Tags: Israel | MidPoint | Tim Walberg | Benjamin Netanyahu

Rep. Tim Walberg: Netanyahu Showed 'Great Moral Clarity'

By    |   Tuesday, 03 March 2015 03:02 PM

A Republican congressman who attended a controversial speech by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says that lawmakers who gathered on Tuesday in the House of Representatives heard a clear and forthright portrayal of a potentially nuclear-armed Iran as an unacceptable threat to global security.

"We heard a man of great moral clarity make the statement … that it is time for us to understand the danger that is there," Rep. Tim Walberg, Michigan Republican, told  "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner on Newsmax TV Tuesday in a discussion joined by retired U.S. Army Col. Derek Harvey.

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Netanyahu, at the invitation of House Speaker John Boehner, spoke out against the Obama administration's diplomatic efforts to curb Iran's nuclear ambitions, and called the emerging, U.S.-brokered deal with the Tehran regime "a countdown to a nuclear nightmare."

The White House, State Department and dozens of Democrat lawmakers boycotted the speech.

Walberg said those who listened without political prejudice heard Netanyahu urge the world to "stand together as people who love freedom," and never permit Iran to acquire the bomb, and to "fight against the tyranny that threatens not only to wipe Israel off the map but wipe America off the map if they're given the opportunity."

And he did it all politely, said Walberg.

"He was magnanimous to a fault," the congressman said of how Israel's leader conducted himself at a moment of worsening U.S.-Israeli relations. "He was a gentleman. He was a true leader. He understood the priorities."

Walberg said that Netanyahu did not indulge "the wounded feelings" that have arisen between him and President Barack Obama, but was instead "very, very positive to our president, to our country, to Democrats, Republicans combined.

"Because what he sees more clearly than maybe anybody in the world is the fact that we can't waste time on superfluous arguments," said Walberg. "We have to see with a clear picture that evil is a face that's out there, but evil is also a finger that's poised over a nuclear option that will not be good for anyone in the freedom-loving world."

With the speech and the political uproar it caused now in the rear-view mirror, Walberg said that Congress "will definitely push for a continuation of the sanctions" against Iran, "and probably an increase based upon what we're seeing Iran doing."

As Netanyahu was preparing to speak on Tuesday, Iran declared that a key plank of the proposed deal — a 10-year suspension of Iranian nuclear activities — is "unacceptable," Reuters reports.

Walberg said that in its dealings with the Obama administration and Secretary of State John Kerry, Iran is "continually lying" because they sense the lack of resolute leadership and moral clarity emanating from Washington.

Harvey, a former Army intelligence specialist who oversaw Afghanistan and Pakistan projects for U.S. Central Command, said that Iran rejected the 10-year suspension because it conflicts with the country's strategic nuclear objectives "does not surprise me one bit."

Iran is "more aggressive than this administration is willing to admit, and the administration has also been fairly naïve in expecting change by this Tehran regime," said Harvey, now director of The Global Initiative on Civil Society & Conflict at the University of South Florida.

"All we have to do is look at the continuation of all their activities in the region. They have not changed and what they're doing does not surprise me one bit," said Harvey.

He also said that if Iran is allowed to continue on its present course, and no acceptable deal is struck, "we're going to wind up with an arms race."

Harvey said that continued sanctions on Iran "may do some good," but his concern is that the U.S. appears to be at risk of making concessions over and above even what the United Nations called for.

A U.N. Security Council resolution against Iran "calls for the dismantling of their missile capabilities as well as rolling back their nuclear capabilities," he said. "We need to stick with that."

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A Republican congressman who attended Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech says that lawmakers heard a clear and forthright portrayal of a potentially nuclear-armed Iran as an unacceptable threat to global security.
Tim Walberg, Benjamin Netanyahu
Tuesday, 03 March 2015 03:02 PM
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