Netanyahu’s speech continues to divide US Congress with Leahy boycott


OBAMA NETANYAHUAt least two US senators, including the chamber’s longest-serving lawmaker, will skip Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to Congress next month, deepening a partisan fissure over the controversial address.

In a blunt statement Tuesday, Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy accused Republican leaders in the House of Representatives of “unilaterally” arranging and politicizing Netanyahu’s planned address before a joint meeting of Congress on March 3.

Leahy, a seven-term senator, said that by scheduling the speech without input from the White House, Republicans “have orchestrated a tawdry and high-handed stunt that has embarrassed not only Israel but the Congress itself.”

Leahy noted the unwritten rule of Congress speaking and acting “with one voice” on foreign policy whenever possible, with US national interests the paramount concern and “with caution about the unintended consequences of unilateral actions like this.

“They have diminished that valuable precedent,” he said.

Vice President Joe Biden, symbolically the president of the US Senate, is the most high-profile official yet to announce he will not attend Netanyahu’s speech.

Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent who caucuses with Democrats, is also staying away.

“The president of the United States heads up our foreign policy, and the idea that the president wasn’t even consulted — that is wrong and not a good thing for our country,” Sanders said at the Brookings Institute Monday.

“I may watch it on TV but I’m not going.”

US lawmakers are traditionally united in their support of Israel.

But the speech that House Speaker John Boehner invited the prime minister to give, in the midst of crunch negotiations between Iran and world powers over restricting the Islamic republic’s nuclear program, has triggered divisions in Congress.

Israeli officials mounted a charm offensive last week, sending Knesset speaker Yuli Edelstein up to Capitol Hill to contain the damage, as House members from both sides reportedly considered boycotting the Netanyahu speech.

Top House Democrat Nancy Pelosi, in meeting with Edelstein, emphasized the “value all members place on the US-Israel relationship in a non-partisan way,” her spokesman said.

“The leader expressed her concern that casting a political apple of discord into the relationship is not the best way forward given the formidable challenges our two countries are facing together.”




6 responses to “Netanyahu’s speech continues to divide US Congress with Leahy boycott”

  1. Maborlz Ez-Hari Avatar
    Maborlz Ez-Hari

    US Isreali relationship is like the relationship a parasite has on its host. Won’t be long before there is nothing left of the US but the remains of what the parasite left behind.

    1. Hind Abyad Avatar

      I’m afraid for US..

  2. 5thDrawer Avatar

    “I may watch it on TV but I’m not going.” …. sensible.
    In this ‘age of the blogs and tweets’, they could save a lot of fuel.

    1. AkhouManUki Avatar

      What he meant to say was, “I may find a little crevice inside bibi’s expansive ass to listen directly without being seen by my allies in the democratic party”

  3. AkhouManUki Avatar

    Let’s not forget that Netanyahu is a war criminal, and he is behaving the way I would expect a war criminal to behave. His desperate tactics wreak like cheap perfume, and his lack of grace reminds us of what a poor leader this war criminal is. Perhaps he is trying to go out with a bang, but what he really must watch out for is the door of that jail cell hitting him on the way in.

    1. 5thDrawer Avatar

      I don’t think it will be quite like Hitler coming to see Hollywood. 😉

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