A lot of the commentary on the shocking/outrageous/inappropriate/unprecedented/ dangerous invitation from the Republican leadership to Benjamin Netanyahu to address a joint session of Congress about our Iran policy, thereby undermining Obama’s negotiations, has said that Netanyahu shouldn’t have accepted the invitation or the Republicans shouldn’t have invited him. A couple of liberal Jewish organizations, for instance, are pleading with Congress to delay the speech.
But they did invite him. And he did accept the invitation, for March.
The Republicans and neocons and Netanyahu have all taken action. But our side is being passive.
Here is the real challenge to all those who don’t want another war in the Middle East: Tell your congressperson not to undermine our president’s efforts to strike a deal with Iran. Tell your congressperson not to attend the speech. That’s right. Tell your congressperson to give Benjamin Netanyahu the cold shoulder, lest he lead our country to war, or undermine the American president on his efforts to strike a deal with Iran.
That is the moral challenge here. Do you think it’s shocking and inappropriate and outrageous that the Israeli premier is coming here to speak in defiance of the White House? You think this is a plot hatched by neoconservatives behind the president’s back in the last two weeks? You think that politics is supposed to stop at the water’s edge when a possible war hangs in the balance? Fine. Vote with your feet. Don’t go to the House chambers for this historic atrocity.
President Obama and John Kerry are refusing to meet with Netanyahu when he comes to Washington. Why should you?
My congressperson is Sean Patrick Maloney. He’s a good guy. I passed him jogging on Rte 301 the other day with his husband, saw him at a party on Wappingers Creek at Christmas. Sean, don’t go. Don’t dignify this assault on diplomacy by showing up and listening to the rightwing premier of a foreign ethnocracy who just massacred 500 children under occupation and who brings cartoons to the United Nations.
The most important issues a politician faces are about war and peace. This one is easy. Stand up for peace, and don’t be in the audience for Netanyahu.