One person's thoughts may change the world
I’m torn in my evaluation of Benjamin Netanyahu. From a historical perspective, he will go down as one of Israel’s dynamic leaders. Served in the military, which all Israelites do, and is a war hero. Had a previous stint as Israeli Prime Minister, and is currently in a very tight race in an upcoming election. It’s well known that Netanyahu and President Obama don’t see eye to eye, as he looks upon the President as inexperienced, and too ready to pacify Iran in the current nuclear weapons negotiations, which will open the door for Iran to procure nuclear weapons. But, I am a little surprised he took Boehner’s bait by accepting a invitation to speak in front of Congress two weeks before a general election in Israel. The President of the United States is the representative of foreign policy for the country, not the speaker of the house. So what’s going on here?
In analyzing some of the Prime Minister’s comments during the speech, it seems on the surface, that he’s fear mongering as well as campaigning from the walls of Congress to the shores of Israel along the Mediterranean. How is he privy to the United States negotiation tools they are using during these critical talks? And based upon this knowledge, why is he willing to expose it and undermine President Obama? Why is he addressing Congress during simultaneous negotiations with Iran?
When thinking about the relationship between the United States, and Israel, it is of mutual respect, and of strategic importance. It is of special circumstances, with many Jews in the United States lobbying Congress. It’s also one that is long standing because of the critical time that Israel was officially a country, the United States unyielding support for Israel, and the only non Arabic/Muslim country in the middle east with close ties to it.
Benjamin Netanyahu, is a true Israeli. Born and raised there, politician and war hero. He also Attended MIT’s Sloan School of business, and even graduated from an American high school. he is a keen study of American culture and politics. Netanyahu is a cross between Dwight D. Eisenhower and General MacArthur. I got a very good picture of him on a PBS special with him giving the reporter a grand tour of Israel from almost ever corner. I was taken by his breath of history of the land, his understanding of the different religious crossroads his country has, and he is deeply passionate about it and full of energy while showing the reporter around. He spoke of it from a historical as well as cultural entity. Netanyahu, bleeds Israel, and loves his country with a deep passion. His resolve is unyielding. He has been shaped by the real world put before him, which is to him, an Israel that has many hostile enemies, to which you have to have a deep understanding of them, and also a deep resolve. He is not going to give up an inch to the Palestinians. The two state solution to him is a non starter, that time has come and gone with him. To be Palestinian and to live in the west bank is OK to him, as long as it’s considered Israeli territory. He knows the Palestinians need a place to live and flourish, but the two state solution is out of the question for him. To him, the real “person” pulling the strings in the middle east is… Iran.
President Obama is now legacy building. Opening up overdue relations with Cuba. Bringing Iran to the table with nuclear weapons talk and making an attempt to normalize relations. There is a distinct different between the two leaders. One knows the end will soon come to fruition, while the other sees his political life at stake and perhaps a balance of power changing in the Middle East. Netanyahu’s Likud party and Obama’s vision are at odds. Likud thrives under Republican who shoot first and ask questions later, ala George Bush. But let me make this clear, Netanyahu is no George Bush.
Egypt, which Israel has had a long standing peace accord with, is no longer the center of the middle east from an intellectual standpoint. Still a major player, but rocked by the Muslim brotherhood and the recent coup by the military. With the demise of all the old strongmen Saddam, Mubarak, Kaddafi, Iran and Libya are now on the verge of civil war. Syria which is also experiencing it’s own civil war, is now dealing with ISIL/ISIS. The Middle East in many ways is at its most unstable period since before the Ottoman Empire.
Lebanon, is still recovering from a civil war that tore the country apart from harboring terrorists, a Muslim Christian war, Palestinian refugee housing, and a host of other problems associated with being the neighbor of the great enemy of the Muslim world. So with all these countries in turmoil, who is left to lead….Jordan? Saudi Arabia? no, it’s Iran. They lead by providing weapons to Hezbollah, and sponsoring state terrorism.
So, Netanyahu gives his speech Congress. Warns of incoming doom. Iran gets a nuclear weapon, and changes the balance of the Middle East again. Next, Saudi Arabia want’s one. So, now, you have post WWII, 21st century countries with their finger on the button. Then eventually, a radical is sold some nuclear fission material, if that hasn’t already happening. What do we do then?