Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin NetanyahuBenjamin (Bibi) NetanyahuMORE’s speech to Congress on Tuesday will do nothing to stop Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, opposition leader Isaac Herzog said ahead of the Israeli elections.
"Netanyahu knows how to deliver a speech, but [his] speech did not put a halt to a nuclear agreement and didn't influence it," Herzog said, according to Haartez. "No Israeli leader will countenance a nuclear Iran."
"The painful truth is that after the applause, Netanyahu was left alone," he said. "Israel was left isolated. And the negotiations with Iran will continue without any Israeli involvement. This speech badly damaged U.S.-Israel relations. It won’t change the administration's stance but will only widen the rift with our greatest friend and strategic ally."
Herzog's and Netanyahu’s parties are coming up on an election; critics of the Netanyahu speech said the U.S. was interfering in Israel's elections by hosting a candidate. Some have argued that the speech, which took place around dinnertime in Israel, was aimed not only at blasting President Obama but allowing Netanyahu to appeal to conservative Israelis who may be considering voting for someone else.
In his speech, the prime minister lambasted the administration-led talks, arguing the deal in the works was a bad one.
Obama did not meet with Netanyahu, and after the speech said he had heard nothing new from the Israeli leader.