Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 34 Share on Twitter 1 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 3/3/15

Netanyahu - The Speech and a practical response

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages)   46 comments, In Series: Middle East Articles
Follow Me on Twitter     Message Scott Baker
Become a Fan
  (79 fans)
Your Next Step Conference 96
Your Next Step Conference 96
(Image by Masa__Israel)
  Details   DMCA

Today, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu gave his much anticipated speech to some members of Congress. You can view it here:

Many Democrats boycotted the speech, but House Minority leader Pelosi was there, and gave her strong disapproval afterwards:

"That is why, as one who values the U.S. -- Israel relationship, and loves Israel, 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."

But if we are to be honest, we have to recognize that the speech was a resounding success from Netanyahu's point of view, and it elicited several standing ovations.

And the main points he made are valid:

- Fear of Iran developing nuclear weapons

- Fear of militant Islaminization of the region, whether from ISIS or its arch-enemy, Iran and the Shiite regimes, is valid (less valid is his suggestion of Iranian support for al qaeda, since al qaeda is a resolutely Sunni organization, and one dedicated to not only overthrowing Shiite regimes, but Sunni regimes as well. It makes no sense for Iran to support them).

As progressives, it is up to us to imagine a third way. A way which preserves maximum human rights in the region, freedom of religion, and yes, secularism where possible, or at least justice where not. And of course, we must reduce the possibility of war wherever possible.

The following is a slightly updated article I first wrote in 2009. The names have changed, but not the solution, though it is harder now, because Iran's nuclear infrastructure is built-up, and would have to be somewhat, though not entirely reversed. For this to be palatable to Iran, we must offer something better in return. I believe the solution below is that offering.

Why are President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry (formerly Clinton when this was first written) seemingly so bereft of ideas on how to handle Iran's nuclear ambitions?
I'm not going to waste time, as so many editorialists do, on calling for a change in "tone" or for more "respect." Of course we need to incorporate both of those things.

The Obama Administration knows this very well, but talking nice and with respect will only get you so far. The problem is that it is not productive if all we ever say to Iran is: "Give up your nuclear program" to which they say "No," and to which we come back a few weeks later and say, "Well, how about now?" This will actually make us look weak and unimaginative, as the recent "bipartisanship"- with the Republicans over the stimulus bill has. (Similarly, sanctions won't work unless the world--especially China--is willing to stop buying Iranian oil, and stop shipping them refined gasoline. Iran is immune to all other sanctions). Iran is now economically weaker, as Netanyahu pointed out in his speech, but it is also unrealistic to expect regime change, as even he admitted.

We need to have a new beginning, a new framework for discussion.

To begin with, we must distinguish between Iran's legitimate desires for nuclear energy--which they are entitled to pursue as signatories to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Agreement--and the potential for destructive use of enriched uranium for bomb-making. These are NOT the same thing, and recognition of that fact opens up a world of possibilities, which I will detail below.

But first, since everyone has talked only about the reasons why Iran should not pursue nuclear power, let me briefly state why it is in our interest that Iran does pursue nuclear power:

Next Page  1  |  2

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).

Well Said 3   Valuable 2   Must Read 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

Scott Baker Social Media Pages: Facebook Page       Twitter Page       Linked In Page       Instagram Page

Scott Baker is a Managing Editor & The Economics Editor at Opednews, and a former blogger for Huffington Post, Daily Kos, and Global Economic Intersection.

His anthology of updated Opednews articles "America is Not Broke" was published by Tayen Lane Publishing (March, 2015) and may be found here:

Scott is a former and current President of Common Ground-NY (, a Geoist/Georgist activist group. He has written dozens of (more...)

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Follow Me on Twitter     Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Obama Explains the FEMA Camps

Was Malaysian Flight MH370 Landed Safely in Afghanistan?

Let the Sun Shine on a State Bank in Florida

Batman, The Dark Knight Rises...and Occupy Wall Street Falls

The Least Productive People in the World

Detroit is Not Broke!

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend