Glenn Beck got most of the attention at Sunday night’s Zionist Organization of America dinner in New York. But Minnesota Republican and presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann was on hand as well. And her speech, though less oratorically ambitious than Beck’s, still managed to bring the crowd to its feet repeatedly.
Bachmann dealt primary with the threat of Iran, though she took ample shots at the White House, saying twice that President Obama is “not a friend” to Israel:
And more than any other time Israel needs a friend. And when they look at the White House today, Israel does not see a friend. Israel is in need of aid now more than at any time from the United States. And while the president has recently been demanding that Israel give back more land in return for retreat to its indefensible 1967 borders, I think we can agree that the most real threat today that we are facing in the Middle East is a nuclear Iran.
Like Beck, Bachmann sketched out the Iranian threat in apocalyptic terms, as a confrontation between good and evil as perilous as the one humanity faced in the 1930s.
And as some 80 years ago, the world saw evil rising, a mad man spoke and the world didn’t listen, and today another mad man is speaking and the world must listen. Because millions of Jews, including your family members, six million of whom senselessly lost their lives, we are looking yet again at millions of Jews again at the precipice of losing their lives today. Because that man sees that the world is not only not listening, that he has made his intentions for Israel clear, and does so boldly and even more so every time he repeats those charges. Because you see he does intend to wipe Israel off the face of the map once he obtains the nuclear weapon. And he will seek to to use them against the United States as well.
Bachmann went on to outline the specific measures she would take to prevent the Iranians from going nuclear. Among them — publicly and covertly support Iranian dissidents, develop and deploy missile defense systems “on land, on sea, in the air and in space,” become energy independent, and impose crushing sanctions that would prevent Iran from selling oil on the world market. Bachmann wants the Pentagon to prepare a war plan to take out Iranian nukes, the Navy to prepare for a full blockade of Iranian ports, the deployment of Patriot missile defense systems in the region, and the sale to Israel of bunker buster bombs and in-air refueling capabilities.
Winding up, she also made a promise frequently heard on the campaign trail and never implemented by a sitting president: move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
That will happen the day that I am sworn in as president of the United States. Jerusalem will never be divided. And the state of Israel will never be up for grabs and cut again — not one acre, not one square foot, not one inch of Israel will ever be on the chopping block.