On Tuesday, March 3rd Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke before a joint session of Congress. In preparation of the Prime Minister’s speech I cleared my calendar so as to afford me the opportunity to watch and listen.
I know much has already been shared about the Prime Minister’s historic visit to Congress. Some have hailed it while others have disapproved. It’s not my intention to wade my way through these conflicting currents. Rather I’d like to take a moment and consider some of the less discussed elements of the Prime Minister’s appearance and speech.
What a profound command of the English language Mr. Netanyahu possesses. Few native born Americans can speak with such command and confidence. The Prime Minister speaks without any discernable Israeli accent. When you hear him speak you can be easily convinced that he was born here in America. The ability to speak with such mastery places Mr. Netanyahu at an extreme advantage particularly with respect to connecting with the American public.
I felt so proud to see Israel’s Prime Minister speak before Congress. Here it’s less about who the Prime Minister happens to be and more about America’s deep and abiding relationship with Israel. Israel is beloved by millions in our nation as exemplified by the Prime Minister’s warm welcome in the capital. As an American and a Jew I pray that the relationship between these two democratic states will endure.
And finally I was reminded by the Prime Minister’s speech that the vital interests of both the United States and Israel are one and the same. What threatens the United States threatens Israel. And conversely what threatens Israel threatens the United States. Truth be told what Mr. Netanyahu shared could have been shared by any of our elected officials either in Washington or in Jerusalem.
Sometimes it’s important to get above the pettiness, above the arguments of whether the Prime Minister should or should not have come and see the larger picture. Iran is a threat, to not only to Israel but to the United States as well. I thank Mr. Netanyahu for bringing that sad but true reality home.