If Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ever decides to try his hand at politics in the United States he might just find that he could be the 2016 Republican presidential nominee. A new Public Policy Polling national survey has found that members of the GOP see the Israeli Prime Minister as a real “political rock star.”
The poll indicated that when facing the entire 2016 potential field of candidates that Netanyahu, came up with a strong 57 percent favorability rating. That was just ahead of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee among the Republican voters with 56 percent, the third place spot went to Dr. Ben Carson with 54 percent and rounding out the top four was Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker with 51 percent.
As we all know by now Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu will next Tuesday March 3 address a joint session of Congress. He was invited by United States Speaker of The House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) to address a joint session of Congress and the nation about the importance of how the United States, Israel and the world should be handling the Iran nuclear problem.
Undoubtedly, one of the main reason that the Prime Minister is so popular with the republicans is because Netanyahu is a fierce opponent of the emerging U.S. nuclear agreement with the Islamic republic and has he has served as President Barack Obama’s foil, of sorts, as the negotiations have progressed.
Netanyahu has made his views clear to President Obama as well as Secretary of State John Kerry on a number of occasions. He has “profound disagreement” with President Obama over efforts by Iran, Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States and Germany who have been seeking a comprehensive accord that would prevent Tehran from developing a nuclear bomb in return for an easing of economic sanctions.
“We do have today a profound disagreement with the United States administration and the rest of the P5+1 over the offer that has been made to Iran. This is a regime, Iran, that is openly committed to Israel’s destruction,” he said. “It [Iran] would be able, under this deal, to break out to a nuclear weapon in a short time, and within a few years, to have the industrial capability to produce many nuclear bombs for the goal of our destruction.” The Prime Minister’s remarks were released by his office.
This is a concern shared by a number of Republican’s and American Jewish organizations and it is why Speaker Boehner invited Prime Minister Netanyahu to deliver his address without consulting President Obama. It is wonder that Netanyahu’s favorable rating among the republican was not higher than 57 percent.
The speech is very popular among a number of American Jewish groups including one of the most respected Anti-Defamation League, . They issued a statement in advance of the Israeli prime minister’s address to Congress on March 3. Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, who plans to attend the prime minister’s speeches to both AIPAC and to members of Congress, said:
“While the original decision by Prime Minister Netanyahu to accept the invitation to address Congress without consulting the Democratic leadership was, in our view, ill-advised, now that it is happening, the speech deserves support from both sides of the aisle. This is a time for Members to transcend the political controversy and come together to underscore the broad support for Israel’s security and understanding of its unique concerns about the threat of a nuclear Iran,” Foxman went on to say.
The debate about the invitation should not obscure the profound issues at stake for both the U.S. and Israel which have a common interest in insuring that Iran, the leading state sponsor of terrorism and a nation committed to Israel’s destruction, should not have the capability of building a nuclear weapon.
In part two of my story I will look at the Netanyahu speech from the point of view of the Democrats.