Nearly 60 Congressional Democrats boycotted today’s speech before Congress by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The purported reasons according to the Democrats were that Israeli and American politics were behind the PM’s speech and that Congress’s invitation was a breach of protocol.
Both the Democrat’s excuses for the boycott are lame. First, politics plays a role in what every politician does on a daily basis, whether he be the Prime Minister of Israel or President of the United States. As for the breach in protocol, that is a rather hollow excuse coming from this Leftist president for whom American history often is of little importance.
Irrespective of the personal differences between President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu, the Iranian matter is complex for which reasonable people can disagree. Iran has for decades proven to be one of the world’s foremost promoter of terrorism. It also continuously on threatens the annihilation of Israel. Given these realities should Iran become a nuclear power, a difficult world situation will become even more dangerous.
A nuclear armed Iran becomes an immediate existential threat to Israel. Should it also obtain intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), Iran would become a direct threat to the United States. In addition, should Iran go nuclear, its arch enemies, the Sunni Arab countries of Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, as well as Turkey, would likely join a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.
Given the complexity of the Iranian issue, we should promote active debate on possible responses. However, the Obama Administration and its allies in Congress instead seek to stifle debate and opposing opinions including those of Benjamin Netanyahu. It begs the question as to why they fear debate so much. It seems that the Obama Administration is so intent on making a deal with the ayatollahs that it would demonize and ally and thwart open debate.
This Blog comes with a Libertarian view towards and its rightful powers. On the other end of the philosophical spectrum are Progressives including liberal law professor, Alan Dershowitz. Dershowitz posted an op-ed prior to Netanyahu’s visit condoning those that would suppress his voice in front of Congress, article posted below. The ineffective leadership and failed policies of Barack Obama are bringing together a uniquely diverse group of opposition.
As a liberal Democrat who twice campaigned for President Barack Obama , I am appalled that some Democratic members of Congress are planning to boycott the speech of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on March 3 to a joint session of Congress. At bottom, this controversy is not mainly about protocol and politics—it is about the constitutional system of checks and balances and the separation of powers.
Under the Constitution, the executive and legislative branches share responsibility for making and implementing important foreign-policy decisions. Congress has a critical role to play in scrutinizing the decisions of the president when these decisions involve national security, relationships with allies and the threat of nuclear proliferation.
Congress has every right to invite, even over the president’s strong objection, any world leader or international expert who can assist its members in formulating appropriate responses to the current deal being considered with Iran regarding its nuclear-weapons program. Indeed, it is the responsibility of every member of Congress to listen to Prime Minister Netanyahu, who probably knows more about this issue than any world leader, because it threatens the very existence of the nation state of the Jewish people. Read the rest of this entry »