It is worthwhile to note that our long term ally comes at the invitation of the Speaker of the House, an equal branch of government with the White House (Executive Branch) and the Judicial Branch (United States Supreme Court). The White House took umbrage that the Speaker did not clear it with them first before issuing the invitation. Such insult that not one of the Executive Branch Administration will attend, not even the U.S. Ambassador to Israel. In addition, a number of Democrats will boycott the speech. The White House, through its press secretary, even announced that not only would the President not attend, nor make time to meet with Netanyahu, but he would not watch the speech either. Hmm. Well, he’s busy, y’see, making deals with Iran regarding their nuclear development capability. A deal that is supposed to be signed, sealed and delivered in weeks. Netanyahu’s interest in this upcoming deal is directly connected to the survival of his country. If Iran gets a nuclear weapon or a deal that would allow for it, then all the others in the Middle East must do the same for their own protection.
Meantime, what’s happening in the Middle East? It’s an important point to keep in mind that in the Middle East, there are two groups of Muslims, Sunni and Shia, and each considers the other apostates – to be killed. ISIS (Sunni) is consolidating and expanding its territory in Syria, Iraq and moving into Libya. Iran is Shia and, according to Richard Fernandez’ latest post, has been invited by Iraq to retake Tekrit, a very strategic town in Iraq. Iran has long promoted war by proxy throughout the region. Who will maintain the balance in the Middle East between the Sunnis and the Shias? Worth reading.
Situated in this hotbed is Israel. “The total area of the State of Israel is 8,630 sq. miles (22,145 sq.km.), of which 8,367 sq. miles (21,671 sq. km.) is land area. Israel is some 470 km. (290 miles) in length and about 85 miles (135 km.) across at the widest point. The country is bordered by Lebanon to the north, Syria to the northeast, Jordan to the east, Egypt to the southwest and the Mediterranean Sea to the west.” (Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs). Israel contains some of the holiest sites in three religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East, as we understand democracy in the West.
The Middle East is degrading in front of our eyes and may, in fact, tear itself apart between the Sunni and Shias battling for the biggest caliphate. And, they will not rest there until we, too, are a part of their caliphate. It is worthwhile to at listen to an ally who is threatened with annihilation by its neighbors.
UPDATE: WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will address U.S. lawmakers at 11 a.m. Eastern on Tuesday, speaking before a joint meeting of Congress in a controversial address just two weeks before his country’s elections.
UPDATE 2: CSPAN has it timed for 7:45 – 8:45 a.m. PST.