By Kevin Lair
Senior Elm Writer
On Tuesday, Mar. 3, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed a joint session of Congress. In his third speech to the body, Netanyahu thanked Republicans, Democrats, and President Barack Obama for their continued support of Israel. This address went on despite the long list of Democrats who declared their intent to skip his address, including Vice President Joe Biden who also constitutionally serves as president of the senate.
Throughout his speech, Netanyahu put politics aside and stressed the importance of the US-Israeli relationship. He highlighted disaster relief efforts, security cooperation and intelligence sharing, and our nations’ shared interests within the United Nations. Netanyahu said, “Last summer, millions of Israelis were protected from thousands of Hamas rockets because this Capital dome helped build our Iron Dome.”
The most anticipated topic of his speech encompassed recent negotiations between the US and Iran, a nation neighboring Israel whose leaders have declared their intent to wipe Israel off the face of the Earth. As a result of these American negotiations, Iran will be in a stronger, more dangerous position to develop nuclear weapons, leaving the Jewish people of Israel in a perpetual state of fear. Netanyahu pleaded, “For those who believe that Iran threatens the Jewish state, but not the Jewish people, listen to Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, Iran’s chief terrorist proxy. He said: If all the Jews gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of chasing them down around the world.”
The Prime Minister declared, “Iran and ISIS are competing for the crown of militant Islam. One calls itself the Islamic Republic. The other calls itself the Islamic State. Both want to impose a militant Islamic empire first on the region and then on the entire world… In this deadly game of thrones, there’s no place for America or for Israel, no peace for Christians, Jews or Muslims who don’t share the Islamist medieval creed, no rights for women, no freedom for anyone. So when it comes to Iran and ISIS, the enemy of your enemy is your enemy.”
We must continue to stand with Israel, offering our full support as they have done for America. We must not abridge this trust, this pivotal relationship, and strongest hope for Democracy in the Middle East by siding with Iran and giving them a free pass to develop nuclear weapons intended to exterminate the state of Israel. This week’s hero is Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who stood up for Israel, the US, and freedom everywhere.