Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Differing opinions on Netanyahu speech

I found Netanyahu’s speech boring and extreme, a variation on the “slippery slope to hell” way of thinking. Here is what others are saying:


Reactions to Netanyahu speech differ: David Vitter calls it 'Churchill-like,' while Nancy Pelosi labels it insulting.

(Note: I suppose those represent the extremes of opinion. I don’t think that anyone outside the Tea Party would compare Bibi’s eloquence to Churchill’s. It’s part of the Republican competition over who supports Israel the most. It’s comparable to the gun issue, where Republicans favor approving guns in bars and churches.)


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed that Secretary of State John Kerry “confirmed last week that Iran could legitimately possess” 190,000 centrifuges enriching uranium by the end of a long-term nuclear agreement that the U.S. is negotiating with Iran. That, Netanyahu warned, could put Iran “weeks away” from an “arsenal of nuclear weapons.”

But what Kerry really said was that a “peaceful program” can have a lot of centrifuges, and the purpose of the negotiations is to make sure Iran’s nuclear program is peaceful. “[I]f you have a civilian power plant that’s producing power legitimately and not a threat to proliferation, you could have as many as 190,000 or more centrifuges.


Obama says 'nothing new' in Netanyahu speech

US President Barack Obama said there was "nothing new" in Benjamin Netanyahu's controversial speech to Congress on Tuesday, insisting the Israeli Prime Minister did not offer a better option than negotiations. Netanyahu "did not offer any viable alternatives," Obama said speaking from the Oval Office.


Netanyahu leaps into the fray

The Israeli prime minister’s joint address to Congress exposed bitter divisions between the parties, as Democrats feel pitted between the GOP, Israeli politics and Obama.

New York Times (Thomas L. Friedman):

What Bibi Didn’t Say

Netanyahu never made a convincing argument as to why walking away from Obama’s draft deal with Iran would result in either a better deal, more sanctions or an Iranian capitulation — and not a situation where Iran would continue to build toward a bomb and our only two choices would be to live with it or bomb it, with all the mess that could entail. In that sense, Bibi’s speech was perfect for Congress: I’ve got a better plan, and it won’t cost a thing or require any sacrifice by the American people. The guy could be a congressman.

 

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