Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrived in Washington DC, Sunday, to address the U.S. Congress about what he says are the dangers of the Iran nuclear talks.
Before leaving, he called it a “crucial”;”even historic” mission.
“I feel a deep and sincere concern for the safety of all citizens of Israel and the fate of the state and the fate of our people. I will do everything in my power to secure our future,” said Netanyahu.
Israeli Prime Minister Arrives in WashingtonIsraeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrived in Washington DC, Sunday, to address the U.S. Congress about the dangers of the Iran nuclear talks. Before leaving, he called it a "crucial" "even historic" mission. CCTV America's Jessica Stone reported this story from Washington, D.C.
Netanyahu is due to speak to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday, at the invitation of House Speaker, John Boehner, a Republican.
He has been extremely critical of the Iran nuclear talks, saying that world powers have given up on stopping Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.
White House aides have reportedly concluded the Israeli prime minister won’t back any deal that allows Iran to enrich any uranium, and White House officials have publicly criticized his visit.
Last week, U.S. National Security Advisor, Susan Rice, called it “destructive of the fabric” of the U.S.-Israel relationship.
But Sunday, U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, sought to roll back the tensions.
“The prime minister of Israel is welcome to speak in the United States, obviously. And we have a closer relationship with Israel right now in terms of security than at any time in history,” he told ABC News.
Kerry also used the interview to lay out Washington’s rationale for pursuing the talks, which he will continue this week in Montreux, Switzerland.
“Israel is safer today because of the interim agreement that we created,” he said. “The 20 percent enriched uranium has been reduced to 0. We have stopped the centrifuge production. We are inspecting inside of their facilities. We have stopped the Arak plutonium reactor in its tracks.”
Netanyahu’s visit puts Congressional democrats in a politically difficult position. Do they support the democratic president at the expense of an important American ally? Or do they risk alienating the White House to show support for Israel. So far, only 32 democratic senators and house members have chosen to publicly boycott the speech.
Illinois democrat, Jan Schakowsky is one of them:
“The floor of the House of Representatives is the most prestigious venue in the world,” she told NBC News. “And for John Boehner to turn it into it or try to turn it into a political advantage one by showing as he’s tried for years, that it’s the Republicans who are really the supporters of the state of Israel… creates a divide.”
Netanyahu will also make remarks to the powerful Israeli lobby, AIPAC Monday.
Neither U.S. President Barack Obama nor U.S. Vice President, Joe Biden will attend Tuesday’s congressional speech or meet with Netanyahu during his visit, saying it would be inappropriate so close to a national election in Israel.
Israel has national elections March 17th.
Israeli intel personnel decry Netanyahu’s upcoming adddress
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s impending speech to the U.S. Congress has been pegged, “the most important speech of his life.” However, Some Israeli senior defense and intelligence officials believe it may also be the most damaging of his life. CCTV’s Stephanie Fried reported this story from Tel Aviv.
Israeli intel personnel decry Netanyahu's upcoming adddressIsraeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's impending speech to the U.S. Congress has been pegged, "the most important speech of his life." However, Some Israeli senior defense and intelligence officials believe it may also be the most damaging of his life. CCTV's Stephanie Fried reported this story from Tel Aviv.
Before heading to the U.S. to address Congress, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stopped at Judaism’s holiest site to say a prayer.
The prime minister’s upcoming address is meant to deter the U.S. from signing a deal with Iran.
“As Israel’s prime minister I am obligated to look out for Israel’s security. Which is why we are completely opposed to an agreement between Iran and the superpowers that can endanger our very existence,” Netanyahu said.
But according to defense and security higher ups, the prime minister and Israel may need prayers when his speech is over.
Republican-Democrat relations are at an all time low and U.S. President Obama firmly stands against Netanyahu delivering his impending address.
Those who honed U.S.-Israel defense, security and intelligence sharing relations for years are worried the speech will arouse President Obama’s ire to a degree that will erode those relations, endanger Israel and have the opposite effect of what Netanyahu intends.
“Netanyahu’s security policy and upcoming speech will actually bring Iran closer to the nuclear bomb rather than stopping Iran’s nuclear program,” Retired Israeli Military Major General Ammon Reshef said.
According to these former senior figures, Netanyahu should be talking to the U.S. president behind closed doors.
“If we say this is a bad agreement and we decided and planning for example how to attack Iran and prevent Iran by force from reaching the nuclear bomb. We need some support and some special ammunition or even aircraft from the United States. The president could say: ‘We need to do a new assessment. And simply delay it,” Former Deputy Chief for Mossad said.
The same senior defense and military experts have urged the prime minister to reconsider delivering the address they say will damage the most important relationship Israel has with its key ally, the United States, before it’s too late.