The Obama administration is throwing a hissy fit over the invitation extended by Speaker Boehner to Prime Minister Netanyahu to address a joint session of Congress over the threat posed by Iran. Given the existential nature of the threat posed by Iran to Israel, one might have entertained hopes that the Obama administration would behave otherwise, but those hopes would have been foolish.
Last night Israeli Ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer addressed the gala dinner convened on behalf of Israel bonds in Boca Raton, Florida. Ambassador Dermer spoke to the current controversy as follows:
[Dermer] argued [that] it is Netanyahu’s “sacred duty” to speak up in Congress against a possible agreement with Iran which “could endanger the very existence of the State of Israel.”
“The Prime Minister’s visit here is not intended to show any disrespect for President Obama,” he continued. “Israel deeply appreciates the strong support we have received from President Obama in many areas – the enhanced security cooperation, heightened intelligence sharing, generous military assistance and iron dome funding, and opposition to anti-Israel initiatives at the United Nations.”
“The Prime Minister’s visit is also not intended to wade into your political debate. Israel deeply appreciates the strong bipartisan support we enjoy in the American Congress — where Democrats and Republicans come together to support Israel – just as Israel appreciates the wide and deep support that it enjoys among the American people,” added Dermer.
Rather, Dermer said, “the Prime Minister’s visit to Washington is intended for one purpose — and one purpose only. To speak up while there is still time to speak up. To speak up when there is still time to make a difference.”
“There may be some people who believe that the Prime Minister of Israel should have declined an invitation to speak before the most powerful parliament in the world on an issue that concerns the future and survival of Israel. But we have learned from our history that the world becomes a more dangerous place for the Jewish people when the Jewish people are silent,” he asserted. “And if was important for the Prime Minister to speak out in Paris about anti-Semitism and the threat from militant Islam, it is even more important for him to speak out in Washington DC about the dangers of a nuclear Iran. The agreement that is being discussed today is not an agreement that would dismantle Iran’s nuclear weapons capability, but rather one that could leave Iran as a nuclear threshold state. That is an agreement that could endanger the very existence of the State of Israel.”
“That is why the Prime Minister feels the deepest moral obligation to appear before the Congress to speak about an existential issue facing the one and only Jewish state, ” the Israeli ambassador continued.
“Th[at] is not just the right of the Prime Minister of Israel. It is his most sacred duty — to do whatever he can to prevent Iran from ever developing nuclear weapons that can be aimed at Israel.”
Dermer concluded his remarks by stating, “The Jewish people are a people who have survived all the evil that history has thrown at us. And we will survive the evil that we face today. But we will not do it by bowing our heads and by hoping that the storm will pass. We will do it by standing tall and by confronting the storm with faith and courage.”
Ambassador Dermer has posted the full text of his remarks on Facebook here. The video below excerpts Ambassador Dermer’s remarks speaking to the threat posed by Iran in the context of the current controversy.