On Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed a joint session of Congress and rejected – again – the President’s call for a return to its 1967 borders.
According to an AP report:
Speaking before a wildly receptive joint meeting of Congress that showered him with more than two dozen sustained standing ovations, Netanyahu said Israel wants and needs peace but repeated his flat rejection of a return to what he called the “indefensible” borders that existed before the 1967 Mideast war. He also restated Israel’s refusal to entertain the return of millions of Palestinian refugees and their families to land in Israel. And, he maintained that Jerusalem, claimed by both sides as their capital, could not be divided.
ABC News reported Netanyahu’s speech had “all (the) trappings of a State of the Union address by a president with sky-high approval ratings.”
The Israeli leader received 29 standing ovations from a wildly enthusiastic Congress. By comparison, President Obama received 25 standing ovations during his 2011 State of the Union speech – and those mostly from fellow Democrats. According to ABC News:
One of his biggest applause lines was aimed directly at President Obama.
“Israel will not return to the indefensible boundaries of 1967,” Netanyahu said, prompting a big standing ovation.
Later he added: “Israel on the 1967 lines would be only 9 miles wide. So much for defensible borders.”
At one point in his speech, a Code Pink protester heckled the Prime Minister, but Netanyahu simply paused, took a sip of water, and observed that such protests are a true sign of democracy.
“I take it as a badge of honor, and so should you — that in our free societies, you can have protests. You can’t have these protests in the farsical parliaments in Teheran or Tripoli,” he said.
“This is real democracy,” Netanyahu added, tapping the podium for emphasis.
The response was met with a standing ovation.
ABC News reported that after his speech, Netanyahu “lingered for a while at the podium as it seemed he didn’t want to leave.”
Washington’s own Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) was part of the bipartisan Escort Committee that welcomed Netanyahu to Capitol Hill.
“Like most of my colleagues, I was stirred by the Prime Minister’s passionate, well-articulated defense of Israel’s right to exist and the vital importance of the US-Israeli partnership,” she said.
“After today’s speech, I am even more committed to working with my colleagues to strengthen the friendship between America and Israel.”
Conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh called Netanyahu’s speech “epic,” while a post at the conservative website Hot Air asks:
You guys sure you want to keep that “Natural Born Citizen” clause in the Constitution? If Bibi jumped into the GOP primary tomorrow, I’m guessing he’d start at around 65 percent in the polls.
Limbaugh was apparently thinking the same thing:
Throughout this speech I kept shouting at the TV, “Run, Bibi, run!” He-he-he. We can find a birth certificate for you somewhere, Philadelphia, Hawaii, or what have you.
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