Wed Mar 4, 2015 7:50PM
An American political activist and journalist says Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s “scheme” to come to Washington and disrupt Iran nuclear talks has apparently fallen flat.
Stephen Lendman, a writer, syndicated columnist, peace activist and radio show host in Chicago, made the remarks in an interview with Press TV on Wednesday while commenting on the Israeli premier’s this week visit to Washington, DC.
Lendman said Netanyahu’s speeches at the Israeli lobbying group AIPAC on Monday and at the US Congress on Tuesday “were anti-Iranian rants.”
The peace activist said his visit did “more damage to US-Israeli relations than any Israeli leader in the history of [Israel].”
US House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner invited Netanyahu to speak to Congress. The invitation was extended hours after Obama threatened to veto any sanctions legislation against Iran during his State of the Union address in January.
The Obama administration is both angry at Netanyahu’s accepting the Republican invitation to address Congress two weeks before the Israeli election without consulting the White House and excessive Israel Lobby interference in American foreign policy.
Speaking at Congress, Netanyahu accused Washington of negotiating “a very bad deal” with Iran over its nuclear energy program that he said could leave the Middle East “littered with nuclear bombs.”
Lendman said, Netanyahu “did [this] for several reasons. He was trying to influence the Congress. He absolutely knows Iran poses no threat whatever, not only to Israel or to America, but to no other country anywhere in the world.
“Every member of Congress, all 535 members know that, and yet they listened to Netanyahu’s rant and they applauded him standing ovations, something like 15 times.
“The guy should have been arrested the moment he set foot on US soil. But this is the way America treats people like Israeli leaders – criminals – who are invited to the country, not by Obama but by the speaker of the House.
“The other reason was to influence the Israeli public, because Israel has general elections, coming up on the 17th of March.”
“Netanyahu is in a very touch-and-go close race. He could lose it. He could lose it to the Labor [party] and the Zionist Union [party],” Lendman said.
“So he was trying to influence the Israeli public, trying to influence the Congress, and he was trying to influence the US public, because his address was televised.
“Americans most of the time are doing nonsensical things and they don’t stop to realize with minimal effort that all of the things, all of the nasty things, said about Iran, are nothing but big lies. And if they did, they would dismiss comments by Netanyahu.
“But this was a scheme, coming to Washington, whether it worked or not we have to wait and see. I think the odds are [that] it fell more flat than Netanyahu wanted it to.
“Certainly he would not influence the Congress any more than Israel already does. The P5+1 talks with Iran on its nuclear program are proceeding. Netanyahu had no influence whatsoever on how they are going.
“So he absolutely failed on that, and Obama does not need the Congress to negotiate a deal with Iran. So the entire Congress can be against him, and he can negotiate a deal by executive order.
“If Obama wants a deal with Iran to resolve the longstanding… conflict that never should have begun in the first place. He could do it on his own…
“I think, he may want something out of these negotiations, because his entire tenure has been a dismal failure. He wants something in his legacy to show some success about something and the best chance he has is to come up with a resolution deal with Iran.
“He is not going to let Netanyahu do anything to stop that.”