Netanyahu’s Political Brilliance
by ALEXANDER G. MARKOVSKY
February 15, 2015
In this turbulent era, which Henry Kissinger described as one of "war of all against all," the United States is proceeding to make a strategic choice existential to the state of Israel.
On November 24, 2013, in Geneva, Switzerland, the United States and the P5+1countries signed an interim agreement with Iran to temporarily freeze parts of the Iranian nuclear program. The Obama administration could hardly contain its euphoria. The president proclaimed that the diplomacy of the U.S. and its allies "opened up a new path toward a world that is more secure." Secretary of State Kerry was not far behind when he said, "It will make our ally Israel safer."
Benjamin Netanyahu did not share the administration's Chamberlain-like optimism and issued a sharp warning, calling the agreement "a historic mistake." He also committed himself to "go anywhere I am invited to make the state of Israel's case and defend its future and existence." Netanyahu was not alone in his gloomy assessment of the agreement.
In his thoughtful book, World Order, Kissinger validates Netanyahu's judgment: "When negotiations started in 2003, Iran had 130 centrifuges. At this writing [late 2014], it has deployed approximately 19,000 (though only half are in use). At the beginning of the negotiations, Iran was not able to produce any fissile material; in the November 2013 interim agreement, Iran acknowledged that it possessed seven tons of low-grade enriched uranium that, with the numbers of centrifuges Iran possesses, can be transformed into weapon-grade material in a number of months enough for seven to ten Hiroshima-type bombs."
This contradictory interpretation of the agreement resulted in an apparent rift between the Republican majority in Congress and the administration, which is proceeding toward a nuclear agreement with Iran without a congressional mandate. Pressed by the lack of transparency and the informational embargo the administration imposed on the country, Speaker of the House John Boehner offered Netanyahu a chance to take his case directly to "We the People." That offer infuriated the president, and congressional Democrats threatened to boycott Netanyahu's address to Congress.
To justify its opposition, the White House cited the precedent of not offering foreign leaders a platform before their elections, in order to avoid the perception of interfering in the election process of other countries. Furthermore, the administration said, it was a violation of protocol for the Israeli premier to fail to consult the White House before accepting Boehner's invitation. Neither of the two arguments holds water. The first is simply disingenuous, considering that the White House has a team of community organizers in Israel working to undermine Netanyahu and prevent his reelection. The second may not even be true. The following is a correction in the official organ of the American Left, The New York Times, to a previous article that accused Netanyahu of breaching protocol:
Correction: January 30, 2015 An earlier version of this article misstated when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel accepted Speaker John A. Boehner's invitation to address Congress. He accepted after the administration had been informed of the invitation, not before.
A skeptical sophist such as I might ask what all this fuss is about. Whether or not Netanyahu consulted the White House before speaking to Congress, wouldn't the "defenders" of Israel want to have a philosophical debate and receive input from their ally on the subject of Israel's security? Do the Democrats treat Israel like a prisoner of American political interests? Do they have something to hide?
As if to prove they do, Netanyahu was venomously attacked by the Democrats, who could hardly conceal their animosity and sense of inordinate fear that the highly intelligent, articulate and well-informed Netanyahu would reveal what they do not want to hear and do not want the American people to know. For the Democrats, who prefer ambivalence to action when it comes to Israeli security, this is a time of reckoning. They have been led into a trap by John Boehner and forced to choose between their president and the security of a U.S. ally.
If the Democrats support a president whose policies, according to the prime minister, do exactly the opposite of what he proclaimed, they would have to assume that Obama knows something about Israeli security that Netanyahu doesn't. Given the series of recent diplomatic failures in the Middle East, where administration policies and all the judgments have been proven wrong, this is a hard sell. It is apparent that the Democrats need to search for something more to re-affirm their pro-Israel position.
If they attend Netanyahu's address, they would have to dissociate themselves from the president, validating the fact that his policies are anti-Israel.
Although the Democrats are not overly concerned about American Jews voting Republican anytime soon, regardless of the party's position on Israel, the drama tears apart a meticulously constructed cocoon of being pro-Israeli and pro-Jewish and exposes deeply rooted anti-Semitism. As prominent Zionist Max Nordau once observed, "The Jew learns not by way of reason but from catastrophes." To the Jews-and non-Jews-who suffer a colossal memory loss, it is worth reminding that the Democratic Party was at the dawn of Jewish catastrophes that began with the 1939 voyage of the German ocean liner MS St. Louis.
The captain of the ship, Gustav Schroeder, tried to save 937 German Jewish refugees by bringing his ship to Miami, only to learn that President Roosevelt and the Democratic Congress refused his passengers a safe harbor. As a result, the passengers ended up in concentration camps such as Auschwitz and Sóbibor, where most of them perished. By refusing to allow Jews to enter the United States, the Democrats sent the unambiguous message to Jews that they were not welcome in the United States and offered Hitler a propaganda coup: justification for the Holocaust. The Nazis could say that they were not alone in their hatred of Jews; the rest of the world, including the United States, did not want them either.
So, while the Democrats are welcoming thousands of illegal children from Latin America into the USA with open arms and loving hearts, calling them "America's hope for the future," we shall remember the tragic destiny of more than a millions of Jewish children who were deprived of the chance to be part of the American future-or of any future. They ended up in Nazi gas chambers because the Democrats refused them asylum in the United States.
Since the creation of the state of Israel, the Democrats have been long on rhetoric and short on material support when it counted the most-during Israel's wars. The Truman administration imposed an arms embargo during the war for independence. Since the Arabs were armed to the teeth and trained by the British, the embargo effectively deprived the Jews of the means to defend themselves. Israel was saved by the Soviet Union, which provided weapons, logistics and military know-how via Czechoslovakia.
During the run-up to the Six-Day War, President Johnson repeatedly rebuffed Israeli requests for military aid despite escalating tensions and the inevitability of military conflict. He eventually yielded to the pressure and dropped his opposition when the war finally began in June 1967. The fallout from the ongoing nuclear talks with Iran underlines the immutable reality: Jewish history does not repeat itself, it simply continues. The actors are different, but the script remains the same.
Netanyahu's upcoming speech is an act of both desperation and political brilliance. Desperation, because a nuclear holocaust is being imposed on Israel as a fait accompli. Netanyahu as a man, as a father and grandfather, as a Jew, as the prime minister of Israel has the fiduciary responsibility and moral obligation to prevent the impending catastrophe by all means at his disposal.
And an act of political brilliance, because the controversy and publicity have generated psychological momentum: when Netanyahu speaks, the world will listen. He will be heard in Tel Aviv, Teheran, Cairo, Amman, Moscow and many other places. In this country his audience will easily exceed that for Obama's State of the Union Address. And, after enduring with dignity Obama's customary harassment and the Democrats' hostility, it is Bibi's time to demonstrate his statesmanship and intellectual preeminence.
As a practical politician Bibi realizes that the popularity garnered by his speech may help him to secure a majority in the upcoming elections and put him in a strong position to accomplish the declared objectives for which he has the means and strategy. For him, the ordeal is a winner no matter how we look at it. For Obama and the Democrats, it is Zugzwang, the situation in a chess game where a player has to make a move but any possible move will only worsen his position.
Alexander G. Markovsky is a Russian émigré. He holds degrees in economics and political science from the University of Marxism-Leninism and an MS in structural engineering from Moscow University. He resides in Houston, Texas, with his wife and daughter, where he owns a consulting company specializing in the management of large international projects. Mr. Markovsky is a contributor to FamilySecurityMatters.org, and his essays have appeared on RedState.com, WorldNetDaily, Family Security Matters, Ruthfullyyours and other websites. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org