Former U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman slammed the Biden administration for its having yet to invite the Israeli premier to the White House while accusing it of “strengthening” the otherwise “weak” Iranian regime. Lieberman demanded an immediate invitation for Netanyahu and called to make the Islamic Republic of Iran “more afraid” of the U.S.
In an exclusive statement to Breitbart News, the one-time vice-presidential nominee spoke out against the White House’s “mistake” in that the prime minister of Israel — elected in November — has yet to be invited to the White House.
“Honestly, most of the world doesn’t know that the prime minister of Israel has not been invited to the White House [but] I think it’s a mistake,” he stated.
“[Though] it’s true some of the enemies of the U.S. and [President Joe] Biden may focus on it, and the enemies of Israel may focus on it, but it’s a mistake,” he reiterated.
The long-time U.S. senator from Connecticut who had visited Israel and its prime minister the previous week, explained that, despite any differences, the leader of the Jewish State deserves a presidential invitation to the White House “as soon as possible.”
“So far, President Biden and Prime Minister Netanyahu have tried hard not to get into a public fight, but really the prime minister was duly elected by the people of Israel; he formed a coalition,” he stated. “President Biden and a lot of Americans may not like that coalition, but it resulted from a democratic process in a country that has been one of America’s closest allies in the world — Israel.”
“The prime minister of Israel should be invited to the White House by the President of the United States as soon as possible,” he added emphatically.
On the Biden administration’s persistence in pursuing a nuclear deal with Iran, Lieberman expressed his inability to comprehend “what rationally would lead anybody to think they could make a deal or an understanding — whatever they’re going to call it — with the Islamic Republic of Iran that we could rely on.”
He slammed the notion of “another deal that would give the Iranian government billions of dollars that they will use to suppress their own people and enable their proxy terrorists to kill a lot of other people,” while warning of additional consequences and harms caused by such moves.
“It will also do something really dangerous. It will legitimize the fact that they have enriched uranium to 60 percent — that’s pretty close to being ready to build nuclear weapons,” he stated, noting that only ten years ago, “there was an international agreement that if they enriched uranium at all, that would be a serious violation that would bring the force of the world down on them, yet now we’re saying OK to 60 percent.”
Lieberman concluded by warning against emboldening the Islamic theocracy, calling instead to increase fear on the part of Tehran.
“In my opinion, dealing with the Iranians now when they are weak and dangerous only strengthens them,” he argued. “Really, we ought to try and make them more afraid of us.”
On Friday, Lieberman addressed a conference of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), a prominent Iranian opposition group that calls for the overthrow of Iran’s clerical leadership.
He congratulated the activists and supporters on the “extraordinary victory” in the courts of Paris as he hailed the “victory for freedom” in Iran and France, as well as the “extraordinary setback for the tyrants in Tehran,” after a court in France reversed the French government’s decision to ban the group’s rally in support of the current uprising in Iran.
.@JoeLieberman: The regime in #Iran is at its weakest and there will be a need for an alternative. And there's a need for an organization to lead the way to that alternative. And of course, it is the NCRI and the #MEK.#FreeIran2023https://t.co/MxOllKf4YY
— NCRI-FAC (@iran_policy) June 30, 2023
In April, Lieberman lamented the potential for losing long-held bipartisan support for Israel in Congress as Republicans become dramatically more supportive of the Jewish state while Democrats become less so.
Biden has refused to offer the customary invitation to Netanyahu, who was elected democratically six months ago, though he met with both of the Israeli prime minister’s predecessors, who led governments formed by minority party coalitions.
Though Netanyahu and his right-wing coalition won the November election with a collective, decisive majority, and despite his posturing as a defender of democracy, Biden continues to deny Netanyahu the treatment of a legitimate leader and as one of America’s closest allies.
In March, Biden declared he would not meet with Netanyahu even after the latter suspended his judicial reforms, though the declaration contradicted U.S. Ambassador Tom Nides, who had promised a meeting as an incentive.
As Biden continues to snub the democratically elected Israeli government, China has moved to take advantage of the current administration’s hostility to long-term U.S. allies, with Netanyahu accepting last week an invitation to visit Chinese President Xi Jinping.
This was not the first time the Biden administration took heat for its attitude toward the current Israeli government.
Last month, former U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman described President Biden’s refusal to meet the Israeli prime minister since the latter’s election in November as “despicable.”
“This idea that Biden can get away with not meeting with Netanyahu…,” he said. “On the one hand, we preach about democracy and how important it is, and [yet, on the other,] we refuse to meet with Israel’s democratic leaders.”
In May, Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) vowed that if President Joe Biden continues to isolate Netanyahu, the U.S. House would invite him to Washington, regardless, noting that Netanyahu is “a dear friend, as a prime minister of a country that we have our closest ties with.”
In 2015, then-Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) invited Netanyahu to address Congress when then-President Barack Obama was pressing for the ill-fated Iran nuclear deal.
In his speech, Netanyahu outlined three clear conditions for a successful deal: for Iran to stop its aggression against its neighbors, end its support for terror around the world, and cease threatening to annihilate Israel — the one and only Jewish state.
Obama declined to press for the conditions, instead agreeing to allow Iran to emerge as a nuclear threat after about a decade.
Subsequently, President Donald Trump withdrew from the deal.
Iran, which continues to threaten the assassination of senior U.S. officials, is the largest state sponsor of terrorism worldwide and has long viewed the United States and Israel as principal antagonists.
The theocratic regime claims its nuclear program is for energy purposes, but world leaders, including the six nations that joined the 2015 deal to limit Iran’s nuclear weapons capacity, say enriching uranium may lead to Iran’s ability to quickly create a nuclear weapon.
Though that has not stopped efforts by President Biden to resurrect the deal, Republicans continue to warn the Biden administration against pursuing an agreement with Tehran that would provide sanctions relief without first receiving Congress’s authorization.
Follow Joshua Klein on Twitter @JoshuaKlein.