New post on Now The End Begins
by Geri Ungurean
The anger toward Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu from the Democratic side of our Congress was heating up well before his arrival. Now, after the historic speech, which was interrupted over 40 times with thunderous applause, these Democrats are furious.President Obama would not attend the speech nor would he meet with PM Netanyahu during his time here. John Kerry was in Switzerland, further negotiating with Iran. Many democrats, whom I will list at the end of this article, boycotted this speech.Most democrats are calling PM Netanyahu’s speech “Political Theater” saying that it was strategically timed right before Israeli elections. Was the timing of his speech calculated? I believe it was, but NOT for political gain. I believe that Bibi wanted to deliver this most important speech during Purim, when Jews across the world celebrate this holiday.House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said she was "near tears" during aspeech to Congress by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday. Pelosi, a California Democrat, said she was "saddened by the insult to the intelligence of the United States" as part of a group of nations negotiating a nuclear deal with Iran. Netanyahu slammed an emerging agreement with Iran and said it would allow the country to acquire a nuclear weapon.Netanyahu was gracious toward Obama and thanked him for everything that he has done for Israel. He spoke of Iron Dome and how America helped Israel to attain it. He was gracious and respectful of the office of the presidency, even though he knows the heart of this president is not with Israel. Obama’s actions speak much louder than his words.Netanyahu then said:“Thank you, America. Thank you for everything you've done for Israel. My friends, I've come here today because, as prime minister of Israel, I feel a profound obligation to speak to you about an issue that could well threaten the survival of my country and the future of my people: Iran's quest for nuclear weapons. We're an ancient people. In our nearly 4,000 years of history, many have tried repeatedly to destroy the Jewish people. Tomorrow night, on the Jewish holiday of Purim, we'll read the Book of Esther. We'll read of a powerful Persian viceroy named Haman, who plotted to destroy the Jewish people some 2,500 years ago. But a courageous Jewish woman, Queen Esther, exposed the plot and gave for the Jewish people the right to defend themselves against their enemies.The plot was foiled. Our people were saved. Today the Jewish people face another attempt by yet another Persian potentate to destroy us. Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei spews the oldest hatred, the oldest hatred of anti-Semitism with the newest technology. He tweets that Israel must be annihilated -- he tweets. You know, in Iran, there isn't exactly free Internet. But he tweets in English that Israel must be destroyed. 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.”A day before this speech before Congress, Bibi spoke at AIPAC, and so did some of Obama’s team. As I watched and listened to Susan Rice, I could not help but think back to her appearances on numerous Sunday shows, after the slaughter of four Americans in Benghazi. The Obama administration used Susan Rice to propagate what they new was a lie. She told the American people that the attack in Benghazi was the result of a video on youtube which angered the Muslim world. This quickly was shown to be a lie.So, Obama sent Susan Rice once again, to deliver lies and half truths to AIPAC, and to appear as a spokesperson for the White House, who brought a message of support and love to Israel and the Jewish people.Well, I’m not buying it, and trust me when I say, those in attendance at AIPAC didn’t buy it either. And then there was Samantha Powers, a known anti-Semite. She even put a PERIOD after her blatant lie about Iran:From American Spectator:“First, Power stated, "The United States of America will not allow Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon. Period." Does anyone believe that for a minute? This sounds like another one of the Obama Administration's red lines.If the Obama Administration is so keen on not allowing Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon then why is it no longer demanding that Iran stop enriching uranium and dismantle its centrifuges?Somehow I doubt that Power was in the room when Bret Stephens of The Wall Street Journal so eloquently pointed out at the AIPAC Conference, "We don't allow South Korea to enrich uranium. Why would we allow Iran to do so?"Second, Power spoke of the Obama Administration's effort to combat anti-Semitism around the world:We are living in an era where anti-Semitism is surging by every measure – reported harassment, polling data, violent attacks – and we should all be extremely disturbed by it. Last summer, we saw rallies about the Gaza violence in Dortmund and Frankfurt, at which protesters chanted, “Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas!”; and a similar rally in Paris, where protesters marched on a synagogue chanting, “Jews to the oven.”We see children who have to walk through phalanxes of heavily armed soldiers to get into their Jewish schools, and congregants forced to walk through metal detectors to enter their synagogues. And we have seen murder. The attack in Paris, and the attacks before it on the Jewish school in Toulouse, and the Jewish museum in Brussels. Last month’s attack on a synagogue in Copenhagen.Then there are the signs we cannot see, but that are no less chilling. Jews thinking twice before shopping in a Kosher shopping market, putting on a kippah, or hanging a mezuzah outside a home.And yet President Obama not only characterized the attacks at Hyper Cacher as "random" but Josh Earnest and Jen Psaki fell all over themselves to say the attack was not anti-Semitic in nature before acknowledging that it was through Twitter. That was three weeks ago.How can Samantha Power boast of the Obama Administration's prowess in combating anti-Semitism around the world when it had to be dragged kicking and screaming to acknowledge Jews were murdered in Paris because they were Jews?So please forgive me if I don't take Samantha Power at her word where it concerns Iran, anti-Semitism or, for that matter, the time of day or if the sun is shining.”So, please forgive me if I sound disrespectful to this administration. But when we are lied to over and over, and the president cannot use the term, Islamic Terrorism, and he hold numerous meetings in the White House with members of Muslim Brotherhood, which we know is at the helm of terror all over our planet — excuse me, but Obama’s actions speak SO loudly, I cannot hear a word of what he or his minions are saying!!Here is a list of the Democrats who boycotted PM Netanyahu’s speech, and some of their ignorant words:House (48)Rep. Karen Bass (Calif.) — In a statement, Bass said that she would be in Los Angeles for a city council election. “My support for a strong U.S.-Israel relationship has been consistent during my entire time in elected office, and that support will only continue in the years to come. Support for Israel has traditionally been a non-partisan issue, and I want it to remain so,” she said. “Unfortunately, Speaker Boehner mishandled inviting Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak to Congress. Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech is now marred with controversy. Prime Minister Netanyahu has been provided with other options to talk with members of Congress, but he has turned them down to do the public speech. It is truly sad that Speaker Boehner and Prime Minister Netanyahu have chosen to play partisan and divisive politics.”Rep. Earl Blumenauer (Ore.) — Wrote a Jan. 29 column in The Huffington Post explaining his decision, saying the Constitution “vests the responsibility for foreign affairs in the president.”Rep. Corrine Brown (Fla.)Rep. G.K. Butterfield (N.C.) — The head of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) focused on Boehner undermining Obama in a statement and emphasized he’s not urging a boycott.Rep. Lois Capps (Calif.) — Told constituent in a letter posted to Facebook that she is skipping the speech.Rep. Andre Carson (Ind.)Rep. Joaquin Castro (Texas)Rep. Katherine Clark (Mass.)Rep. Lacy Clay (Mo.) will skip the speech, his office confirmed Monday.Rep. James Clyburn (S.C.) — Clyburn is the highest-ranking Democratic leader to say he’ll skip the speech.Rep. Steve Cohen (Tenn.) — “After deliberation, I have decided I cannot in good conscience attend the Prime Minister’s speech. My decision not to attend is not a reflection of my support for Israel and its continued existence as a state and home for the Jewish people. I have always strongly supported Israel and I always will,” said Cohen in a statement.Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.) — “As a fierce supporter of Israel, I am disappointed in Speaker Boehner’s efforts to drag Prime Minister Netanyahu into the GOP’s endless efforts to undermine President Obama,” she said in a statement.Rep. John Conyers (Mich.)Rep. Danny Davis (Ill.) will skip the speech, his office confirmed Monday.Rep. Peter DeFazio (Ore.)Rep. Diana DeGette (Colo.)Rep. Lloyd Doggett (Texas) — “A partisan approach with our critical ally, Israel, is a grave mistake,” he said in a statement.Rep. Donna Edwards (Md.)Rep. Keith Ellison (Minn.) — He is head of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC), a member of the CBC and the first Muslim in Congress.Rep. Chaka Fattah (Pa.)Rep. Marcia Fudge (Ohio)Rep. Raúl Grijalva (Ariz.) — Grijalva is a co-chairman of the CPC.Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (Ill.) — A spokesman told the Chicago Sun-Times that Gutierrez has a “strong” record on Israel but called the speech “a stunt.”Rep. Denny Heck (Wash.)Rep. Ruben Hinojosa (Texas)Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (Texas) — “The Congresswoman has no plans to attend the speech at this time,” a spokeswoman said.Rep. Marcy Kaptur (Ohio)Rep. Rick Larsen (Wash.)Rep. Barbara Lee (Calif.) — A member of the CBC and former head of the CPC.Rep. John Lewis (Ga.) — His office confirmed he’s not going but emphasized he’s not organizing a formal boycottRep. Dave Loebsack (Iowa) — Told local press he likely won’t attend.Rep. Zoe Lofgren (Calif.) — “I am disappointed Speaker Boehner chose to irresponsibly interject politics into what has long been a strong and bipartisan relationship between the United States and Israel. As President Obama has noted, it is inappropriate for a Head of State to address Congress just two weeks ahead of their election. I agree that Congress should not be used as a prop in Israeli election campaigns, so I intend to watch the speech on TV in my office.”Rep. Betty McCollum (Minn.): “In my view Mr. Netanyahu’s speech before Congress is nothing more than a campaign event hosted by Speaker Boehner and paid for by the American people,” McCollum said in a statement.”Rep. Jim McDermott (Wash.) — “I do not intend to attend the speech of Bibi,” he said in an email to a Seattle newspaper.Reps. Jim McGovern (Mass.) — Told MassLive.com the “timing and circumstances of this speech are deeply troubling.”Rep. Jerry McNerney (Calif.) — “Rep. McNerney is not planning to attend the speech. He’s got several previously planned commitments for that day.”Rep. Gregory Meeks (N.Y.) — A CBC member.Rep. Gwen Moore (Wis.)Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D.C.)Rep. Beto O’Rourke (Texas)Rep. Chellie Pingree (Maine)Rep. David Price (N.C.) — “Speaker Boehner should never have extended the invitation, given the proximity of the speech to Israel’s national elections and the fact that delicate international negotiations, which the Prime Minister wishes to upend, are hanging in the balance.”Rep. Charles Rangel (N.Y.) — “I’m offended as an American,” he said on MSNBC.Rep. Cedric Richmond (La.)Rep. Jan Schakowsky (Ill.): Said she won’t attend but is “anguished” that Boehner’s invitation could weaken support for Israel in Congress.
Rep. Bennie Thompson (Miss.)Rep. Mike Thompson (Calif.)Rep. John Yarmuth (Ky.) — “We know what he is going to say,” the Jewish lawmaker said in a statement.Senate (8)Sen. Al Franken (Minn.) — “This has unfortunately become a partisan spectacle, both because of the impending Israeli election and because it was done without consulting the Administration,” said Sen. Franken in a statement. “I’d be uncomfortable being part of an event that I don’t believe should be happening. I’m confident that, once this episode is over, we can reaffirm our strong tradition of bipartisan support for Israel.”Sen. Tim Kaine (Va.) — “There is no reason to schedule this speech before Israeli voters go to the polls on March 17 and choose their own leadership,” Kasine said in a statement.Sen. Patrick Leahy (Vt.) — Leahy called it a “tawdry and high-handed stunt,” according to a Vermont newspaper.Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) — Sanders, who caucuses with Democrats, said it’s “wrong” that Obama wasn’t consulted about the speech.Sen. Brian Schatz (Hawaii) — “The U.S.-Israel relationship is too important to be overshadowed by partisan politics,” said Schatz in a statement. “I am disappointed in the Republican leadership’s invitation of Prime Minister Netanyahu to address a joint session of Congress with the apparent purpose of undermining President Obama’s foreign policy prerogatives.”Sen. Martin Heinrich (N.M.) — “I intend to watch his speech about Iran from my office, but I have strong objections to using the floor of the United State Congress as a stage for his election campaign — or anyone’s for that matter,” Heinrich said in a statement.Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) — Warren is “deeply concerned” about the prospect of a nuclear Iran but said Speaker Boehner’s actions “have made Tuesday’s event more political.”Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.) — “I’m concerned that behind it was a mischievous effort to manipulate domestic politics in both countries, which should not be the terms of engagement between friendly allies,” he said in a statement to local station WPRI.Thank you, PM Netanyahu, for your bravery and your leadership of Israel. May God bless you sir. I extend my apologies for those in Congress whose brains do not function as they should.Shalom!!Am Yisrael Chai!