(Nashville, Tennessee) — The train wreck in U.S.-Israel relations I have been warning about for several years has, tragically, arrived.
The President of the United States and his administration refuse to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu next week when he addresses a Joint Session of Congress. Rather, even as they negotiate a disastrous nuclear deal with Iran, administration officials are trying to persuade Congressional Democrats to boycott the speech. Meanwhile, Mr. Obama’s political strategists are currently in Israel actively working for the defeat Netanyahu and his party in the March 17th elections.
Without question, this is the worst crisis in U.S.-Israel relations in 67 years. Yet I thank God that some courageous voices on the Left — including Elie Wisel, the heroic survivor of Auschwitz, brilliant author and Nobel Prize Winner — are speaking out and calling for bipartisanship. They are calling for Democrats and Republicans to come together to listen to the Prime Minister’s case and to work hard to bring healing to this relationship, which is so important to both countries and to freedom and security.
I would encourage you to read the following — then contact your Members of Congress (House and Senate) and encourage them to attend the speech and listen respectfully to the Prime Minister of our most faithful and trustworthy ally in the Middle East.
- Nobel winner Elie Wiesel lends support to Netanyahu’s U.S. speech (Reuters)
- Alan Dershowitz: The Appalling Talk of Boycotting Netanyahu: Congress has every right, and even an obligation, to hear the Israeli leader speak about the Iranian threat (Wall Street Journal)
- Former Senator Joe Lieberman (D-CT): Hear out Israel’s leader (Washington Post)
[Note: I’m writing this article in my private, personal capacity as an author and not in any manner connected to the work of The Joshua Fund.]
Here is Sen. Lieberman’s op-ed in full:
HEAR OUT ISRAEL’S LEADER
Last week, 23 House Democrats asked Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to postpone Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to a joint meeting of Congress scheduled for March 3. But it is absolutely clear that the speaker will neither postpone nor rescind his invitation. The prime minister will be there to speak.
Therefore, I appeal to those 23 individuals and any other undecided members of Congress to go to the joint meeting and hear what the prime minister has to say. Let me suggest some good reasons why:
● Go because this is about determining how best to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons and not just another Washington test of partisan and political loyalty.
● Go because — regardless of what you think of the leaders involved or their actions in this case — you are a strong supporter of America’s alliance with Israel, and you don’t want it to become a partisan matter.
● Go because you know that the Constitution gives you, as a member of Congress, the power to “regulate commerce with foreign nations,” “define and punish . . . offenses against the law of nations,” “declare war,” “raise and support armies” and “provide and maintain a Navy,” and Netanyahu might say some things that will inform your exercise of those great powers.
● Go because you know that Israel is one of our closest and most steadfast allies and you feel a responsibility to listen to its leader speak about developments that he believes could threaten the safety, independence and even existence of his country, as well as that of our closest allies in the Arab world.
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