Where Bibi erred

Where Bibi erred

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had every right to accept an invitation to address the U.S. Congress on the dangers of a nuclear Iran. United States policy, which seeks to achieve a compromise with Iran, is shortsighted and foolhardy. It also is extremely dangerous for the states in the region, and for the entire world.

Terrorism has a more horrific face today than ever before. The Islamic State has shown that it lacks a conscience of any kind, and has no moral red line it will not cross.

Late last year, the German author Juergen Todenhoefer was granted rare access to ISIS fighters in Syria and Iraq. He filmed some of his interviews, some of which aired on CNN in December.

What scared Todenhoefer the most, he said, was ISIS’ fighters determination to die as long as they take many lives with them. In one interview, he asked an ISIS fighter what would happen if “the 150 million Shia … refuse to convert” to Sunni Islam, as ISIS demands. “150 million, 200 million or 500 million, it does not matter to us. We will kill them all,” the fighter said.

Another talked about planting a “dirty bomb” in the heart of London in order to kill millions of people.

ISIS has proven over and again – including most recently by the mass beheadings of 21 Coptic Christians from Egypt – that these are not just words. These people are quite serious.

Given this, the idea that any state that overtly supports these terrorists, or otherwise gives them encouragement, should be allowed access to weapons of mass destruction or the tools to make them borders on the insane.

For Israel, this is potentially the greatest existential threat it has faced since the rebirth of the Jewish state. It is totally appropriate for the head of government to come before a joint session of Congress to make the case for a more rational approach on the part of the United States and the West to a nuclear Iran.

That is the only message that counts. Unfortunately, it was obscured by the timing of the speech. With Israeli elections only days away, the prime minister’s appearance before Congress was seen by both left and right in Israel and outside it as nothing but a cynical political move meant to bolster his chances at the polls. One Israeli commentator noted that when J Street, Fox’s Chris Wallace, and former Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren all agree on something, which they did regarding the timing of this speech, there surely is a serious problem.

Netanyahu had to present Israel’s case to the world, and there are few places better suited for that purpose than standing before a joint session of Congress.

He just should have presented that case when the world would be more inclined to listen-after next week’s elections, and regardless of whether he won.