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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 1/26/15

"NYT" and Matthews warn that Netanyahu speech to Congress could lead US to war

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"Domestic politics are also at work. Republicans apparently see value in trying to sabotage any possible success for Mr. Obama, even if it harms American interests."

Yes and when do domestic politics harm US interests? Why isn't that a huge scandal to be investigated? That's more dangerous than the gun lobby, you'd think.

The Times says that Netanyahu is taking a great risk with the US coalition that supports Israel. Secretary of State John Kerry just went to bat for him against the Palestinians.

"Even Mr. Kerry, who recently called almost 50 world leaders in an effort to block the Palestinians' attempt to join the International Criminal Court, is losing patience with Mr. Netanyahu's decision to 'play politics,' according to his aides. Can Mr. Netanyahu really afford to dismiss such allies?"

He called 50 leaders! Wow.

E.J. Dionne is also shocked by the political effrontery, speaking on National Public Radio:

"Bibi's coming to speak against the president's policy. There's no easy analogy because Israel has a particular place in the hearts of a lot of Americans, but I was thinking gosh, if the Democrats had invited Jacques Chirac to address Congress about the Iraq war -- in other words, this is somebody who opposes President Obama's policy. I don't think there's any precedent for this. The White House is clearly furious."

My own analogy: inviting Vladimir Putin to come speak against the Cuba opening.

On the same radio segment, David Brooks expressed the fear that this bold move will fracture the Israel lobby.

"I guess I don't blame Boehner for inviting him. I'd certainly blame Bibi for accepting. It's just stupid. It's not good for two countries -- it's bad for them to be feuding in public. It's really bad when you do it on the soil of one of the two countries."

Brooks, who has said he's "gooey-eyed" over Israel and whose son now serves in the Israeli military, also said "Bibi's a better speaker" than Obama. I wonder how that's going to go down in the next Obama off-the-record meeting with columnists; this is the kind of thing that stings the president's pride.

For another thing, Brooks, Dionne, David Corn and Jeremy Ben-Ami of J Street all refer to the Israeli prime minister in their commentaries as "Bibi." Ben-Ami refers to the two leaders as "Bibi and Obama." Bibi is an affectionate name for a rightwing militant occupying leader who coordinated a massacre last summer. James North deplored this long ago.

Corn said on Hardball that Netanyahu is the loser in the deal. By accepting John Boehner's "nearly traitorous invitation to speak," he is alienating the White House, which will have a lot of power over policy in two years.

"You don't go after the king unless you can kill the king...

"There is no reason for him to tick the president off."

By the way, if you can call Boehner "nearly traitorous," why not say that the Israel lobby has dual loyalty? Oh, because Boehner is a Republican, and the lobby is part of the blue state establishment.

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Philip Weiss is a longtime writer and journalist in New York. He co-edits a website on Israel/Palestine,, which he founded in order to foster the movement for greater fairness and justice for Palestinians in American foreign policy. He is currently working on a novel about the US in Australia during WW2.

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