Leading editorial boards and lawmakers urge Obama to address Netanyahu’s concerns


Following Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address before Congress on Tuesday, leading editorial boards urged President Obama to address the concerns raised by the Israeli leader over the impending deal with Iran. The Washington Post Editorial Board on Tuesday wrote, “Mr. Netanyahu’s arguments deserve a serious response from the Obama administration.” Ambassador Dennis Ross, who held the Iran portfolio in the Obama White House from 2009-2011, echoed this point, stating that the Obama administration “should not dismiss the concerns [Netanyahu] raises about the emerging deal.” Additionally, The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board declared, “These are good questions that the Administration should be obliged to answer.” Furthermore, The Board recognized that Netanyahu presented “a systematic case against the looming deal,” while The New York Times acknowledged that “President Obama’s task of selling a potential nuclear agreement with Iran to a skeptical Congress became far harder on Tuesday after an impassioned speech by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel to lawmakers already nervous about the deal.”

Additionally, several lawmakers concurred with Netanyahu’s arguments against the current potential deal. After the address, Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) said, "Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech showed that there remain serious and urgent concerns about the nuclear negotiations with Iran.” Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) asserted, “The Prime Minister’s speech did contain some new insight that Congress should carefully consider… ” House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.) released a statement declaring that “critics must now deal with the substance of the Prime Minister’s concerns, which I have long shared.”

Netanyahu addressed two specific concessions made to Iran that pose serious threats. The first is that a final deal would allow Iran to maintain a “vast nuclear infrastructure” that could lead to a short break-out time, and second, the deal would contain a sunset clause allowing the restrictions on the nuclear program to expire after about ten years.

The Obama administration and other critics of the speech claim that the Prime Minister offered no alternative to the expected agreement. However, The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board wrote, “Mr. Netanyahu said there is a third choice—negotiate a better deal. . . The U.S. has leverage to drive a harder bargain if it is willing to use it.” Similarly, Ambassador Ross argued that “Netanyahu offers the alternative of insisting on better terms and increasing the pressure on the Iranians until a more credible agreement is reached.”


The Arab world has shown surprisingly strong support for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech yesterday in the United States Congress. A number of journalists from Arab countries expressed their backing for the speech and said that its message is important due to the possibility of Iran becoming a nuclear power under the emerging deal.

“Netanyahu exposed the Iranians when he said that Iran controls four Arab countries,” wrote Auni al-Kaaki in an opinion peace in the Lebanese news site Lebanon Files (Arabic link).

The editorial in the Saudi newspaper al-Sharq (Arabic link) expressed a similar concern:

What Netanyahu said about the Iranian nuclear issue, Iran’s actions and its expansion in the Arab states – from Iraq to Syria and Yemen – is true. Netanyahu tried to inform the American congress members about that (because they don’t know).

Support for Netanyahu’s speech was expressed beforehand too.

An op-ed published yesterday by Faisal Abbas, editor-in-chief of the Al-Arabiya news network, praised Netanyahu for “[getting] it right, at least when it came to dealing with Iran,” noting that the threat posed by Iran’s aggression is the “only thing that brings together Arabs and Israelis.”

The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) translated a column by Dr. Ahmad Al-Faraj that appeared Monday in the Saudi daily Al-Jazira, which also praised Netanyahu for challenging President Barack Obama on the matter of the negotiations with Iran.

“I will conclude by saying the following: Since Obama is the godfather of the prefabricated revolutions in the Arab world, and since he is the ally of political Islam, [which is] the caring mother of [all] the terrorist organizations, and since he is working to sign an agreement with Iran that will come at the expense of the U.S.’s longtime allies in the Gulf, I am very glad of Netanyahu’s firm stance and [his decision] to speak against the nuclear agreement at the American Congress despite the Obama administration’s anger and fury. I believe that Netanyahu’s conduct will serve our interests, the people of the Gulf … Do you agree with me?”

In analysis of the speech for The Times of Israel, Haviv Rettig Gur asserted that the Sunni Arab world was, in fact, an intended target of Netanyahu’s speech.

It was to another audience, to the Sunni Arab peoples and governments who watch in despair the unchecked ascent of Shiite Iran, that Netanyahu dedicated the most persuasive and actionable part of his speech. Israel will hold the line even if America fails us on Iran, he told the Arabs.

As Arab leaders know well, Israel is not the only regional power battling ferociously against the impending nuclear deal – it is merely the only one that can take its case publicly to the heart of the world’s most powerful capital, even in brazen defiance of the wishes of the American president.

The location of Netanyahu’s speech was as important as its content in delivering this message to the Arab world. Israel would defy Iran not only with its advanced warplanes and intelligence agencies, but with its most famous strategic asset – the ability to deliver its case before a joint meeting of the United States Congress.

In his historic address yesterday before a joint session of Congress, Netanyahu re-emphasized the strength of the America-Israel alliance, thanked President Obama for the support he gives Israel, described the threat Iran poses to the United States and the world and made a strong case against the emerging nuclear deal that the P5+1 nations appear ready to make with Iran.


A new Tel Aviv University study may offer hope to the tens of thousands of people diagnosed with ‘untreatable’ brain tumors every year. There are no effective available treatments for sufferers of Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), the most aggressive and devastating form of brain tumor. And the fatal disease has a survival rate of only six-18 months. But new research out of Israel has promising results. “I was approached by a neurosurgeon insistent on finding a solution, any solution, to a desperate situation,” said Prof. Dan Peer of TAU’s Department of Department of Cell Research and Immunology and Scientific Director of TAU’s Center for NanoMedicine. Prof. Zvi Cohen [Director of the Neurosurgical Oncology Unit at Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer] heard about my earlier nanoscale research and suggested using it as a basis for a novel mechanism with which to treat gliomas.” Peer’s new research is based on a nanoparticle platform, which transports drugs to target sites while minimizing adverse effects on the rest of the body. Peer and his team of researchers tested the therapy in mouse models affected with gliomas and control groups treated with standard forms of chemotherapy. The results were, according to the researchers, astonishing. Peer said “While it is in early stages, the data is so promising — it would be a crime not to pursue it.” (via Israel21c)


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