Iowa’s congressional delegation responds to Netanyahu’s speech

Benjamin Netanyahu SpeechBy The Iowa Statesman


Some members of Iowa’s congressional delegation offered their thoughts on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to a joint session today. Some did not, however.

The senior member of Iowa’s delegation, U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, made the following comment on the speech:

“The speech was moving and forceful.  Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s candid assessment of the danger of a nuclear weapons-capable Iran needed to be said.  The assessment gave Congress and the American people the opportunity to hear directly from the leader of a close ally on the latest security threats from a volatile Middle East.  Complacency is not the answer.   Support for Israel means fostering democracy in the Middle East.  It means maintaining an important strategic partnership in a critical part of the world.  And it means ensuring Israel’s inherent right to self-defense.”

Iowa’s junior senator, U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst, did not offer a response to the speech. But, as a co-sponsor of the Senate bill welcoming him to the Capitol, she had this to say beforehand:

“As we face ever increasing global challenges, especially in the Middle East, it is crucial we recognize our relationship with Israel and stand behind our longtime friend, trusted ally and important partner for our nation. A nuclear Iran is a threat to Israel – and our nation – and we ought to hear from our best ally in the Middle East on this important issue. The United States must confront Iran’s nuclear ambitions and take the necessary steps to support Israel in their right to defend itself. I look forward to hearing from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today.”

Neither Iowa’s First or Second district congressmen, U.S. Reps. Rod Blum or Dave Loebsack, made public statements regarding the speech. But, Iowa’s Third District congressman, U.S. Rep. David Young, issued the following response:

“Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to Congress comes at a critical time and I was proud to join Congress in welcoming him in the interest of policy and not politics. Hearing from our most trusted ally in the Middle East is vital as Congress charts a path forward in the region. The security challenges in the Middle East – including Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons – have a direct impact on America, Israel, and the world. His remarks were an important and timely discussion on issues crucial to our national security.”

Iowa’s Fourth District congressman, U.S. Rep. Steve King took to video to respond. He largely supported Netanyahu and attack President Obama’s actions, both with regard to Iran and to actions taken against the prime minister in response to coming to the U.S. to give the speech.

Scroll down to see the speech.