By Miles Alexander
The following is a suggestion for what Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should have said when he addressed Congress on March 3.Miles Alexander
I apologize to the Congress and to the president of the United States if my appearance here today creates any discomfort to you or your country, to which Israel owes so much and for which we are grateful beyond words.
Please know my presence reflects no disrespect or intention to interfere with independent decisions by your government, which are, as they always should be, made in the best interest of your citizens.
I only ask that you recognize that my obligation is the same to the citizens of my country, Israel. In that context I must be ever cognizant that:
- Israel is a small, democratic country in which 6 million Jews reside in peace with a diverse group of other Israeli citizens whom we are dedicated to protect.
- We are not a perfect country, but we try hard to be the best we can under the unique challenges we face.
- Israel lives with the knowledge that one nuclear bomb has 100 times the destructive power of the atomic bombs dropped by the United States on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and a single attack could destroy our entire population in a second Holocaust taking the lives of 6 million Jews and millions of other innocent people.
Israel and its Jewish citizens cannot and will not stand by without taking action to stop this from happening. “Never again” is not just a slogan but a national creed of Israel, as was “Give me liberty or give me death” for the United States.
Iran is on the verge of having the capability of delivering a bomb that can wipe the people of my country off the face of this earth, and it has many in their country willing to sacrifice their own lives and those of their families to do so. That was not the challenge that the United States faced in the Cold War. The nuclear threat, even from an anti-religious power such as Russia, was from a people and government that placed great value on their own lives.
Thus, I pray that the president, the Congress and the people of your great country understand that my motive in speaking to you directly has no ulterior purpose other than the survival of Israel and its people.
Iran’s government has stated on numerous occasions that it is dedicated to destroying not only Israel, but all Jews. Iran and its neighbors have an abundance people who are willing to die to do so.
I believe it would be foolhardy for me not to take them at their word.
I therefore am here with your permission and indulgence to share with you my country’s intelligence and views as to the limited time available for action or agreement that will effectively remove the threat of Iran’s nuclear capability to humanity as well as Israel.
It is, of course, your decision to do what you believe is appropriate based on your view of the credibility of this information and your alternatives, just as Israel must do the same.
Miles Alexander is a partner at the Atlanta office of Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton.