Doubtless by now, you have heard part or all of the speech, and much in response. I have several thoughts. First, I made popcorn. Seriously, I did, and thoroughly enjoyed it.
This was poison to Obama and his brownshirts. Even though Netanyahu want further than I imagined he could or would in gratitude toward Obama, he savaged the proposed deal. Left no meat on the bone. They cut away to Pelosi during the speech, and there were two times I remember when I thought she had lost her mind. (Well, she did so long ago, but further lost it). In one shot, she was applauding along with the rest of the chamber—but she was talking to herself, animatedly. In another, she was talking to someone else, just as animatedly. To see her visibly upset made my day.
All she could manage was a written statement released to the press:
“That is why, as one who values the US–Israel relationship, and loves Israel, I was near tears throughout the Prime Minister’s speech – saddened by the insult to the intelligence of the United States as part of the P5 +1 nations, and saddened by the condescension toward our knowledge of the threat posed by Iran and our broader commitment to preventing nuclear proliferation.”
Aw gee, toots, that’s tough. Take two Botox and call me in the morning.
So the speech was not about placating Obama: what else, then? It was meant to appeal to the 65%-70% of Americans, Republicans, independents, and those few Democrats not out of their freakin’ minds, who are not Obama bitter-enders. I think it played strongly to them. But Rush Limbaugh had this right-on observation, among many others: when Obama is (or feels) humiliated, he goes all in. He is more likely to rush to conclude a deal—perhaps a worse deal, just to spite you—than he is to scrap it and try to get to a better one. You don’t like it? Tough. Eat it.
If it failed to persuade Obama, directly of indirectly, what good did it do?
It announced to the world that one way or another, by treaty or by bombardment, alone or with help, Israel will guarantee that Iran will not become the civilizational threat that many fear it almost already is. Israel will lead.
The message will be met with almost as much hatred in Tehran as it was in Washington, but in other capitals there must be sighs of relief that someone responsible has filled the void of leadership America has created. Iran already has. Russia already has. China already has. Israel is minuscule in size compared to them, but outweighs them all in heart. I wish she didn’t have to do so, but Obama has left her little choice.
Maybe Netanyahu is like the guy surrounded by toughs in a dark alley. He knows he can’t take ‘em all, but he can take one or two, and he shows he’s not afraid to try. The doubts are now in their heads, not his, and he gets away safely. You have to be pretty crazy to try, but again what choice do you have? To walk into the US Congress and undress the sitting president is pretty meshuganah, you have to admit.
PS: Especially loved the shout-out to Moses at the end.
PPS: Caroline Glick:
Netanyahu did it. We have a leader. G-d bless him. He did it.