Benjamin Netanyahu Goes to Congress, Saying Patience with Iran Wears Thin
LaFranchi, Howard, The Christian Science Monitor
Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu is likely to find greater sympathy in Congress than at the Obama White House for his view that time grows short to halt Iran's nuclear-weapons development.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets on Capitol Hill Tuesday with members of Congress, and he's likely to find greater sympathy for his view that Israel can't wait much longer to stop Iran than he did at the White House.
President Obama expressed confidence that the two leaders prefer a diplomatic solution to Iran's nuclear ambitions when he hosted Mr. Netanyahu Monday. He encouraged the Israeli leader to have patience and allow toughened international economic sanctions more time to bite before launching military strikes against Iran's nuclear facilities, which the West suspects is aimed at developing a nuclear weapon.
Netanyahu gave his answer loud and clear in a speech before a prominent pro-Israel lobby Monday night, saying Israel had been patient long enough.
"Israel has waited patiently for the international community to resolve this issue. We've waited for diplomacy to work. We've waited for sanctions to work," he told 13,000 cheering participants at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee national conference. "None of us can afford to wait much longer."
Netanyahu also noted that more than half of the members of Congress were in attendance to hear his speech - a subtle reminder to Mr. Obama that, if he "has Israel's back," as he told the AIPAC conference Sunday, then Congress does even more.
The battle for the title of Israel's strongest defender takes on additional political overtones Tuesday as three of the four Republican presidential candidates addressed the AIPAC meeting.
In his remarks, released early by his campaign, Mitt Romney takes a swipe at Obama's policy - and his 2008 campaign theme - saying, "Hope is not a foreign policy. The only thing respected by thugs and tyrants is our resolve, backed by our power and readiness to use it."