Unfair To Netanyahu


Your recent Editorial (“Bibi, Obama and Purim,” March 6) asserts that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu “hurt his cause … by coming to Capitol Hill.” In his column in the same issue (“Fear and Loathing In The Jewish World”), Gary Rosenblatt goes even further by accusing the prime minister of generating “intolerance, distrust and pettiness” by virtue of his recent appearance in front of Congress. As I read these pieces I couldn’t help but feel that I must be living in a parallel universe from that of The Jewish Week and its editorial board. In my universe, the speech given by Netanyahu was by turns eloquent, gracious and forceful. It was enthusiastically received by a bipartisan audience of senators and congressmen and generally perceived by many, although certainly not all, media pundits as a powerful and important message. One that, regardless of whether one agrees with its venue and timing, has served to shed much needed light on, and attention to, the critical ongoing Iran negotiations.

I admit to being personally conflicted as to the prime minister’s selection of Congress to make his case. I fear any fracturing of the bipartisan support that Israel has historically enjoyed in Washington. But this is truly quibbling over relative minutiae. The necessity of delivering this message is inarguable. Iran poses a potentially lethal threat to Israel. Iran’s leaders have repeatedly and clearly expressed their intention to annihilate Israel. Iran’s obtaining nuclear weapons poses a threat not only to Israel but the entire region and beyond. This is the real issue of importance, not the location or timing of a given speech and whether or not protocol was breached.

What I find particularly troubling is The Jewish Week’s one- dimensional editorial posture regarding the recent speech and, frankly, all things Bibi. There are certainly a number of very valid and differing positions relating to the recent address and the prime minister’s actions. Legitimate criticism is to be expected and encouraged. But it is curious to me, and not a little regrettable, that in The Jewish Week’s handful of opinion pieces, not one of them had a positive viewpoint on Netanyahu’s activities.

Fort Lee, N.J.