In a pleasant, yet frank Afternoons with Amos interview, Roey Gilad, Midwest Consul General of the State of Israel, apologized if African-Americans and others felt offended by the recent visit and speech to Congress by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netenyahu. Many African-Americans felt the Prime Minister’s speech to a joint meeting of Congress was disrespectful to the President Barack Obama. Opposition to the speech came from members of the Congressional Black Caucus, members of the Jewish community, many Democrats and even Israelis of all political parties. Rep. Andre Carson didn’t attend the Netenyahu speech and expressed concerns about it in an Afternoons with Amos interview. Consul Gilad, in his interview, said he looked forward to meeting again with Carson and engage in positive discussion. Gilad stressed strongly that there was “No intention to offend the President of the United States” with the Netenyahu speech. Gilad specifically said President Obama “Was a real friend to Israel”. Gilad even acknowledged that the Prime Minister’s visit had been considered a “diplomatic blunder”. However, Gilad made it clear that Israel has some significant differences of opinion on the “strategic challenge” that Iran poses in the world and the Middle East.
In the interview, Gilad talked about Israel’s concerns about Iran and outlined points his nation feels are absolutely necessary for an agreement where Israel would feel comfortable. These include assurances that Iran would actually keep its commitments, promises and agreements, that there be concrete inspection and verification and also a way that if Iran were found to be cheating or “breaking their agreement” that the powers guaranteeing the agreement (Britain, Russia, France, Germany, China, the US and the European Union) could walk away. Gilad acknowledged President Obama’s statement in a weekend interview with CBS that the burden was now on Iran to decide whether they even want an agreement on peaceful use of nuclear material. Regarding next week’s Israeli elections, Gilad said that the economy is uppermost in the minds of Israeli voters. Below that, Gilad said, are Israeli concerns about Iran and farther down the list the situation with the Palestinians. Asked whether after the Israeli elections the new Prime Minister (which could again be Mr. Netenyahu) would visit America, Gilad explained the initial priorities of a newly elected Israeli government – which is first to organize a coalition government, then set and adopt a new budget and then only after that would a newly elected Prime Minister visit Israel’s closest and most trusted ally. Consul Gilad’s Afternoons with Amos interview is an expansive insight into Israel position on this contentious issue. Click Our NEW Media Player to hear the Afternoons with Amos Interview with Israeli Consul Roey Gilad on Israel’s Side of the Netenyahu Visit and the Iran Nuclear Issue . Runs 18 Minutes ©2015 WTLC/Radio One. Audio Starts After Brief Video Ad.