People ask me why I posted the address by Israel’s Prime Minister to the Joint Session of U.S. Congress on my blog and why I went ahead to like it on the Facebook page of my blog. And my answer is simple: journalism is not about reporting only news that I like or that I thought my readers will like. Objective journalism demands that I report every news story as it is to my readers, irrespective of whatever feelings it may elicit, and allow my readers the choice of deciding for themselves what side of the narrative they want to identify with. My job is to keep my readers informed about contemporary socio-political and economic issues facing our world. And to provide the platform for them to debate these issues for the good of the society. Ezeocha Post, by the way, is all about promoting informed debate.
Now if you ask me what I think about Benjamin Netanyahu’s address, I will tell you this: it is a political theatrics that amounted to little other than one politician trying to save his own political career by undermining that of another.
Netanyahu broke protocol by accepting to address the Congress without running it by the White House first. And by so doing, he stretched an already tense relationship between himself and the present White House.
Now if his address to Congress has a chance of influencing U.S. foreign policy position on Iran at it were, his dissing of the White House could have worth a peru. But Netanyahu, a Harvard educated politician who is schooled in U.S. politics, knows better than most people that it is the Oval Office that conducts U.S. foreign policy and not the House Speaker’s office. He knows that. He knows that ONLY President Barack Obama can give him the hawkish foreign policy approach towards Iran that he craves for. Yet he presumably came to address the Congress for something that Congress cannot give him. Why?
That brings us to his real reason for coming to America – Israel’s local politics.
Israel’s next general election is on March 17, 2015. And typical of politicians all over the world who during general elections at home, travel abroad to countries of importance to their domestic audience in order to shore up their credentials, Prime Minister Netanyahu came to the United States to shore up his credentials in order to increase his chances of winning re-election. And there is nothing wrong with that practice. It is unfortunate that he has ideological differences with President Obama. It is equally unfortunate that he had to badmouth President Obama in front of the U.S. Congress and the world so as to score political points in Israel.
That notwithstanding, it is important that we focus our attention to the crux of Bibi’s visit and answer the question below unequivocally:
Does Iranian’s nuclear weapons program pose immediate threat to the state of Israel and is President Obama naïve to believe that he can get any concessions from the Iranians on their nuclear weapons program?