On Meet the Press just now, Netanyahu surely blundered by comparing the American faceoff with Iran to the U.S. faceoff with the Soviet Union over the Cuban missile crisis. Ron Paul made the same analogy during the Republican debates last spring and his point was that we could contain the Soviet Union.
David Gregory asked about containment, pointing out that experts in the U.S. and Israel favor containing Iran. About time, too. Netanyahu responded with alarmism. Iran is led by “religious zealots” who put their fanaticism over their own survival. They are on the same team as the “fanatics storming your embassies.”
“They have suicide bombers all over the place.” Proof?
Gregory later became impatient with Netanyahu for not repudiating the Romney statement that the U.S. has thrown Israel under the bus. Netanyahu kept saying he wasn’t getting into the American election, but Gregory didn’t buy it. “You say you don’t want to interfere in the U.S. election…. You are the leader of the Jewish people… You get billions of dollars in direct foreign investment…” from the U.S. government, from “Jews and Christians alike.” (Gregory is Jewish.) For you to remain silent on the claim that the U.S. is throwing Israel under the bus is “tantamount to agreeing with the sentiment.”
Netanyahu said, “There you go again.” Echoing Reagan.
Gregory: “Obama hasn’t thrown Israel under the bus?”
“There’s no bus and we’re not going to get into that discussion.” His only interest, Netanyahu said, is the “nuclear bus.”
Writes Yakov Hirsch:
The questions that were not asked by Gregory to Netanyahu. What is the point of you coming on this show? The United States government has said it will not give red lines to Iran. You think the U.S. should. That is something that you should take up with the Obama administration. What is the point of you coming on Meet the Press to say you disagree with the U.S. position? Haven’t you communicated your feeling to the administration? Are you trying to bypass Obama and speak to the American people? Are you giving republicans talking points?There is no innocent explanation for why he went on Meet the Press and said what he said. Why could he not wait 7 weeks until after the election to avoid even giving the appearance of interfering in the American election?
The thing I enjoyed most about the ensuing roundtable was Andrea Mitchell and Jeffrey Goldberg blasting Obama for his handling of the Israel/Palestine issue. A “legitimate criticism,” Mitchell said. “A disaster,” said Goldberg. They surely are referring to Obama’s statement in Cairo that the settlements must end and that Palestinians are humiliated.