I doubt the American public was deceived by the propaganda that attended Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s brazen intervention in American foreign policy. But a few facts need to be noted.
First, it is irregular, not to say outrageous, for Congress to go over the head of the president and sponsor an uninvited appearance by a foreign politician. The United States can have only one president, and if the House speaker wants to be president, he is free to run. Otherwise, he has an obligation to adhere to protocol and not undermine the White House.
Whether the negotiations with Iran are wise or foolish is beside the point. Whether Israel is intimidated by the threat of an Iranian nuclear weapon is likewise beside the point. The issue is simple: The proper forum for Netanyahu’s electioneering was the Israeli Knesset, not the U.S. House of Representatives.
If President Obama were as foolish and irresponsible as Netanyahu, he might be tempted to say: “OK, buddy, you torpedoed my Iranian policy. So security from Iran is your red wagon now.” And what might then be Netanyahu’s choice? Bombing Iran at the risk of a terrible war? Or relying on Israel’s undeclared but ample nuclear arsenal to deter the mullahs and keep an edgy peace?
Netanyahu, typically, risks destroying the entire middle ground.
Edwin M. Yoder Jr.