Arab Commentators Strongly Back Netanyahu on Congress Speech, Iran Nuclear Threat
by Shiryn Ghermezian
Leading Arab opinion makers weighed in on the controversy surrounding Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to Congress on Tuesday and expressed strong support for his stance on the Iranian nuclear threat.
In an op-ed for the Saudi Arabian daily Al-Jazirah on Monday, columnist Dr. Ahmad Al-Faraj asserted that Netanyahu is justified in his campaign against the proposed nuclear deal with Iran, according to The Middle East Media Research Institute. Al-Faraj said Netanyahu’s effort to prevent the signing of the agreement is in the interests of the Gulf states, and that the prime minister “is right to insist on addressing Congress about the nuclear deal.”
“I am very glad of Netanyahu’s firm stance and [his decision] to speak against the nuclear agreement at the American Congress despite the Obama administration’s anger and fury,” Al-Faraj wrote. “I believe that Netanyahu’s conduct will serve our interests, the people of the Gulf, much more than the foolish behavior of one of the worst American presidents.”
The Editor-in-Chief of Al Arabiya English, Faisal J. Abbas, published a column on Tuesday in which he asked Obama to take notes from Netanyahu on the extent of the Iranian threat. In the piece, titled “President Obama, Listen to Netanyahu on Iran,” Abbas said, “one must admit, Bibi did get it right, at least when it came to dealing with Iran.”
Abbas noted that Netanyahu “hit the nail right on the head” when he said at a recent event in Tel Aviv that “Middle Eastern countries are collapsing and that ‘terror organizations, mostly backed by Iran, are filling in the vacuum.'” In his remarks, Netanyahu “managed to accurately summarize a clear and present danger, not just to Israel (which obviously is his concern), but to other US allies in the region,” Abbas wrote.
“What is absurd, however,” Abbas continued, “is that despite this being perhaps the only thing that brings together Arabs and Israelis (as it threatens them all), the only stakeholder that seems not to realize the danger of the situation is President Obama, who is now infamous for being the latest pen-pal of the Supreme Leader of the World’s biggest terrorist regime: Ayottallah Ali Khamenei.”
Abbas slammed Obama’s “controversial take on managing global conflicts that raises serious questions.” The “real Iranian threat” Abbas said, is not just the country’s nuclear ambitions, “but its expansionist approach and state-sponsored terrorism activities which are still ongoing.”