Like what you've read?

On Line Opinion is the only Australian site where you get all sides of the story. We don't
charge, but we need your support. Here�s how you can help.

  • Advertise

    We have a monthly audience of 70,000 and advertising packages from $200 a month.

  • Volunteer

    We always need commissioning editors and sub-editors.

  • Contribute

    Got something to say? Submit an essay.

 The National Forum   Donate   Your Account   On Line Opinion   Forum   Blogs   Polling   About   
On Line Opinion logo ON LINE OPINION - Australia's e-journal of social and political debate


On Line Opinion is a not-for-profit publication and relies on the generosity of its sponsors, editors and contributors. If you would like to help, contact us.


RSS 2.0

Barack Obama, the new Chamberlain

By Jonathan J. Ariel - posted Friday, 6 March 2015

Fact checking anyone? “No need, we’re from Fairfax”.

On 4 March, Fairfax’s United States based scribe Nick O’Malley  reported on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to a joint “sitting” of the United States Congress. A later version of the report mentioned a joint “session”.

Before we go on, for my $2.50 I expect a Sydney Morning Heraldreporter in the United States would know that there is no such thing as a joint “sitting” of Congress. There is however a joint “session” and there is a joint “meeting”.


A “Joint Session” takes place when the House and Senate adopt a concurrent resolution. Joint Sessions typically are reserved to hear an address from POTUS.

On the other hand, a “Joint Meeting” takes place when the House and Senate agree to recess and meet together. The purpose of a joint meeting is usually for Congress to hear an address from an important figure, such as a visiting foreign leader.

Putting aside an inability to get his facts straight, O’Malley vigorously downplayed the import of Netanyahu’s speech. Nowhere did Fairfax bring to readers’ attention that while heads of state and heads of governments have addressed joint meetingsmore than one hundred times, only two, count them, one two, two leaders have been honoured with three invitations to do just that: Winston Churchill in 1941, 1943 and 1952 and Benjamin Netanyahu in 1996, 2011 and 2015.

Both men represented strong allies of the United States.

Both warned of a catastrophe on the horizon befalling the free world if the world remained asleep at the wheel.

Both spoke to Members of Congress beseeching them not underrate the severity of the ordeal ahead of them; not to minimise the forces ranged against freedom and to be very alert to the enemy’s bitterness, ruthlessness and wickedness.


Churchill of course spoke of Nazi Germany and its allies. Netanyahu spoke of Iran and its allies.

In describing the Nazi menace, Churchill stated, “they (the Nazis) will stop at nothing. They have a vast accumulation of war weapons of all kinds. They have highly trained and disciplined armies, navies and air services. They have plans and designs which have long been contrived...”

72 years later and America is in the same place. Facing similar evil. But its president this time has a different agenda.

  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. All

Discuss in our Forums

See what other readers are saying about this article!

Click here to read & post comments.

33 posts so far.

Share this:
reddit this reddit thisbookmark with Del.icio.usdigg thisseed newsvineSeed NewsvineStumbleUpon StumbleUponsubmit to propellerkwoff it

About the Author

Jonathan J. Ariel is an economist and financial analyst. He holds a MBA from the Australian Graduate School of Management. He can be contacted at

Other articles by this Author

All articles by Jonathan J. Ariel

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Photo of Jonathan J. Ariel
Article Tools
Comment 33 comments
Print Printable version
Subscribe Subscribe
Email Email a friend

About Us Search Discuss Feedback Legals Privacy