A speech by Zionist Union alliance head and Israeli opposition leader Isaac Herzog was cut off in the middle of a broadcast on Israel’s Channel 2 television network due to concern that Herzog’s remarks constituted elections propaganda.
“There’s no doubt Prime Minister Netanyahu speaks well, but let’s admit the truth: the speech we heard, impressive as it might have been, did not stop the Iranian nuclear program,” Herzog said on a broadcast regarding Netanyahu’s address to Congress, according to Yisrael Hayom. “It also won’t affect the deal being put together, either in terms of content or timetable. The painful truth is that after the applause, Netanyahu remained alone. Israel remains isolated, and the negotiations with Iran will continue without Israeli involvement.”
Herzog called Netanyahu’s speech “a serious blow to Israel-U.S. relations” that “won’t change the [Obama] administration’s position and will only widen the rift with our great friend and strategic partner, a schism that we will all pay the price for.”
Upon arriving back in Israel on Wednesday morning, Netanyahu said at Ben-Gurion International Airport, “After my short visit to the United States, I return to Israel knowing that many around the world heard what Israel has to say about the impending deal with Iran.”
“In my speech before the Congress, I presented a practical alternative, which would impose tougher restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program, extending Iran’s breakout time by years,” the prime minister said. “I also called on the P5+1 [nations] to insist on a deal that would link the lifting of those restrictions to Iran’s ceasing its sponsorship of terrorism around the world, its aggression against its neighbors, and its calls for Israel’s destruction. I heard encouraging responses from both Democrats and Republicans. They understood that the current proposal would lead to a bad deal and that the alternative is a better deal. Happy Purim.”