Five Must-read Pieces on Netanyahu's Congress Speech

The day after Netanyahu's highly anticipated address to Congress, Haaretz analysts weigh in on potential ramifications of the speech on the Israeli election and impending Iran nuclear deal.

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Benjamin Netanyahu delivers his speech before Congress, March 3, 2015.
Benjamin Netanyahu delivers his speech before Congress, March 3, 2015.Credit: AFP

Israeli Prime Minister delivered his highly anticipated address to Congress on Tuesday, urging the United States against agreeing to a nuclear deal with Iran, a state that "will always be an enemy of America."

Haaretz analysts weigh in on Netanyahu's speech, as well as its potential effects on the Israeli election and the impending nuclear deal with Iran:

Netanyahu's speech was no game-changer, Chemi Shalev writes. The ultimate decision about Iran’s nuclear future still lies, as it did before, with Ayatollah Khamenei in Tehran and not with Netanyahu and Congress in Washington. Further, it remains unclear what effect, if any, the event will have on Israeli voters.

What’s certain, however, is that the days leading up to the election will be dominated by security, Yossi Verter writes - the main issue Netanyahu and his campaign staff want to highlight. Verter writes that Netanyahu will try to win the 2015 election by doing what he does best — a bombardment of words, words, words.

Despite the strong rhetoric, Amir Oren believes the speech was much ado about nothing, delivered with an attitude of resignation to his loss of the premiership. Oren added that the speech appeared to be made in preparation for Netanyahu's imminent electoral defeat - a bid to become defense minister in Isaac Herzog’s government, following his loss of the premiership.

Zvi Bar'el writes that Netanyahu presented Congress with a warped view of the Middle East. Among the many falsehoods in the speech was his attempt to persuade the U.S. not to be alarmed if Iran abandons the talks: In reality, Iran has implemented its obligations under its 2003 interim agreement with the U.S., Bar'el writes.

All things considered, today's Haaretz Editorial takes Netanyahu to task for failing to mention the one thing that endangers Israel's ability to survive as a Jewish and democratic state: the unending occupation of the territories.