Pray for Netanyahu On This Day of Reckoning

Obama offers patience and respect for Iran, a country run by fanatics. For Israel, our most dependable ally – contempt.

Jack Engelhard

OpEds Jack Engelhard
Jack Engelhard
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Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is hours away from giving the speech of his life. Pray for him to succeed.

Pray for the welfare of Israel. Pray for the welfare of the United States. Both nations are in the same boat. We share the same values.

We share the same perils.

America can lose a war and still survive. No such luck for the Jewish State.
Netanyahu, leading a nation seasoned by the Holocaust, knows what comes when evil goes unchecked. He knows the price and facing Congress on Tuesday he will have to be at his best to persuade lawmakers that, squabbles aside, politics be damned, it’s in the vital interest of both nations to stop Iran from going nuclear.

First the Saturday people, say the ayatollahs. Next the Sunday people, a message that seems to escape President Barack Obama who insists on playing games of tag with imams who mean business. But Netanyahu knows that it’s do or die. His people, Israel, cannot afford to play games.

Israel cannot afford to take chances, cannot risk its safety on a wager, guessing whether Iran’s cards are up or down.

America can lose a war and still survive. No such luck for the Jewish State, which, in addition to Iran, faces imminent threats along all its borders. Islamists have their rockets and tunnels ready to go from Gaza and ISIS keeps gaining ground throughout the Golan Heights.

The same Islamic State threatens the entire region, the entire world. This is no time for a family dispute between the United States and Israel.

This is no time to get personal and yet Netanyahu’s visit to Congress has been met with hails of derision coming mainly and directly from the White House where sits a president we don’t understand. He offers patience and respect for Iran, a country run by fanatics. For Israel, our most dependable ally – contempt.

To satisfy his grudge against Israel as a whole and against Netanyahu as a leader, Obama has poisoned the air in advance of Tuesday’s speech. He has dispatched his ministers, John Kerry and Susan Rice among them, to taunt the Jewish prime minister wherever forums are available, and even if the subject is about something else

Anything to Get Bibi!

Netanyahu knows what he’s up against, besides a world that denounces Israel every Monday and Thursday. Yet even in America, where 70 percent of the population is favorable to Israel, and where the Senate has just passed a unanimous resolution welcoming Netanyahu, political irritations have turned the speech divisive even before the speech. Democrats threaten to bolt – at least some.

That African American Legislators appear to top the list of naysayers – this is especially disturbing. We used to be friends. We marched at your sides.

There was a time when Democrats were Israel’s best friends. The Party has been abducted by the Radical Left, including Obama, including Hillary, including the delegates who jeered when the mention of Israel came up at the Democratic National Convention – and including the usual assortment of anti-Semites.

There was even a time when Jewish people were Israel’s best friends. How alarming it is to find informers from among our own – Liberals “who happen to be Jewish” doing everything they can to destroy Israel and undercut Netanyahu. What sort of perversion is this coming from America and even from Israel?

So what sort of reception awaits Netanyahu? One side of the Chamber will be applauding; the other side, not so much.

Obama, the man who counts the most, will not be cheering.

Given his years of attending Rev. Wright’s church, Obama needed no help developing an unfavorable attitude toward Israel and the Jewish people, but if The Washington Post is correct, Obama became indoctrinated through books written by Israeli writers who cursed the Jewish State page after page, David Grossman and Amos Oz among them.

Grossman’s “The Yellow Bird,” 1988, according to the Post’s Terrence McCoy, had a particular effect on Obama – entirely negative for Israel.

The list of Progressives (self-hating Jews in other words) who fouled the air in America may begin with David Axelrod and Jon Stewart and Max Blumenthal and Peter Beinart and whiney Alan Colmes but the end of these people is nowhere in sight.

The Left of all shapes and colors is guilty of imperiling the Jewish State and Jewish people everywhere. The Jewish Left is more to blame than anyone.

U.S. Rep Jan Schakowsky, the only Jewish member of Illinois’ Congressional delegation, has already signaled her intention to boycott Bibi’s speech. Thanks for letting us know which side you’re on.

At this late stage there is no middle. You are with us or you are against us. For the drama of it go here. The day of reckoning is upon us.

Netanyahu knows the risk that comes from upstaging an American President. As I wrote Jan. 26 along these pages under the heading Netanyahu Haunted By Jabotinsky’s Nightmare: “Obama has been aching for a fight and feeling snubbed, this could be his Netanyahu moment [to punish Israel simply for spite].”

All that aside, Netanyahu persists. He must. He’s in a race against time.

He has taken upon himself the mantle of a prophet and a prophet, as defined by Abraham Heschel, is a person who knows what time it is.

Bibi knows what time it is – if nobody else does.

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: