Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech before the US Congress on Tuesday was seen by most Israelis as a resounding success, and as a rejection of President Barack Obama’s policy speeches over the previous few days.
Speaking before a joint gathering of the House of Representatives and Senate, Netanyahu reiterated that Israel will not return to its 1967 borders, as Obama had insisted it must do for the sake of peace. The Israeli leader also adamantly restated Israel’s position that Jerusalem must not be divided.
Netanyahu’s strong statements won no fewer than 29 rounds of applause (26 of them standing ovations) from the lawmakers, despite the fact that he was seen to be defying the Americans’ own president.
Writing for Foreign Policy Magazine, analyst Michael Cohen noted that “the idea that Congress would openly side with a foreign leader against the president of the United States seems too far-fetched to believe. Remarkably, however, something not dissimilar happened in Washington Tuesday.”
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