Why such a warm reception for Benjamin Netanyahu at US Congress?
Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu drew a line in the sand Tuesday during his speech to the US Congress, regarding future borders with any new Palestinian state. The applause was enthusiastic.
The moment many US lawmakers were waiting for came toward the end of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech Tuesday to a joint session of Congress. "Israel will not return to the indefensible boundaries of 1967," he said, to a vigorous burst of cheers and applause.
With that, Mr. Netanyahu may have demonstrated that the American Congress stands with Israel, and not with President Obama, on the matter of a starting point for resuming peace talks with the Palestinians – if and when such negotiations ever do resume.
That, perhaps, does not come as a huge surprise, given the shared Judeo-Christian tradition and shared democratic values. But there's also the pro-Israel lobby, long one of the most effective on Capitol Hill. Since 1990, pro-Israel groups have contributed more than $97 million to congressional candidates – 67 percent to Democrats and 33 percent to Republicans, according to the Center for Responsive Politics in Washington. Some 38 lobbyists are registered on pro-Israel campaigns, spending more than $8.6 million to lobby Congress and the White House since Mr. Obama took office.
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