March 2, 2015. )
 Wow. Let this be a lesson in listening to a wide range of sources to better understand a situation.

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