Netanyahu Directly Challenges Official U.S. Policy

Under the leadership of President Obama, the official United States position is to attempt to negotiate an agreement with Iran to stop their development of nuclear weapons. We are currently engaged in those negotiations in concert with the other four permanent members of the UN Security Council (Russia, China, United Kingdom, and France) plus Germany.

Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu recently said this at his weekly Cabinet Meeting:

We will do everything and will take any action to foil this bad and dangerous agreement.

As the elected leader of Israel, it is his right to take that position. But it puts him at direct odds with official U.S. policy and members of the Security Council. In the above statement, he is being perfectly clear about that – regardless of the outcome of the negotiations.

It is in light of that position that we should view, not just the recent Republican invitation for Netanyahu to address the members of Congress, but this statement from Sen. John Cornyn.

Senate Republicans on Thursday moved to officially welcome Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the U.S. ahead of his planned speech to Congress next month, the latest development in a saga that has roiled politics in both countries.

Almost all GOP senators were listed as co-sponsors of a resolution by Sen. John Cornyn (R., Texas) saying the Senate “eagerly awaits the address of Prime Minister Netanyahu before a joint session of the United States Congress” and reaffirms the U.S. commitment to standby Israel in “times of uncertainty.”

“During this time of such great instability and danger in the Middle East, the United States should be unequivocal about our commitment to one of our closest and most important allies,” Mr. Cornyn said in a statement.

When the Prime Minister of Israel publicly promises to do anything he can to foil the official policy of the United States, it is our duty to be equivocal in our support of him. Republicans are approaching a very dangerous line on this one.

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Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly. Follow her on Twitter @Smartypants60.