After consulting with my colleagues, my staff, my family, and my conscience, I will regretfully not be attending the address by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the House Chamber on Tuesday.
The story as handed down appears in the biblical Book of Esther. The setting was ancient Persia, probably 2400 years ago. The Jewish minority was well assimilated, but viciously hated by some, including a powerful minister of state named Haman.
The ad that Shmuley Boteach financed in the paper was a deliberate and scathing affront on her dignity. She doesn't deserve that.
Opinion can change, particularly as an event draws closer, so looking at polls of Israeli opinion in January and February may be misleading. That said, available polls show that while almost half of Israeli's oppose Netanyahu's address to Congress, the vast majority also say that it will not impact their decision at the voting box.
The neocon crowd -- including Netanyahu -- insist that Iran agree to terms that they know would never be accepted by the Tehran government. That's because they don't want a negotiated deal; they want the U.S. to launch a military strike against Iran that would effect "regime change." This is exactly the same line of argument that led the U.S. into the Iraq quagmire.
Even an imperfect agreement to limit Iran's nuclear program is pretty much the only game in town, and Netanyahu and his allies in Congress need to get used to it. And while the U.S. is dispensing tough love, perhaps it should consider whether Israeli intransigence in settling the Israeli-Palestinian territorial dispute is being encouraged by more than $3 billion in annual aid.
Netanyahu and his backers in Congress are an existential threat to the independence of American foreign policy.
For all his protestations that he arrives today in Washington on a grave mission vital to Israel's national security, Benjamin "Mr. Security" Netanyahu has more on his mind than merely scuttling President Obama's incubating nuclear agreement with Iran.
Well, the Republicans are, if anything, even more conservative now. They've also won back both the House and the Senate. After six years of the "game-changing" Barack Obama presidency, the game has changed, all right.
Rudy, oh dear Mr. Former Mayor, it seems that that you got it all wrong when you accused the president of not loving America. It's so hard to watch you spout such stuff because you were such a respected man.
In a few days, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will mount the podium of the U.S. Congress to speak before a joint session of the House and Senate. He will use the occasion to blast Iran and issue dire warnings about the current US-led negotiations designed to limit Iran's nuclear program.
The Israeli soldier who pulled the trigger in Dheisheh Wednesday may have killed a two-decade-old security and political arrangement that has mostly benefited the Israelis and their settlement scheme.
For decades, US supporters of Israel and Israeli politicians and diplomats have worked in concert to preserve bipartisan support for Israel. Netanyahu and Boehner's cynical play for their own short-term political gains, has driven a stake through the heart of that strategy.
What all the sound and fury misses is that for the Palestinians there is no meaningful Obama-Netanyahu rift. Indeed US-Israeli relations have never been stronger, nor more damaging to the prospects for peace and justice and for the very survival of the Palestinian people.
Reading the headlines over the past three days, you would be forgiven for thinking that the half-century old strategic relationship between the United States and Israel was collapsing under its own weight.
While Muslim-dominated countries like Iran harbor contempt for Israel -- the reason Netanyahu is speaking to Congress -- Azerbaijan could not be more different. As one publication recently pointed out, "What started as a marriage of convenience has netted Israel its closest Muslim ally."