Israeli journalists and public policy voices spent Tuesday live-tweeting Benjamin Netanyahu’s fiery speech in front of Congress, which argued against a nuclear deal with Iran. While opinion was for the most part divided neatly along ideological lines, there was some interesting analysis of how the speech might successfully achieve its two main apparent goals of derailing the Obama administration’s current nuclear negotiations with Iran and getting Netanyahu re-elected.
Netanyahu defenders and critics alike were quick to note that the boycott of the speech by more than 50 Democratic members of Congress didn’t have much of a visual impact in a raucous full house.
A big topic of conversation was Netanyahu’s shout-out to the Purim holiday, which starts Wednesday. Key figures in the Purim narrative are a princess named Esther who saved the Jewish people from a genocidal tyrant named Haman.
Soon a game started of counting the standing ovations Congress gave Netanyahu, though there was debate about the final number.
There seemed to be a general consensus, though, supporting the critiques of the Iranian regime broadly.
But in terms of impact, opinion was split. Some saw it as an effective piece of rhetoric:
Others saw it as an effective, if cynical, bit of electioneering:
And several saw it as a big ball of nothing:
I guess we’ll be able to tell more in two weeks when Israeli voters actually go to the polls.