Israel’s Election: Why Netanyahu Should Not Win Again

Benjamin Netanyahu or “Bibi” is up for reelection and there are three reasons why he is the wrong choice.

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The first reason is his stance on Iran. It cannot be argued that this position reflects that of the Jewish population, as he stated that in a recent speech. This same reasoning applies to his other positions, also. Moving back to the subject of Iran, the antagonistic view towards Iran is largely unnecessary. In 1996, Netanyahu stated that Iran was close to building their own nuclear weapon. Fast forward almost twenty years and he is repeating the same message. Common sense would lead the intelligent individual to draw one simple conclusion, Mr. Netanyahu is absolutely full of it. Iran’s connection with Hezbollah is a fair cause of concern. Iran has also provided rhetoric that may suggest hostile feeling towards them. Regardless, nations do not have to be friendly with one another to make peace and have diplomatic relations. Netanyahu’s hostility towards Iran has led him to alienate the United States as well.

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This leads to the second issue, which is his uncanny ability to alienate his allies. The recent war in Gaza has turned many nations away from continuing support for some of Israel’s domestic policies. More importantly, however, is the prime minister’s disregard for the United States’ leadership. This is made evident by his most recent address to congress. His speech was not the issue, rather the context of his visit was a significant political gesture. In accepting the invitation to address Congress without the request of the president, he has displayed his indifference to respecting the American Commander-In-Chief. This alienates him from much of the American public, which is not the message Israel wants to send to its closest ally.

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The final issue with Netanyahu as Israel’s leader is his stance on the Palestinians. In the most recent statement before the election, he explicitly noted that he would not entertain the idea of Palestinian statehood if he is to be reelected. This further alienates him from other nations. Furthermore, such a statement erases decades of slow movement towards a peaceful resolution. The Palestinian resistance movement will not react to this with peace given their is no longer anything to work for diplomatically. It will also create a rift within the Israeli public as many support the notion of a solution and are beginning to sympathize with the occupied territories. Therefore, it can be said that Netanyahu’s reelection would be destructive to Israel’s global position as well as the nation’s domestic well-being.

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Should Netanyahu Have Addressed the U.S. Congress?

Short Answer: After objectively examining the the Prime Minister of Israel’s visit to Congress, the answer is no.

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The first problem is the context of his visit. The United State’s government is significantly divided and polarized. This rift has negatively impacted the country and its population who are more than likely not benefitting from a relationship with Israel. The party that is most benefitting from that relationship is Israel themselves, but given their socioeconomic conditions, they do not need the United States. Israel is a developed nation with a democracy and a thriving and extremely entrepreneurial private sector. Therefore, they are innovative and can survive on their own. In understanding this, it becomes somewhat confusing as to why much of the American population welcome this individual at the expense of disrespecting their president.

Any individual who has followed Middle Eastern politics to some degree has a general understanding of how the current Israeli government has an unwavering disdain towards Iran. This can be attributed to many reasons such as their support of Hezbollah, a Lebanese political party and militia. In the speech given by “Bibi”, in which he warned that in establishing an agreement with Iran would only aid their efforts in creating nuclear weapons. President Obama’s did not make the effort to watch, but read the script later. His response to the Prime Minister is that he proposed no reasonable alternatives and is not entirely wrong.

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The only evidence necessary in this particular situation is history itself. President Obama’s assertion that no valuable suggestions were made is not without truth as the Prime Minister only insisted that the United States continue their efforts to restrict Iran’s nuclear ambitions. In looking to historical instances where sanctions and similar practices were unsuccessful, a couple significant instances can be examined. One of these instances includes sanctions against Japan in the pre-WWII period, which resulted in the bombing of Peal Harbor. The second instance, which is significantly more relevant as it is a more current example is that of North Korea. This is the perfect comparison as it has sanctions imposed on it by many nations, including the United States, yet it has been able to acquire nuclear arms. Therefore, it becomes evident that placing restrictions on Iran, is not a reliable option for ending or postponing their nuclear ambitions.

In conclusion, the long answer to the question is also no. Benjamin Netanyahu should not have been invited or accepted the invitation to address the United States congress. The speech will probably not change how Obama Administration will proceed and it should not, as the United States is a nation that should act in the manner it perceives will be the most effective. Furthermore, it may be within reason for the international community to question why other nations have nuclear arms, such as Israel itself.