Lee Zeldin, the sole Jewish Republican in Congress, told "The Steve Malzberg Show" Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech to Congress not only had historic impact, but extended an olive branch to Democratic dissenters.
"The prime minister did a great job giving a historic, impactful speech. A lot of Americans, certainly the president, doesn't understand the difference between a good deal and a bad deal," Zeldin of New York said Tuesday on Newsmax TV.
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"And I thought that the prime minister started off by extending that branch to those Democrats who were there … standing united against a cause to fight radical Islamic extremism and the state sponsored terrorism.
"But then he shifted to outlining exactly what makes a bad deal and why we're better off with no deal than pursuing a bad deal."
During his 39-minute speech, Netanyahu cautioned President Barack Obama against inking a nuclear deal with Iran. He warned it would be a "countdown to a potential nuclear nightmare." by a country that "will always be an enemy of America."
"If the deal now being negotiated is accepted by Iran, that deal will not prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons — it will all but guarantee that Iran will get those nuclear weapons, lots of them," Netanyahu said.
Zeldin, a former Army intelligence officer and former federal prosecutor, said Netanyahu's speech helped set straight exactly what is at stake.
"For people who are listening to the speech, who beforehand may not have known exactly what the difference is, now they're thinking we don't want Iran to be pursuing uranium enrichment, we don't want them to have centrifuges, they have to allow weapon inspectors to come in and we shouldn't be making permanent concessions in exchange for temporary concessions," he said.
And Zeldin was also gratified to see the positive reception Netanyahu received on Capitol Hill, including a number of standing ovations.
"I was very proud to see how the chamber very warmly embraced the prime minister's speech," he said.
"There were some people there who would clap almost as if they were protesting … but aside from those few, it's very clear for Israelis and for our allies in other countries around the world, there's a renewed sense of strength that the American people stand strong … with our friends.
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