Earlier today we provided full coverage of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s remarks to Congress, and watched the country react as the man many are now calling the de facto leader of the free world completely and utterly devastated President Obama’s plans to strike a nuclear deal with Iran.

During the speech, I noted that once things got rolling, the loss of the boycotting Democrats was barely noticed. What was noticed was how proud the membership in the chamber was of Netanyahu, and his resolve in the face of not just enemies in the Middle East, but also opposition from the US, historically one of Israel’s closest allies.

After the speech, Obama…he didn’t give a statement. He pitched a fit:

Later, at the White House, Obama took issue with Netanyahu’s comments as well as the invitation that led to his speech.

“On the core issue, which is how do we prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, which would make it far more dangerous and would give it scope for even greater action in the region, the prime minister didn’t offer any viable alternatives,” he said.

Asked before a meeting with Defense Secretary Ash Carter about Netanyahu speaking before Congress, Obama said the U.S. has a system of government where “foreign policy runs through the executive branch and the president, not through other channels.”

Obama’s response was bad. Pelosi’s was almost worse:

“That is why, as one who values the U.S. – Israel relationship, and loves Israel, I was near tears throughout the Prime Minister’s speech – saddened by the insult to the intelligence of the United States as part of the P5 +1 nations, and saddened by the condescension toward our knowledge of the threat posed by Iran and our broader commitment to preventing nuclear proliferation.

“Today, Prime Minister Netanyahu reiterated something we all agree upon: a nuclear armed Iran is unacceptable to both our countries. We have all said that a bad deal is worse than no deal, and stopping the spread of nuclear weapons is the bedrock of our foreign policy and national security. As President Obama has said consistently, all options are on the table for preventing a nuclear-armed Iran.”

Of course, Chris Matthews had a complete tinfoil hat-level meltdown:

The most interesting thing about these reactions, and others I’ve seen floating around, is that they all focus on the snub, or the tone, or how we all should be feeling about Boehner’s invitation. (Matthews’ critique is completely off the rails, but at least it’s tangentially related to the foreign policy split.)

In contrast, Netanyahu’s message was not one of politics, but one of survival.

Do we really need to say anything else? The Democrats can boycott and whine, and construct false narratives about hijacking policy until they go hoarse, but it doesn’t change the fact that Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu are and always will be on two completely different levels.

In his speech, Netanyahu said that “[e]ven if Israel has to stand alone, Israel will stand.”

Will “if” become “when?” The fact that we as Americans even have to ask that of our President tells you all you need to know.

Miss the speech? Watch a replay here:

Full transcript here.


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