Netanyahu, Haunted By Jabotinsky's Nightmare

On addressing Congress: Netanyahu shouldn’t go – but he must.

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Jack Engelhard

OpEds Jack Engelhard
Jack Engelhard
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Over the past few days, jotting notes on paper napkins, I had it figured why Benjamin Netanyahu shouldn’t go.

By the time I got to the computer and then started reading what others were saying, I completely changed my mind.

When even momentarily I find myself on the same side as Haaretz and The New York Times, on anything, I know something’s wrong.

They’re against Benjamin Netanyahu addressing Congress and bypassing the White House on the perils of a nuclear Iran.

Israel’s Prime Minister, they say, ought to terminate the trip that was extended by Speaker of the House John Boehner. Netanyahu says he’s going.  

Watch out, they say. There will be hell to pay for antagonizing President Barack Obama. Better to heed Democrat Obama who is willing to give Iran all the time it needs to act sensibly, rather than heed Republican Boehner who, like Netanyahu, favors heavier sanctions to stop Iran’s nuclear program. 

Boehner and Obama are at odds on practically everything, and now that Republicans run the show in the House and Senate, it’s each man to his corner.


Practically all the resources belong to the President. He has built his Office as a private business. He has outwitted Congress at every turn.
There will be blood.

So into the middle of this strictly American political feud comes Israel, and for this reason I thought it best for Netanyahu to stay home.

My original thinking made sense, until it didn’t.

I wrote that Netanyahu was walking into a trap. I saw nothing but trouble ahead at a time when the United States needs Israel more than ever.

There are a thousand reasons why he should go, and only one reason why he shouldn’t, namely Obama, and that is the only reason that counts.

For sure, I surmised, Netanyahu will give a stirring speech. He will prove that Iran poses a threat to Israel, the region, the United States, in fact the entire world.

There will be applause. There will be standing ovations. Boehner will be the first to rise to his feet. He knows the American homeland is at risk.

So Netanyahu will win over Congress – but then what?

He must still face Obama and when the going gets tough, Boehner won’t be around. Obama remains Commander in Chief and between Obama and Netanyahu it is personal.

How’s this for a Mafia message that came from somewhere inside the White House? “Netanyahu ought to remember that President Obama has a year and a half left to his presidency, and that there will be a price.”

Obama has been aching for a fight and feeling snubbed, this could be his Netanyahu moment.

Practically all the resources belong to the President. He has built his Office as a private business.

He has outwitted Congress at every turn. He has outsmarted both Houses on healthcare and immigration. He releases terrorist prisoners at his whim. Congress has the power of the purse? So does the President. He can shift money (and support) for or against Israel if not from this pocket then from another pocket.

He can start wars. He can stop wars, Congress be damned. He has no equals. He has no competitors. That’s not how it should be. But that’s how it is.

Even the Supreme Court bent to his will on Obamacare.

Yes, the GOP now runs Congress. But we shall see if even that makes a difference.

Obama decides Israel’s fate at the UN, the International Criminal Court and wherever votes are taken to decide Israel’s standing among the nations.

Does Obama know that only Israel – only a strong Israel -- stands as a savior against regional and worldwide doom and that it is America’s vital interest to support the Jewish State? Does Obama know what’s going on in the Middle East? Surely he knows that it’s chaos and that through a domino effect entire civilizations are tumbling.

But his animosity against Netanyahu may cloud his judgment.

Does Netanyahu know that Obama has nearly all the power?

Surely he knows – and surely he must go to make his case. Finally, it came to this observer that there is no choice.

Throughout the generations the Jewish people never fared well when they chose silence.

Haunted by Jabotinsky’s nightmare, Netanyahu refuses to be calmed or quieted.

Zeev Jabotinsky was advised to hush up. Don’t make trouble. But he kept speaking against the European catastrophe he saw coming, and it came. This time it’s Iran and Netanyahu is wise to the looming catastrophe from the country that never misses a chance to declare its intentions to destroy Israel…first Israel, then America.

For the sake of Zion, for the safety of the United States, the Prime Minister of Israel must speak, and let the chips fall where they may.

Jack Engelhard writes a regular column for Arutz Sheva. The new thriller from the New York-based novelist, The Bathsheba Deadline, a heroic editor’s singlehanded war on terror and against media bias. Engelhard wrote the int’l bestseller Indecent Proposal that was translated into more than 22 languages and turned into a Paramount motion picture starring Robert Redford and Demi Moore. Website: www.jackengelhard.com



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