Democrats who panned the speech to Congress by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu either weren't listening or chose to level "ridiculous" complaints that didn't reflect the speech's actual content, a Jewish rights activist who attended told Newsmax TV
Netanyahu made a "powerful" case against ever allowing a nuclear-armed Iran, speaking with "dignity," "passion," and more substance than his critics might have allowed, Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center, told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner.
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Democrats were wrong to call the speech "condescending"
or bereft of "concrete action,"
Cooper singled out the reaction of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who claimed to be "saddened by the insult to the intelligence of the United States."
"It's frankly ridiculous," he said.
Cooper said the speech, although boycotted by the White House, the State Department and many Democratic lawmakers, "started with about five minutes of gratitude to the American people, to Congress, to all the presidents from Harry Truman through President Obama."
"My read sitting in the gallery was that as members of Congress saw, this wasn't just a stump speech for Israel's consumption, but a serious presentation of concerns on behalf of Israel, the Jewish people, and the other countries in the region," he said.
"It was quite an event to be present at," he added.
With fanfare resembling a State of the Union address, Netanyahu stepped to the House podium and warned against
trusting in the talks with Iran that are such a high priority for the Obama administration, saying that a negotiated deal under the current terms is a "countdown to a potential nuclear nightmare."
Netanyahu said that what he wants is a deal "with which we could live, literally," alluding to fears that a nuclear-armed Iran would contemplate annihilating the Jewish state.
"So it wasn't that he was trying to nix any deal," said Cooper. "He was basically putting forward in a very respectful fashion why the current [deal] parameters only play the tune of the mullahs in Iran."
"He wasn't saying there shouldn't be negotiations with Iran," said Cooper. "He just said let's make sure at the other end that they're not capable to do exactly what North Korea did: Sign on the dotted line and when it was convenient for them … break out and become a nuclear power."
Cooper said he wasn't angry with Democrats who stayed away.
"Democracy allows us to make these decisions," said Cooper. "But you know what? It really was a missed opportunity. And I'm afraid that maybe all the wrong people in the wrong zip codes will get the wrong message in their absence."
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