Netanyahu, do the right thing: Don’t go to Washington
Ben-Dror Yemini /Ynetnews/
Published: 02.08.15 / Israel Opinion
Op-ed: Agreement with Iran will be determined by US administration, not by Congress. That’s who Israel’s prime minister should address, warn and maintain a good relationship with. Instead, he is turning our most important and strategic friend into a rival.
Don’t go, Netanyahu, don’t go, precisely because the Iranian threat is so important, precisely because you are right, precisely because the things you are planning to say at the US Congress are important – don’t go. Because this trip will impair the exact issue that you are traveling on behalf of. You know that, Mr. Netanyahu. So if you are really concerned, you should do the right thing.
The intention was good. It turns out that the House of Representative speaker had even informed the White House, and that the White House hadn’t bothered answering. But now it turns out that there was also some deception. The invitation wasn’t made with both parties’ consent. It was a one-party invitation. It was the opposition’s invitation. It was an invitation which was aimed more at censuring the White House and President Barack Obama than warning against the Iranian threat.
With all due respect to the Republican majority in the Congress, the clauses of the agreement with Iran will be determined by the administration, not by the Congress. That’s who you should address. That’s who you should warn. That’s where you need to have a good, direct and real relationship. Because that’s where the decisions are made.
We know that Obama is wrong and that you are right. But if there is still a chance to get him to change his mind, you are making every possible mistake in order to turn him into a rival. Vice President Joe Biden has already announced that he will not attend your address. What other hint do you need in order to realize that you should change direction?
Mr. Prime Minister, there is a problem with your body language. You, the best speaker of all with the excellent PR skills, the man who knows so much, is succeeding in turning our most important friend, our strategic friend, into a rival. This isn’t happening because you’re wrong; it’s happening because you convey constant anger. Look at Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. He represents a dark country, which stones women and executes homosexuals. But unlike you, he smiles. He just smiles. And at the end of the day, he is portrayed as moderate, while you are portrayed as Slobodan Milošević, the notorious leader of an aggressive entity.
So what good does it do that you are right? All you have succeeded in doing is deteriorating our relations with an American administration and an American president who we need so much right now, as we face a strategic threat. These things, Mr. Netanyahu, are being written by a person who supported you on the Iranian issue throughout the way. There are things you can take credit for. While it isn’t clear that the sanctions were imposed on Iran thanks to you, it is clear that you made a serious and important contribution. Precisely because of that, Mr. Prime Minister, you must do the thing which you too, deep inside, know is the right thing to do.
If you go back on your decision, we will all know that the national interest is more important to you than the illusion that the trip will help your party in any way. So please, do it. We will all benefit – both Israel and you.