(H/t Glenn Greenwald)
If anyone was in any doubt that Capitol Hill is Israeli occupied territory, the adulation Benjamin Netanyahu received from Republicans and Democrats in Congress today makes it obvious where the loyalties of most of our so-called representatives lie.
“In Judea and Samaria [the West Bank], the Jewish people are not foreign occupiers,” Netanyahu declared as members of Congress stood, clapped and cheered.
Well, if that’s what Washington really believes then it’s time to toss the two-state solution out of the window.
ABC News reports:
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech before a joint meeting of Congress today had all trappings of a state of the union address by a U.S. president with sky-high approval ratings.
Speaking to a packed House chamber with Speaker of the House John Boehner and Vice President Joe Biden over his shoulders, Netanyahu was interrupted at least 53 times by applause, including at least 29 standing ovations.
To put those numbers in perspective, 29 standing ovations eclipse the total that President Obama received at the State of the Union this year. Obama, in a speech that lasted much longer than Netanyahu’s, garnered 79 applause interruptions, but his remarks were met by only 25 standing ovations.
One of Netanyahu’s biggest applause lines was aimed directly at President Obama.
“Israel will not return to the indefensible boundaries of 1967,” Netanyahu said, prompting a big standing ovation.
Later the prime minister added: “Israel under 1967 lines would be only nine miles wide. So much for strategic depth. So it’s therefore vital — absolutely vital — that a Palestinian state be fully demilitarized, and it’s vital — absolutely vital — that Israel maintain a long-term military presence along the Jordan River.”
As Netanyahu himself pointed out, the President has not called on Israel to return to the exact 1967 borders. The President has said that a peace agreement should be “based on 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps.”
Nevertheless, Netanyahu speech – and the thunderous bi-partisan response – was a clear challenge to the idea of using the 1967 boundaries – with or without “swaps” — as a basis for a peace deal.
Netanyahu also got big ovations with hard-line statements on two other perennial sticking points to Israeli-Palestinian peace agreements: No right of return for Palestinian refugees, and “Jerusalem will never again be divided. Israel must remain the united Capital of Israel.”
Netanyahu arguably got a warmer reception than President Obama received during his last state of the union and certainly a warmer reception than he’d receive at the Knesset. When the speech was over, he lingered for a while at the podium as it seemed he didn’t want to leave.