Members of the Congress, honored guests, ladies and gentlemen:
It’s good to be with you for this my third address to a Joint Meeting of Congress. I’m well aware that it is a distinct honor and a rare privilege to address the two houses of Congress in Joint Meeting.
HISTORY OF JOINT MEETINGS
On the plane from Israel, I spent a bit of time studying the history of Joint Meetings, and the people who have spoken before them. The first to speak to a Joint Meeting of Congress was the Marquis de Lafayette of France back in 1824.
He earned the honor of an address to Congress in your Revolutionary War. He fought and was injured at the Battle of Brandywine; spent the brutal winter of 1777-78 with Washington at Valley Forge; and fought alongside Hamilton and Washington at the decisive battle of Yorktown.
Charles Krauthammer and his neo con friends hate it when I speak well of somebody from France. Poor babies. Any student of American history knows the affection the American people had for Lafayette in the early years of the American Republic.
Nelson Mandela has also spoken before you in Joint Meeting. He earned that right by spending 28 years in a South African prison … punishment for his efforts to end the despicable apartheid regime in that country. Mr. Mandela spoke to a Joint Meeting shortly after getting out of prison, and again as President of South Africa.
Mandela’s ability to rise above bitterness and resist the urge to seek revenge on his former tormentors made him one of the giants of the twentieth century. We can all learn a lot from the life of Nelson Mandela.
A number of very distinguished Americans have stood at this rostrum to address prior Joint Meetings of Congress. General Dwight David Eisenhower received the honor twice before being elected president. General Douglas MacArthur, who served with great distinction in World War I, World War II, and Korea, spoke once, as did Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz who, on September 2, 1945, accepted and signed for The Japanese Instrument of Surrender on board the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay.
These five men earned the right to appear before you by decades of selfless service to causes greater than themselves.
WHAT IS BENJAMIN NETANYAHU DOING HERE?
You may be asking yourself, What have I, Benjamin Netanyahu, done to deserve one of the highest honors the Congress has to offer … and to receive it three times, no less? I find that a particularly poignant question, especially when one considers that one of the giants of recent American history, Reverend Martin Luther King, was never accorded the honor of an address to a Joint Meeting of Congress.
Let me answer the question as honestly as I can. I’m here, ladies and gentleman of the Congress, for two reasons: your greed, and my ego.
RIPPING THE SCRIPT
I’m going to rip the script of my presentation right now and speak to you, members of Congress, from the heart … no text, no teleprompter.
Anybody who has been a member of either the House or the Senate for six months knows that there is one lobby in Washington that you simply don’t mess with, whether you’re a Republican, a Democrat, or an Independent. It’s the Israel Lobby.
Some people talk about the Teacher’s Union or the Chamber of Commerce or the Koch Brothers or Labor or the NRA or Big Oil. Don’t make me laugh. They’ve got nothing compared to what we’ve got.
A member cannot consistently oppose what the Israel Lobby wants and find a happy home in Congress.
Someone might get elected once or twice, but they will not chair a committee, they won’t rise in the leadership, and they won’t be invited to go on television. You will be, as we say in Yiddish, a putz, and, after a while, you’ll be gone.
How do we do it? Money and passion fueled by our collective historical experience.
We contribute big, early, and often. We’re at your town meetings and we’re aware of what you say and do.
We bring you to Israel on cushy free trips. You stuff your pockets with every conceivable freebie. We work on you constantly and, after a while, you are more mine than you are Obama’s, or whoever else becomes President.
We understand that Presidents come and go, but our hammerlock on Congress is like a marriage, except it really does last forever.
You in the House call yourselves members of “The People’s House”. In the Senate you claim that you are members of “The World’s Greatest Deliberative Body”.
In Israel, we call you the best damn legislative body money can buy.
SO WHAT’S THE PROBLEM?
The problem is that you clowns are too easy. You give us everything we want, and people are starting to talk. They’re catching on to the con.
You’ve got an approval rating with the American people of 16%, for Pete’s sake. Hanging out with you all is starting to hurt my reputation.
Lyndon Johnson used the expression “trading apples for orchards”. You’ve let us conduct a leverage buyout of your foreign policy for pocket change.
When we do wrong, and trust me, we do wrong, you turn a blind eye. Settlements? No problem. Administrative detention without trial? No problem. Assassinations? No problem. Collective punishment? No problem. Hundreds of dead kids in Gaza? No problem. Cluster bombs? No problem.
You clowns probably don’t even know quite what a cluster bomb is. No wonder you’re at 16%.
Look, for our little “arrangement” to work, you were supposed to say no to us every now and then, and actually support your elected President. Nothing annoys me more than people who can’t execute a decent scam. It’s like botching a false flag operation or an assassination.
I remember when we botched the hit on Khaled Meshaal, the Hamas guy. It went down in Jordan. I had just promised the King we wouldn’t do any operations in Jordan. I had my fingers crossed at the time, so it wasn’t really a lie.
In any event, we poured poison in Khaled’s ear, and he beat our guys up. What a freaking mess.
Look, I’m on a flight to Israel tonight. I’ve got two weeks to win an election. I’ve got a new program built on self-reliance (you guys can give the money we get to people who really need it), minding our own business, treating the Palestinians like human beings, and being a good neighbor.
I’m even going to establish a channel of communication with Hamas. To my friends back home, who yell, “They’ve got blood on their hands!” I say, “So you think we don’t?”
Plus, it would be great to see Khaled. We’ve been trying to hit him for thirty years. The guy is just too cool for school. We’ve got a lot to talk about.
I’m getting ready to blow this pop shop. I can’t believe I’m hanging with guys at 16%. Don’t wake up John Boehner till I’m gone.
I see Nancy Pelosi out there. Nancy, you’re tough. You do your job. Tell the President I miss him terribly.
I’m outta here.
I will post again on Wednesday, March 4, 2015 (or before, if the news flow dictates) and, for the time being, I will try to post on the first Wednesday of each month.
Comments are welcome at tomc[at]wednesdayswars[dot]com. Comments will be addressed in subsequent posts.