Netanyahu speech hints at deeper diplomatic issues

Maggie Kelso, Senior Writer

Just over two weeks ago, the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was asked to address Congress on the matter of Iran’s nuclear program. For a bit of context, over the last month or so, the American government has been involved with negotiations with Iran about their access to nuclear weapons. The United States is considering proposing a deal with Iran that will allow them the capacity to produce nuclear weapons in the future, but not at present.

This has, understandably, created quite a foreign policy faux pas in America’s relationship with Israel due to Iran’s support of the Palestinians. It comes after the Obama administration’s refusal to take sides in the conflict strained international relations between Israel and the United States.

Speaker John Boehner and other heads of the House requested the address as a courtesy to the Prime Minister to allow him to voice his concerns on this deal. However an important step in the process of inviting a leader of a foreign country to speak was overlooked: the step that involves informing the president.

It is hard to see this oversight as anything but blatant and intentional disregard portrayed by the House in respect to its interaction with other branches of government. While the House is not required to tell the president what it intends to do, it is only right to inform your head of government when his political equal has been asked to speak. It would not have been difficult to do.

This incident also comes on the heels of several other governmental mishaps that have caused international and internal strain on our policy-makers and leaders. A prime example is the lack of American representation at the Charlie Hebdo memorial service, which many dignitaries, and indeed world leaders, attended. It is my personal opinion that we are living in a period of governmental separation where the system of checks and balances is being taken to the extreme.

We live under an administration that is so greatly disliked by its partisan congress that we are dealing with an instance of “the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing.” I might add that the left hand clearly does not want the right hand to know either. This contention between our lawmakers and the Obama administration has already risen to extreme levels of discord, and try as they might, the desire to act against a president they don’t like has begun to consistently overpower Congress’s will to make any progress or do any good at home in America or on the international stage.

If the exponential uptick of governmental “oversights” continue, it is very likely that for the rest of his term, the president will be dealing with a hostile relationship with congress and a falling approval for America on the world stage as the carefully constructed image of our ideal government slowly crumbles to reveal the seething, cut-throat, and petty individuals that truly lie underneath.


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