#995 – Dick Bernard: Netanyahu at the U.S. Congress, March 3, 2015

Back in January I wrote my two Senators and Congresswoman, urging them to not attend the Netanyahu event today – to make a quiet statement (see here: Netanyahu in Paris001.) Two of the three absented themselves (not that I had any influence in their decisions). In my opinion, they chose to not reward Netanyahu and Boehner’s disrespect, by giving undue respect to Netanyahu.
Of course, these lawmakers didn’t miss anything, since everybody had an opportunity to watch the event on television, and they also have staffs. Every word, gesture etc. has doubtless been analyzed. They just weren’t in the room, just as none of us were there.
Netanyahu is an excellent speaker, of course. Excellent speech-making does not necessarily mean that the ideas expressed are the last, or only, word on any topic. No end of tyrants have been charismatic, as we all know. They know how to put words and phrases together.
There are eloquent opposition voices, within the Jewish community, in Israel and the U.S. but they are less likely to be seen.
If you wish, here are the opinions of two:
1. Rabbi Michael Lerner of Tikkun, wrote on Netanyahu and the speech today. Here is his column.
2. Also, today, Alan Eisner of J-Street, commented on Netanyahu and the speech. You can read it here.
I have noted a persistent narrative particularly from the political right that conflict – war or threat of war – is always the answer. “Bomb, Bomb, Bomb Iran” was John McCain’s ditty some years ago, humorous but intended.
An enemy seems necessary, somebody to fight against, to force into submission.
Lerner and Eisner talk about another way of doing business which is embraced by many of us.
War never solves anything. Win today, lose tomorrow…it happens all the time, in all arenas.
Any move towards a negotiated peace is desirable to bombing (or threatening to bomb) the hell out of somebody else, who will always remember, and ultimately get even.
What must not be lost is that Israel is a major nuclear power; Iran has never been and likely will never be. The United States is the only country to have ever used a nuclear weapon against another (Hiroshima and Nagasaki, 1945) and is at the top of the heap when it comes to deadly nations.
In the middle east, I fear the possibility of Israeli aggression more than Iranian, even with the current Iranian leadership.
But, that’s just my opinion.
Related opinion here.
An excellent summary of some other opinions nationally here.
Brief PS: My personal world remains focused on my Uncle’s death, now on the residual matters that need to be taken care of. It has been a big change. I’ll go to his town tomorrow, and, of course, he will be gone.
So goes life. We’re here for awhile, and then we’re not.
Do what you can to make a better world while you have the opportunity.

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