Benjamin Netanyahu the Prime Minister of Israel warned Congress on Tuesday that a proposed nuclear program agreement between Iran and world powers was not a good deal and would not stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons, but instead would pave the way for Tehran to get many of them and to put the Jewish State in peril.
In a dramatic speech to Congress, at what he declared was a fateful crossroads in history, Netanyahu sided openly with the Republican critics of President Obama and sparked a furious and immediate reaction from the Obama administration, as relations between Israel and Washington spun to their worst in many years.
Netanyahu said he has been told that no deal is better than a bad one. Well, the deal on the table is bad, very bad. Israel and the rest of the region are better off without the deal, added Netanyahu. He built a case that Iran was not only bent on the development of nuclear weapons but also determined to swallow the defenseless countries in a play for broader dominance across the Middle East.
Netanyahu told Congress that he is being told that war is the only alternative to the bad deal, but it is not true. He says the alternative to the bad deal is one that is far better, as the chamber of the House of Representatives holding both chambers of Congress let out deafening cheers. He issued a stern warning that if needed Israel would stand alone to defend the Jewish people’s existence.
The White House response came swift and did not disguise its anger at the Israeli Prime Minister. Speaking with reporters after the address by Netanyahu had finished, Obama said nothing was new in Netanyahu’s speech. Obama said Netanyahu failed to offer viable alternatives to the plan that was currently on the table.
One senior official in the administration in language that was extraordinarily strong considering the long-term alliance between Israel and the U.S. said that Netanyahu’s address had no new ideas, or a single alternative and was nothing but rhetoric with no action.