Netanyahu 1, Obama 0

Or maybe it is Netayahu 4, Obama 0:

Bibi’s grand slam: Boxing in Obama on Iran’s nukes

On Tuesday, Bibi Netanyahu gave the speech of his life before a joint session of Congress — and he has Barack Obama to thank for it.

Yes, the very same Barack Obama who hates Bibi, the same Obama who was furious the speech was being given at all, walked the bases full for Netanyahu and served up the sucker pitch he hit for a grand slam.

While the response to the Speech of the Year has been somewhat divided based on party lines, there is no question Bibi came out the winner. President Obama, the far Left of the Democratic Party (including the House Minority Leader) and their protectors in the media are doing their best to respond, but it is clearly damage control.

First, while House Speaker John Boehner made the original invitation, 100% of the publicity for the event was provided by the vindictive Mr. Obama and his team, and the media firestorm that followed. (For you conspiracy theorists out there — maybe the Jews really do run the world??)

All the ruckus insured the maximum possible audience for the Prime Minister, who has been known for decades as one of the best public speakers anywhere. This was his 3rd (!!) speech to a joint session of Congress so he knew what to expect. He had to give the speech of his life, and he did.

No one expects the speech will change the President’s mind, but it will do the only 3 things that are in Bibi’s power to do to improve the chances of stopping Iran: 1) influence mainstream American opinion, 2) influence some centrist Democrats in Congress and 3) help get Bibi re-elected.

President Obama started the fight, as usual. He came out it looking petty, petulant, even childish.

Netanyahu, for once, asserted himself in return, but even then made sure to be as gracious as possible by thanking Obama for what he could at the beginning of his speech. He came out looking… Presidential. He gave a powerful but rational and truth-based appeal that certainly helped sway the uninformed and the open-minded.

There is no doubt who won this one.

Bibi nailed it.

Short and simple: Bibi nailed it:

Prime Minister Netanyahu delivers a historic speech to Congress

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses both houses of Congress

A special thanks to President Obama — for making a silly, vindictive fuss over the event and therefore insuring the maximum possible audience for the speech.

Defying Obama was risky indeed for Netanyahu, but opposing a Netanyahu speech turns out to have been even more risky for the President as speechifying is Netanyahu’s top skill of all.

The speech will will almost surely help Netanyahu’s reelection hopes, will almost surely hurt Obama’s attempt to capitulate to the Iranians, and will be a minor body-blow against the Democrats in general and the anti-Israel crowd in particular.

Bibi 1, Obama 0.

Did the White House Lie about Netanyahu?

We at IRIS are still confused about the recent surreal brouhaha about Prime Minister Netanyahu’s accepting an invitation to speak to Congress.

What exactly WAS the big deal here?? Why was Bibi blamed — it was Speaker John Boehner’s fault. Bibi has to check with Obama if it is ok to address Congress? Boehner doesn’t have to check but Bibi does? Strange.

Now an interesting piece of information has come to light — it seems the Administration knew all along about the invitation and Bibi did NOT “go behind their backs”:

Did the Obama Administration lie about Netanyahu?

The story began with a correction at the bottom of a New York Times story on January 30. This was picked up immediately by Breitbart and since then has been getting a bit of coverage on pro-Israel blogs.

But the questions remain:

Is it really true that the White House bald-face lied about the timing just to snub Netanyahu?

If it is true, why didn’t Netanyahu just say so?

Why is this not getting more coverage, at least in conservative and pro-Israel circles?

As Bibi (but not Boehner??) continues to come under pressure to cancel the speech, will this piece of truth come out or be disproved?

[Hat tip: Moshe Burt]

Retired US Officers: Israel “Important to US Middle East Policy”

A group of highly-ranked retired U.S. officers have stated that Israel is “highly important to U.S. Middle East Policy”:

Close to 50 generals and admirals have signed a letter that termed
Israel a key element in U.S. global strategy.

…The retired officers, who have toured Israel, said the Jewish state was highly important to U.S. policy in the Middle East and Mediterranean region.

“We brought with us our decades of military experience and, following unrestricted access to Israel’s civilian and military leaders, came away with the unswerving belief that the security of the State of Israel is a matter of great importance to the United States and its policy in the Middle East and Eastern Mediterranean,” the letter, released on April 2, read. “A strong, secure Israel is an asset upon which American military planners and political leaders can rely.”

“…We also recognize that the important countries of the region won’t like us any better if we shed Israel as an ally.”

“They will wonder how quickly we will shed them when they are inconvenient.”

JINSA [the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs] has been lobbying the Defense Department and U.S. military regarding Israel since the early 1980s. In January 2010, the organization released a report that asserted that Washington was denying Jerusalem — the largest recipient of U.S. military aid — a range of weapons in what could harm Israel’s military superiority over its Arab neighbors.

….The retired senior officers said they could not rule out the prospect that “political differences may be allowed to outweigh our larger mutual interests.”

“As American defense professionals, we view events in the Middle East through the prism of American security interests,” the letter said. “In the Middle East, a volatile region so vital to U.S. interests, it would be foolish to disengage — or denigrate — an ally such as Israel.”

The admirals and generals said Israel and the United States have engaged in defense and military cooperation at all levels. The letter cited training, law enforcement, counter-insurgency as well as research and development.

The United States would require Israeli cooperation for a range of threats, the officers said. They said this would include nonconventional and ballistic missile proliferation as well as CI [counterintelligence] operations.

Unfortunately, the great strategic importance of Israel to the US and the unreliability of the Arabs is something that has to be learned over and over by new American administrations, usually the hard way.