Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech triggered various reactions from both Democrats and Republicans, and it also led to a slight boost in popularity for him in the upcoming Israel elections.
His speech was mainly used to slam the emerging nuclear deal with Iran, which is a deal in progress with a deadline that’s coming up quickly. The negotiation is basically running off of of the U.S. agreeing to lift the economic sanctions that has been crippling Iran’s economy for years while Iran will agree to roll back its nuclear capabilities for “10 years or longer” to allow the U.S. to have more time to decide how to react Iran having nuclear weapons. Netanyahu backed up his views on the deal with plenty of well-laid out supporting arguments and argued that there needs to be a better solution that the Iran nuclear deal. Here’s a video that will quickly explain what the nuclear deal with Iran is:
The prime minister said that he had received positive responses from both Democrats and Republicans with his speech.
“The response I received from both Democrats and Republicans was very supportive,” Netanyahu said. “I got the impression that they better understand that the current proposal would lead to a bad deal and that the alternative is a better deal.”
However, he didn’t make everyone happy.
Netanyahu was invited to speak by Republicans, who control Congress, who didn’t consult Obama or other leading Democrats first. As many as 60 of the 232 Democratic members of Congress boycotted the address.
Therefore, Obama’s administration was very angry and said that he was damaging U.S.-Israeli ties. Obama criticized his speech, saying it offered “no viable alternatives” to an international deal being worked out with Tehran and it contained “nothing new.”
However, Netanyahu argued back, defending his speech by saying, “In my speech before the Congress, I presented a practical alternative.” He went on to explain that his alternative would be to impose tougher restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program and delay how quickly the country could assemble a nuclear weapon.
Not only did Netanyahu ruffle the feathers of the Obama administration, but he also ticked off Nancy Pelosi, who turned her back on Netanyahu when he said, “Even if Israel has to stand alone, Israel will stand.”
While nearly everyone else in the audience stood and cheered for the Israeli prime minister’s defiant declaration, the camera caught an unhappy-looking Pelosi turning her back and speaking to the colleagues behind her, according to PJ Media.
Netanyahu continued, “But I know that Israel does not stand alone. I know that America stands with Israel. I know that you stand with Israel.” The audience in the House chamber responded with another standing ovation and thunderous applause.
In a press statement after Netanyahu’s address, Pelosi said,
“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.”
The P5 +1 nations is a group of six world powers, including the U.S., Russia, China, UK, France, and Germany, which in 2006 joined the diplomatic efforts with Iran with regard to its nuclear program.