16 thoughts on “Backlash Grows Against Bibi’s Congressional Speech – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. Well let us hope that this obvious provocation (the President being defied in his own country by a foreign politician) induces some Americans informing themselves a bit more as to what this meddlesome foreigner is about. Even a commentator like Robert Kagan is of the opinion that patriotic Americans can hardly enjoy this spectacle, whatever they think about Obama.

    But I am not too optimistic. I have always thought that the pro-Israel attitude of Americans was largely a matter of ignorance (Bill Maher isn’t the only one to complain about American ignorance — though not specifically in this context). So I tried to google on “American ignorance about Israel”.
    But will you believe it? The first two pages of entries are filled with complaints by people who maintain that if Americans were less ignorant they would be more pro-Israel. Talking about chutzpah. Of course we had the usual suspects here – the Krauthammers, the Frontpage.magazine types etc. They never fail to complain.

    If the very limited American criticism of Israel is due to ignorance it seems to follow that the by and large far more critical attitude of Europeans would be due to even greater ignorance; that seems somewhat unlikely

    1. It’s happened a few times.
      Eisenhower did it in 1956.
      Bush 41 mildly did so in 1991.
      Jonathan Pollard is still in prison.
      But the standing up/capitulation ratio leaves a lot to be desired.

  2. Richard.
    You’ve already made up your mind, but in fact, there are two contradictory accounts as to who started this tempest in a teapot.

    Politico reported that the idea of the speech came from Republican leadership in Congress. It came up in a phone call between Boehner and Dermer on January 8, when the latter was asked to broach the matter with Netanyahu and find out if he was interested, the report said.

    But, according to an anonymous senior Israeli official, Dermer approached Boehner, McConnell and other senior Republican Party figures at Netanyahu’s behest and suggested the idea of the speech.

    1. @krausen – These days I question anything I read on Israeli newspapers when it come to politics. Ynet and Israel Hayom are so blatantly pro/anti- Bibi and even Haaretz (though is slightly better) isn’t free of subjectivity.

  3. Whoever thought of it first Netanyahu obviously thought that it was a good idea, because he knows America so well, you see … Well this might teach him about the limits of his knowledge.

  4. this speech-gate is a very, very toxic situation; originally, the speech conspirators had the Iran negotiations, and Obama personally, as their shared enemy; but now the backlash in the US and israel creates the ironic twist that it is a very difficult situation to untangle — which side, boehner or bibi is going to blink and back out? the one who backs down is the one who will take the shellacking and neither is willing to do so. so now boehner and bibi will actually behave as each other’s enemy in casting blame and making the whole mess even messier.

    1. I should note, giving credit where it is due, my above comment is a direct application of the classic ‘prisoner’s dilemma’: two prisoners who conspired in their crime are each given the opportunity to rat out the other. each does best by ratting out the other while the other does the worst by taking the fall; on the other hand, if they both keep their respective mouths shut (continuing their conspiratorial ways), neither will do as well as the single rat or as bad as the single fall guy; the next worse for both is if they both rat each other out. the incentive structure is that they rat each other out (which is what is developing in the boehner-bibi conspiracy by the emerging mud sling, blame game).

      so, inasmuch as the prisoners dilemma applies to this sordid speech-gate, the careers of boehner and bibi will be into the toilet (obviously dermer is toast) and israel’s reputation in the US will be tarnished.

      1. @ Ariel: The embarrassment is that Obama continued Bush’s policy of assassinating Arab “terrorists” and civilians in violation of international law. Obama could repent his actions by taking a much stronger stance regarding Israel. But I doubt he will.

  5. The speaker of the House, had the galls to say that the invitation WAS HIS IDEA.
    how far up their colons does Mr. Dremer has lifted his nose.
    The WHOLE of DC is aware that this was a Mr. Dremer confabulation (let’s not leave out the chance that BIBI himself gave birth to this genius idea) and now Mr. Boehner stands up to defend him.
    Further Mr. BIBI is also doublingdown on the idea, rather than do the right thing.
    Then again do any of these politicians know what the “right thing” is
    shame on me

  6. “AIPAC’s silence…..astounding”, “..extraordinairy Israel would appoint someone who would stoke the fires….”.

    Why did Bibi run of to France,after whatever happened there, to make a fool of himself,or was he “pushed”?

    Why did Bibi and Dermer think up something so badly thought through,or did they?

    Why the newest leak about Mossad assasinations now?

    Might it not be time to address these “strange ” manouveres,and try to explain them.

    In the polls Jewish Home and Lapid keep weakening,”Zionist Camp”(as opposed to the others like Likud who aren’t Zionists ofcourse ) and Likud keep rising.

    Without figuring out who is “Zionist First” and who is “Israel First”,you’ll be “astounded” for quite some time to come,cause you fail to grab who controls who.

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