Business Council of Alabama Chairman and Florence businessman Marty Abroms watched Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu address a joint meeting of Congress today from the U.S. House gallery in the Capitol.
“It was probably one of the most electrifying and sobering speeches in my lifetime and maybe one of the most historic certainly in the modern era,” Abroms said in a telephone interview.
Netanyahu spoke of the ties between the United States and Israel, the good friend that President Obama has been to Israel, but also his belief that a proposed U.S. deal with Iran is bad because it threatens Israel and the Jewish people.
Abroms was the guest of U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Huntsville, who is Abroms’ member of Congress and whose district includes missile technology that has been used to defend Israel.
Brooks said on his Facebook page said that if Iran becomes a nuclear power then destabilization of the entire Middle East could follow and “seriously threaten the survival of our strongest ally in the region.”
“We don’t always agree on tax and fiscal issues but we agree on Israel,” said Abroms, who is president and managing shareholder of Abroms & Associates PC. “But as far as the armed services, Israel and Alabama have a strong friend with Brooks and (U.S. Rep. Robert) Aderholt.”
Abroms said Alabama was the first state to recognize the new nation of Israel in 1948.
Netanyahu’s invitation from House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, to speak to a joint meeting of Congress, was criticized by President Barack Obama whose administration is trying to get Iran to stop its nuclear development for 10 years. Reuters reported that Obama doesn’t expect Iran to agree to the offer.
Netanyahu said the current offer is a “bad deal,” and Abroms agreed. “We’re much better off with no deal than a bad deal,” said Abroms, who describes himself as American “first and foremost” and “secondly as Jewish.”
He said President Obama should insist that Iran cease sponsoring terrorism, stop its nuclear quest, and retract its promise to destroy Israel.
“I think it’s clear that what our administration would like to do is kick the can down the road and I think as American people, we can’t stand for that,” Abroms said. “It’s way too dangerous for us and it’s absolutely horrible for Israel. It’s clear he summed it up very well.”
Abroms said the nation of Israel is a haven for Jews who have known millennia of persecution.
“It’s extremely important because in the historic context of Judaism, the Jewish people were known as passive, peaceful people,” Abroms said. “The thinking was if they’re passive and get along and do what we were supposed to do for our various countries, things will be good. But that has not worked out. World War II changed how a lot of Jews throughout the world viewed themselves.
“We have seen recently in Paris some of our European countries that have been safe havens but turn out not to be,” he said.