Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's new campaign ad compares the leader's defiance in seeking to address the U.S. Congress despite White House opposition with legendary Israeli leader David Ben Gurion's refusal to bow to U.S. State Department opposition when he helped create the state of Israel. (Watch above.)
The ad, which is in Hebrew and features grainy, black-and-white graphics, flashes back to 1948 as a voiceover intones the following, per a Haaretz translation: "In 1948, Ben-Gurion stood before a fateful decision: The creation of the State of Israel. The U.S. secretary of state firmly objected. Ben-Gurion - contrary to the State Department's position - announced the establishment of the state. Would we be here today had Ben-Gurion not done the right thing?"
The ad was posted on Netanyahu's Facebook page, accompanied by text declaring his commitment to addressing Congress. "Congress is the only place where a bad deal can be stopped. It is the right and essential thing to do to safeguard Israel’s security and existence," Netanyahu wrote, according to a translation by the Times of Israel.
Netanyahu is expected to address Congress on March 3 on the issue of Iran's nuclear program, of which he has been a fierce critic. He was invited by Speaker of the House John Boehner -- not President Barack Obama -- and the episode has significantly widened the already-wide rift between the American president and the Israeli prime minister. The White House is reportedly considering options to undercut Netanyahu's message according to the Associated Press.
Israel goes to the polls on March 17. Recent polling shows Netanyahu's Likud in a tight race with the center-left Zionist Union.
The Times of Israel notes that while Secretary of State George C. Marshall did indeed oppose recognizing Israel at the time, President Harry Truman was a firm supporter, "making the US the first country to provide Israel with de facto recognition moments after it declared independence."