Congressman Adrian Smith says the United States needs the perspective Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu provides.
And Smith, a Republican, says he doesn’t understand the statements House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi made following the speech, in which she called the speech an “insult to the intelligence of the United States”
“Listening to Nancy Pelosi explain what she heard, I thought she was at a different speech than I attended,” Smith tells Nebraska reporters during a conference call. “I think the Prime Minister really laid out what his country is facing and here Israel is our friend in a very hostile neighborhood. We have this opportunity to stand together.”
The Israeli leader criticized the negotiations underway over Iran’s nuclear program, claiming they would not prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.
Smith says he doesn’t know what President Barack Obama wants to accomplish in the negotiations with Iran.
“But we do know, apparently, what Iran’s ultimate goal is and when that means total annihilation of Israel, we should expect the Prime Minister to speak up and seize the opportunity to come over here to enlist our support as well,” Smith says.
Smith says he doesn’t understand the criticism Obama and other Democrats had for Netanyahu’s speech.
“The president’s criticism is, I think, is misplaced,” according to Smith. “I think his criticism is actually counter-productive and I hope the president will listen more closely to the prime minister of Israel given the fact that Prime Minister Netanyahu is very familiar with what is happening in that area of the world.”
AUDIO: Congressman Adrian Smith reacts to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to Congress. [1:20]