In his controversial and highly anticipated address before Congress today, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered quite possibly the best campaign speech of his career — engaging in high-level fear mongering in an effort to thwart diplomatic efforts between the U.S., its allies, and Iran, on the future of Iran’s nuclear program. The problem? That’s all he seemed to do.
As Netanyahu put it in his speech to American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) yesterday, “Israel and the United States agree that Iran should not have nuclear weapons, but we disagree on the best way to prevent Iran from developing those weapons.”
The administration sees diplomacy as the best way to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran. But there’s no room for negotiations within Netanyahu’s maximalist stance.
While Netanyahu proved to be a savvy wordsmith, unfortunately he didn’t offer any substantive alternatives to a deal.
As can only be expected in a moment like this, the twittersphere was quick to react. Below is a snapshot of twitter’s immediate response:
Karim Sadjadpour @ksadjadpour · Iran’s hardliners have always thrived in isolation. Continued political and economic isolation is a carrot for them not a stick.
EJ Dionne @EJDionne · I want to hear #Bibi #Netanyahu lay out what is the alternative to a deal.
Meir Javedanfar @MeirJa ·As a recovering Likudnik (I supported the party until 1996) this is a 24 carat Likud speech. Bringing up fears and insecurities all time
Jeffrey Goldberg ?@JeffreyGoldberg · So, what’s Bibi’s suggestion for a negotiating strategy?
Ram Ramgopal @RamCNN · Senior admin official says re Netenyahu speech: “Literally, not one new idea; not one single concrete alternative; all rhetoric, no action”
Suzanne Maloney @MaloneySuzanne · Paints advocates of deal as naive re: prospects for Iranian moderation… but still provides no credible alternative #NetanyahuSpeech
James Fallows @JamesFallows · If you believe Iran is functional equivalent of Nazi Germany, then pre-WW II analogies all apply. If not, not.
Laura Rozen @lrozen · Netanyahu convincing he does not like #Iran deal. Utterly unconvincing that the alternative offers more security
Rep. Earl Blumenauer @repblumenauer · Iran will always be America’s enemy???? not what many Iranians feel or want….or what America has to accept.
Rep. Peter Welch @PeterWelch · 3/4 With this speech, @Netanyahu has made the decision to undermine delicate negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program #NetanyahuSpeech
And, because we were wondering too…
Hayes Brown @HayesBrown – Why has nobody photoshopped Bibi as the Mother of Dragons yet?
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