Today’s much anticipated address by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to a joint session of Congress reminded me of an old James Brown song — “Talking Loud, and Saying Nothing.”
It wasn’t that Netanyahu didn’t have a lot he wanted to get off his chest about how awful Iran is and why it would be terrible if Tehran became nuclear power; it’s that he offered no new ideas on how that outcome might be prevented. According to Netanyahu, the alternative to the allegedly “bad deal” being negotiated by President Obama is a “good deal.” What does a good deal look like?
Basically it means Iran giving into all of the international community’s demands on uranium enrichment and even going a step further by ending its support for terrorism and its generally destabilizing behavior in the region. That’s not going to happen.
So Netanyahu’s speech was good on bluster and not much else. Of course, since the address to Congress has always been strengthening his political position two weeks before Israelis go the polls, Netanyahu can say he accomplished his goals today.
Michael A. Cohen is a fellow at the Century Foundation. Follow him on Twitter @speechboy71.
Watch: Netanyahu’s speech