Netanyahu’s speech was so predicable. Here’s why
Benjamin Netanyahu speaks about Iran during his speech to the UN Congress, March 3, 2015. (AFP/File)
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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s controversial and long-anticipated speech to Congress Tuesday contained all of the predictable generalizations and sweeping statements that could have been expected, but whether or not it will have the intended outcome is more difficult to predict.
For while he may have received plenty of standing ovations in Congress, it is unlikely he would receive that many in the Knesset. And while he may have claimed, upon opening his speech, that it was not intended to be political, he then launched into a political tirade, aimed chiefly at the Israeli electorate ahead of elections later this month.
The speech centered on the Iranian nuclear talks and the US-Israeli relationship, with no mention of the Palestinians. And as some commentators in the US said, while he initially praised Obama, and reiterated that he meant him no disrespect in his speech, he then proceeded to bury him. Devoid of any logical argument or analysis, Netanyahu claimed the nuclear talks – a key policy and potential legacy of Obama’s tenure – are “bad” and worse than no deal at all. A “better deal” was the solution, Netanyahu claimed, but without suggesting any details of what such a better deal might contain.
But comments released from US administration officials directly after Netanyahu had wrapped up indicate that his illogical ramblings will, thankfully, have no sway over the talks. Every accusation leveled at the U.S., in terms of the alleged weakness of the nuclear negotiations, has already been tackled, and to pretend otherwise is not naïve but deliberately misleading. Hopefully, U.S. officials are wising up to the deception of the only, and undeclared, nuclear power in the region.
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