In the dark of night Saturday, sometime after midnight, Senators cast a 90 to 1 vote in favor of the Israeli Prime Minister’s position on Iran. The non-binding “sense of the Congress” resolution states that the governmental body “strongly supports United States policy to prevent the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability” and “rejects any United States policy that would rely on efforts to contain a nuclear weapons-capable Iran.” This is in direct opposition to President Obama, who has refused to yield to Netanyahu’s definition of ‘prevention,’ meaning the use of military force. Instead, the President prefers the use of negotiation and economic tactics, which the prime minister sees as ‘containment.’
While the resolution was initially introduced last spring by Sen. Lindsay Graham, it soon died as it became clear that Americans are in no mood for another war. This weekend, it was reintroduced by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Reid has a long history of going against the President on the issue of Israel. The lobbying group AIPAC (The American Israel Public Affairs Committee) has deep pockets, and Reid apparently resides in one of them, along with much of the rest of Congress.
Ironically, the Israeli public is deeply divided on the question of whether to carry out a strike against Iran, especially without American support. Plus last week, Netanyahu was roundly condemned by commentators across the U.S. for trying to insert himself into a Presidential election after he cycled through American talk shows, pushing for the United States to make a military strike on Iran. The Israeli Prime Minister has been fanning the flames for this coming week, when he and President Obama will both address the United Nations.
Earlier this month, columnist Joe Klein wrote:
“The truth is, Iran is a political issue more than a national security challenge. It has achieved the prominence in the current debate that it has because Bibi Netanyahu and his neoconservative pals have made it an issue, because twisted American zillionaires like Sheldon Adelson have bought politicians to promote it, because Jewish organizations like AIPAC and the ADL [Anti-Defamation League] and the AJC [American Jewish Committee] have conflated Israel’s national security with our own–and their perceptions of Israel’s long-term national security are, I believe, grievously flawed.”
Such criticism hasn’t even slowed Netanyahu, and the bipartisan vote of support from an out-of-touch Senate has no doubt put new wind in his sails. The advocacy group Secure America Now is launching a million dollar ad campaign in Florida, aimed at the state’s Jewish voters and featuring none other than Bibi Netanyahu. In it, Bibi ominously states, “The fact is that every day that passes, Iran gets closer and closer to a nuclear bomb.”
American and Israeli security forces alike are opposed to striking Iran which would, in all likelihood, spark all-out war in the region. Israel’s former Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, stated, “Iran is far from reaching the threshold from which there is no way back. Statements by which (a strike) is inevitable do not truthfully reflect the current situation from what is known to the security establishment.” Nevertheless, Netanyahu, Harry Reid, and the United States Senators have joined hands to rush headlong into the hell of another war, heedless of the people they were elected to serve.