Not only do the two Prime Ministers share the unequaled honor of appearing three times, but they found common ground in the immediacy and purpose of their visits. In the case of Churchill, he undertook a dangerous transatlantic journey on the HMS Duke of York, within days of the Japanese strike on Pearl Harbor. He arrived in America on December 22, in time to spend Christmas at the White House. On December 26, Churchill gave an historic address to a joint session of Congress to win support for his concept of the war. WW II was in full swing, and the Allies desperately needed the U.S.'s participation in order to defeat the Axis Powers of Germany, Italy and Japan.
Yesterday, Prime Minister Netanyahu came to the Hill to present his case for avoiding WW III. At the center of the debate is the negotiations between the U.S. and Iran over the latter's development of nuclear weapons. In his remarks, he said, "I've come here today because, as prime minister of Israel, I feel a profound obligation to speak to you about an issue that could well threaten the survival of my country and the future of my people: Iran's quest for nuclear weapons." There was no pandering, no fawning, or ingratiating flattery. He was there to state his purpose, and it was clear what that was ... to call on his ally, the United States, to stand with him and protect his people.
His people ... there was no doubt that this Leader was there on behalf of his people, not to increase his own power or fame; not to propagandize on behalf of his personal political agenda -- he was there to lay out his opposition to any negotiations with a terrorist state that threatened the existence of his people. Perhaps his passion lies in the fact that he is the first Prime Minister born in Israel after the establishment of the State. Perhaps his enthusiasm comes from his military experience. He served as a member of Israel's special forces unit, leading many commando raids during the Yom Kippur War in 1967, among other missions. Perhaps his emotion comes from losing his older brother during an Israeli commando operation to rescue hostages at the Entebbe airport in Uganda in 1976.
But, as he pointed out, Iran's nuclear potential is not only an immediate threat to Israel and her people, but to the entire world -- including the United States. I found it sad that he had to school our own legislators on the important factors they should be considering before signing any deal with the terrorist state of Iran. "Just last week, near Hormuz, Iran carried out a military exercise blowing up a mock U.S. aircraft carrier. That's just last week ... while they're having nuclear talks with the United States! But unfortunately, for the last 36 years, Iran's attacks against the United States have been anything but mock. And the targets have been all too real.
Iran took dozens of Americans hostage in Tehran, murdered hundreds of American soldiers, Marines, in Beirut, and was responsible for killing and maiming thousands of American service men and women in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Beyond the Middle East, Iran attacks America and its allies through its global terror network. It blew up the Jewish community center and the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires. It helped Al Qaida bomb U.S. embassies in Africa. It even attempted to assassinate the Saudi ambassador, right here in Washington, D.C."
Yet, we continue to negotiate with a nation that shouts "Death to America!" and calls us "The Great Satan". Why does it take the Prime Minister of Israel to point out "Iran and ISIS are competing for the crown of militant Islam. One calls itself the Islamic Republic. The other calls itself the Islamic State. Both want to impose a militant Islamic empire -- first on the region, and then on the entire world. They just disagree among themselves who will be the ruler of that empire."
Mr. Netanyahu wanted it understood that "in this deadly Game of Thrones, there is no place for America OR Israel; no peace for Christians, Jews or Muslims who don't share the Islamist medieval creed; no rights for women; no freedom for anyone."
Is Iran someone we, the American people, want to negotiate with? We can't even recognize or pronounce ISIS as an authentic threat, and as Netanyahu pointed out, "The difference is that ISIS is armed with butcher knives, captured weapons and YouTube, whereas Iran could soon be armed with intercontinental ballistic missiles and nuclear bombs. We must always remember -- I'll say it one more time -- the greatest dangers facing our world is the marriage of militant Islam with nuclear weapons. To defeat ISIS and let Iran get nuclear weapons would be to win the battle, but lose the war. We can't let that happen!"
He went on to reiterate the numerous times Iran has refused the U.N. inspectors access to their military nuclear program, and the unimaginable consequences of letting the so-called "Sunset Clause" remain on the negotiating table. In essence, this means that virtually all the restrictions on Iran's nuclear program will automatically expire in about a decade. Think about that! Think ten years is a considerable amount of time to rectify this issue? On March 19th, it will be 12 years since the U.S. invasion of Iraq. And has that "issue" been resolved to everyone's satisfaction? As Netanyahu bluntly explained: "[Ten years] is the blink of an eye in the life of a nation. It's a blink of an eye in the life of our children. We all have a responsibility to consider what will happen when Iran's nuclear capabilities are virtually unrestricted and all the sanctions will have been lifted. Iran would then be free to build a huge nuclear capacity that could produce many, many nuclear bombs."
If the American people were smart enough to listen to this address by the Israeli Prime Minister, they would have heard facts that are seemingly impossible to get from our own government. "Iran's Supreme Leader says that Iran plans to have 190,000 centrifuges, not 6,000 or even the 19,000 that Iran has today, but 10 times that amount -- 190,000 centrifuges enriching uranium. With this massive capacity, Iran could make the fuel for an entire nuclear arsenal -- and this in a matter of weeks, once it makes that decision. Iran could have the means to deliver that nuclear arsenal to the far-reaching corners of the earth, including to every part of the United States."
We are told that the power behind our negotiations is economic sanctions. But who believes that this will in anyway stall Iran's plan to light the fuse on a nuclear tinderbox in that volatile region of the world? Or that we can stem the tide of their aggression and dominance in the region with threats of trade barriers or financial restrictions?
But what impressed me the most about this historic speech on the floor of Congress was the pride and forcefulness with which the Prime Minister represented his country. He made it perfectly clear that Iran not only needed to stop supporting terrorism around the world, and stop its aggression in the Middle East; but it absolutely had to stop threatening to annihilate his country, Israel; the one and only Jewish state. Most importantly, he clearly stated that "the days when the Jewish people remained passive in the face of genocidal enemies, those days are over! If Israel has to stand alone, Israel will stand!"
I cannot help but admire his boldness in this, his nation's hour of crisis. And I am unapologetic about my Biblical worldview when it comes to the nation of Israel and the Jewish people. The West has been vocal in their criticism and restraint of Israel when it comes to defending herself. But, as a believer in the Bible, I know that God will not allow Israel to be destroyed, and He will be her shield, her fortress, and her Deliverer. The world would do well to keep that in mind.
And then Benjamin Netanyahu closed his speech by pointing out to the Congress, the American people, and the world that our seat of government displays an image of Moses, the ancient Israelite leader who delivered his people from slavery to the gates of the Promised Land. He then mentioned the message that Moses conveyed before the people of Israel entered the land of Israel. It has become a significant theme for the Jewish people and has steeled their resolve for thousands of years. "I leave you with [the words of Moses] today, (SPEAKING IN HEBREW), "Be strong and resolute, neither fear nor dread them."
In the end, the real issue is whether our leaders will consider the warnings of the Leader of Israel. Do any in our leadership still recognize the Biblical and historical significance of Israel? Will they take the bold stand of hardline negotiations with Iran, or will they seek compromise and concession, thereby endangering Israel's very existence? The answer to those questions will have significant and long-term effects for both Israel and America. No matter what our nation's decision may be, one thing is for certain ... Israel will survive; God will make sure of that.
For a full transcript of Prime Minister Netanyahu's speech, click here.
Psalm 25:22 "Redeem Israel, O God, out of all his troubles."