You could almost hear the whack resound across the bow of the Obama administration. Speaker John Boehner has invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address a joint session of Congress on February 11. Usually these things are scheduled along with an already scheduled foreign leader/POTUS meeting. This, however, was done without any presidential meeting or even a consultation with the White House or State Department. The invitation is meant to be a direct attack on President Obama’s Iran policy, according to Boehner’s prepared remarks this morning to the House Republican conference.
You may have seen that on Friday, the president warned us not to move ahead with sanctions on Iran, a state sponsor of terror. His exact message to us was: ‘Hold your fire.’ He expects us to stand idly by and do nothing while he cuts a bad deal with Iran. Two words: ‘Hell no!’ … we’re going to do no such thing, So today I will announce that I am inviting the Prime Minister of Israel, a great friend of this country, to address a joint meeting of Congress next month. And I am specifically asking him to address Congress on the threats posed by radical Islam and Iran. America and Israel have always stood together in shared cause and common ideals, and now we must rise to the moment again. Let’s send a clear message to the White House – and the world – about our commitment to Israel and our allies.
Apparently Bibi has already said yes.
The invitation for Netanyahu to speak to lawmakers on Feb. 11 comes hours after the president declared in his State of the Union address, he would veto any sanctions legislation.
In a press release announcing the invitation, Boehner was more statesmanlike than in his words to the GOP caucus.
Prime Minister Netanyahu is a great friend of our country, and this invitation carries with it our unwavering commitment to the security and well-being of his people,” Boehner will say in the press release. “In this time of challenge, I am asking the Prime Minister to address Congress on the grave threats radical Islam and Iran pose to our security and way of life. Americans and Israelis have always stood together in shared cause and common ideals, and now we must rise to the moment again.
As many have pointed out, there’s no proof Obama’s action have halted Iran’s nuclear program. Indeed, the diplomacy has worried those who most fear the consequences of a nuclear breakout in Iran, including Netanyahu.
Last week we learned that Iran was building two new nuclear plants and increasing capacity. It seems impossible to reconcile the new construction with what we were told, viz., that the Iranian program was “frozen.” That is not only what the President told us, but also it is the administration’s big claim as it fights against new Congressional sanctions against Iran.
Cross-posted at The Lid