Immediately following Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday, Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer reacted to the speech.
According to Krauthammer, there were two key takeaways, first about a deal with Iran itself regarding its nuclear capabilities and second a show that if Israel had to act alone, it would have the support of the U.S. Congress.
“I thought that was an extraordinary speech and it had two very sharp messages. The first was, the essence of the critique of the deal, is that what the Israelis are worried about, what the Israelis think is utterly intolerable is the sunset clause. And that is the idea that after about 10 years, with all restrictions removed, with the sanctions lifted, with Iran’s economy restored, they would have unlimited ability to develop a uranium enrichment which is something no country is allowed, not even for example, our ally South Korea is allowed that. He says as long as this regime is in charge that would be catastrophic. And he seemed to be conceding that if that were dropped, he could live with the rest of the agreement. Remember, he said he wouldn’t like it but there are ways we could live with it. I think what he means is if they were kept under some kind of restriction indefinitely until the regime either altered its behavior or was changed, Israelis would accept that. That is an interesting sort of offering on their part.
“But the second thing he said was that at the end and I think you can understand why he came,” Krauthammer continued. “He said, if we have to, we will act alone meaning, he is telling the Congress, if this deal is enacted or if it begins to through, we reserve the right to attack Iran on our own. And I think what he did here is he tried to show the world that he would have the support of the Congress if that happened because we know the administration has been discouraging that, arguing against it and in some way sabotaging the very idea of an Israeli attack. But I think what he did — he got standing ovation when he said Israel would act alone. What he was saying I came here we will show the world have to act, if we do, we want the support to the Congress and he wanted to show the world that he did. Those were two very important elements.”
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