Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The fallout from Netanyahu’s speech: hate mail

Do you know about hate mail? It’s a form of communication. It’s designed to belittle someone. It’s ‘speech’ that aims to intimidate.  
It’s intentional. It’s threatening. It’s dismissive and insulting.
Hate mail has a purpose. That purpose is to demean, dismiss and to frighten.
That’s how some American’s have reacted to Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech yesterday to a joint session of the US Congress.
Netanyahu spoke of a dangerous rogue nation. His critics sent him ‘hate mail’.
Netanyahu spoke about the threat of a nuclear Iran. He said current negotiations with Iran to end its nuclear ambitions will lead to ‘a bad deal’. Those negotiations, he said, won’t stop Iran’s drive to a nuclear weapon; it will ‘pave the way’ to it (Aron Heller and Deb Reichmann, “Iran nuclear deal ‘paves the way to the bomb,’ Netanyahu says in fiery speech to U.S. Congress”, National Post, March 3, 2015).
Instead of confronting Iran, some powerful Americans choose to snort in derision at Netanyahu. US President Obama thought so little of Netanyahu, he didn’t attend the speech.  After the speech, he sniffed that Netanyahu offered no viable alternatives (“Obama says Netanyahu's Iran speech contains 'nothing new'”, BBC, March 4, 2015). He said: “What I can guarantee is that if it’s a deal I’ve signed off on, I will be able to prove that it is the best way for us to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon” (Charlie Spierling, “Obama reacts to Netanyahu Speech ‘As Far As I Could Tell, There Was Nothing New’”, Breitbart, March 3, 2015).
Netanyahu doesn’t believe him. He said the US is building a deal with Iran that depends upon monitors watching Iran. In his speech, Netanyahu called Iran’s response to such monitors, a game of ‘hide and cheat’.
He warned the world that ‘hide and cheat’ doesn’t mean compliance. It means a terror-supporting Iran will build nuclear bombs.
His critics began sending out ‘hate mail’ even before the speech began. Before Netanyahu left Israel, his speech was called “a revolting insult” (William Saletan, “An Israeli Insult”, Slate, February 27, 2015). After the speech, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called it ‘an insult to the intelligence of the United States (Lauren French, “Nancy Pelosi: Netanyahu speech ‘insulting to the intelligence of the United States’”, Politico, March 3, 2015).
Apparently, Pelosi knows all about insults. During the speech, she insulted Netanyahu by standing up (with everyone else) and then turning her back to him (Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu, “Netanyahu Says Israel Can Stand Alone—and Pelosi Turns Her Back”, The Jewish Press, March 3, 2015).
Before the speech, US Secretary of State John Kerry implicitly threatened Netanyahu. He warned the Prime Minister not to reveal unpublicized details of the Iran talks (“Kerry Warns Israel PM Against Revealing Details of Iran Nuclear Deal”, Newsmax, March 2, 2015).
After the speech, several Democrats “spewed venom” at Netanyahu. The viciousness of their assault was called, “stunning, nearly unbelievable” (Hana Levi Julian, “Some Democrats Aim Venom, Charge Israel Prime Minister with ‘Fear-Mongering’”, The Jewish Press, March 3, 2015).
While these anti-Israel Americans savaged Netanyahu, anti-Israel Arab countries had a different reaction. The day before the speech, the Editor-in-Chief of Al Arabiya English published an editorial under the headline: “President Obama, listen to Netanyahu on Iran”. His editorial was a reaction to Netanyahu’s speech to AIPAC on March 2, 2015. He wrote: “In just a few words, Mr. Netanyahu managed to accurately summarize a clear and present danger, not just to Israel (which obviously is his concern), but to other U.S. allies in the region” (Yochanan Visser, “Arab Commentators Back Netanyahu On Speech To Congress”, westernjournalism, March 3, 2015).
The Saudi Al-Jazirah also supported the speech. It wrote that Netanyahu’s campaign against the deal was justified (ibid).
As if to buttress Netanyahu’s argument, Reuters reported that—even as the US insisted its deal with Iran would prevent Iran from going nuclear—the UN nuclear watchdog wasn’t so certain (Shadia Nasralla, “UN nuclear watchdog says pace of Iran’s cooperation slow”, March 2, 2015). The watchdog stated that Iran simply wasn’t cooperating with those responsible for monitoring its nuclear activities. What does that tell you about Iran’s intentions?
Certainly, it tells Netanyahu that if Iran won’t cooperate before a deal is signed, when sanctions are in place to give negotiations a bite, Iran surely won’t cooperate when sanctions have been lifted.
Still, the hate mail accumulates.
-Netanyahu’s speech was a stunt and a debacle (Jason Easley, “Boehner Stunt Backfires As NBC, CBS and ABC Don’t Televise Netanyahu Speech To Congress”, Politicus usa, March 3, 2015).
-It was ‘Strangeloveian’ (Andrew Kirell, “Cnn’s Christiane Amanpour: Netanyahu Speech Was ‘Strangeloveian’”, Mediaite, March 3, 2015).
-It was a startling  and remarkable and misguided attempt by a foreigner to take over US foreign policy (Matt Wilstein, “Chris Matthews: Netanyahu Tried To ‘Take Over’ US Foreign Policy Today”, Mediaite, March 3, 2015).
-It was fear-mongering (Josh Feldman, “Dem Rep: Netanyahu Speech ‘Fear-Mongering’ Straight From Cheney Playbook”, Mediaite, March 3, 2015).
 -It was an attempt to politicize the Holocaust (Andrew Desiderio, “CNN’s Gloria Borger: Netanyahu Politicized the Holocaust”, Mediaite, March 3, 2015).
Remember, these are just post-speech reactions. You haven’t seen tomorrow’s headlines.
The game of ‘trash Netanyahu’ has just begun.
Will he survive the trashing?
Will the idea of stopping Iran survive?

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