photo US Israel Relations

When I read last week that there were over 20 House and Senate Democrats that planned to boycott Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to Congress this morning, I was furious. Today, I read that the numbers had increased to 50. Those members of Congress are paid to do a job by “we, the people” and by not attending, in my world, they’re not doing their job.

Israel is America’s only real friend in the Middle East and for Democrats to treat a head of state so shamefully is disgusting.

To top that, our own President Obama refused to meet with him because protocol prevents it. “As a matter of longstanding practice and principle, we do not see heads of state or candidates in close proximity to their elections, so as to avoid the appearance of influencing a democratic election in a foreign country,” a spokeswoman for the National Security Council said. Yeah, right.

Since when has the President been so concerned about protocol? Was he concerned about protocol when he bowed to the Saudi Arabian king? Or when he chewed gum in India and China? Or when he took selfies at a memorial service? Or when he gave Britain’s then-PM Gordon Brown a useless 25-DVD set of American classic movies coded for the US and unreadable on British DVD players?

Based on all of Obama’s gaffes over the last six years, I’m not buying into the practice/principle/protocol argument at all. Considering a senior government official called the PM a “chickenshit,” and not one member of the Obama Administration was present at today’s speech, I’m guessing this Administration just doesn’t like him.

Secretary of State John Kerry said last week that the PM’s opinions, in essence, should be taken with a grain of salt because he supported the Iraq War and, according to Kerry, “we all know what happened with that decision.” Well, John Kerry, while a sitting Senator, voted in favor of the Iraq War so should we take his opinions with a grain of salt as well?

(Kerry backtracked on Sunday and said the PM was welcome to speak in the United States.)

This whole nonsense about Speaker of the House John Boehner inviting Mr. Netanyahu without first consulting the White House is ridiculous. Aren’t there three branches of government? Since when does Congress have to give a “guest list” to the White House for approval before sending out invitations?

Isn’t it the sworn duty of every member of Congress to educate themselves on an issue and to listen to all sides before writing laws? I know the majority of them (including the then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi) didn’t bother to read Obamacare, but, in an ideal world – and perhaps I’m truly living in a Utopian state of mind – shouldn’t we expect our elected officials to do their jobs?

I’m not a politician and I’m not a diplomat. There’s probably lots going on behind closed doors that we’re not privy to.

But I do know that on at least twenty different occasions Obama said a nuclear-armed Iran is unacceptable and that the US would do what it must to prevent that from happening.

I also know that the President said “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan.” He also drew a line in the sand when it came to Assad using chemical weapons on his own people in Syria. Assad called his bluff and, of course, Obama did nothing. He also said he wouldn’t tolerate Putin annexing Crimea. Putin called his bluff and, of course, Obama did nothing. So what he says doesn’t really matter to me. It’s what he does or doesn’t do.

What I already knew about the US-Iran talks was confirmed by the PM’s speech this morning. One, Iran does not have to destroy its nuclear infrastructure, and, two, with a whole lot of wishful thinking, in about ten years or so, a “sunset clause” kicks in which means all restrictions are lifted and the Iranians can pursue nuclear weapons.

So what the hell kind of deal is that? Compromise and negotiation means each party gives up something. If Iran gets what they want with a little patience, what’s the point?

While the vital terms of the negotiations may or may not have been widely known, how they impact on the US and what the PM had to say in that regard was essential for every member of Congress to hear before casting any future votes.

To those 50 or so Democrats who chose not to show up and to the Obama administration, I say: “This is how you treat a friend? Shame on you!”

I don’t get it, but if you do, God bless you.

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