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Netanyahu Addresses AIPAC Before Speech To Congress

{!hitembed ID=”hitembed_1″ width=”500″ height=”281″ align=”none” !}

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke today at AIPAC claiming the US-Israeli relationship has never been stronger. The speech comes before Netanyahu is set to give a speech tomorrow before the US Congress on a possible deal the US is working on with Iran regarding nuclear weapons and sanctions.

The speech has created controversy given that Netanyahu went around President Obama and accepted a unilateral invitation from House Speaker John Boehner. Obama said his objection to Netanyahu speaking was due his belief in observing a prohibition on foreign leaders campaigning in the US in the weeks prior to elections in their respective countries.

Netanyahu’s decision to speak has divided Democrats and Jewish-Americans generally. Some Democrats are planning on not attending the speech in protest to the perceived disrespect Prime Minister Netanyahu has shown to President Obama.

So far, 30 Democrats — four senators and 26 representatives — have said they will not attend the speech. Nearly half are African-Americans, who say they feel deeply that Mr. Netanyahu is disrespecting the president by challenging his foreign policy. But a half-dozen of those Democrats planning to stay away are Jewish, and represent 21 percent of Congress’s Jewish members.

“I stand with Israel, always have stood with Israel, and always will, but this speech is not about Israel,” said Representative Steve Cohen, Democrat of Tennessee, who accused the prime minister of politicking in Congress with an eye on Israel’s March 17 election. “Netanyahu is not Israel just like George W. Bush wasn’t America.” He will not be attending.

Israeli public opinion is also divided with many Israelis worrying that Netanyahu’s move will damage US-Israeli relations. Whether the speech will end up backfiring and actually hurting Netanyahu’s electoral prospects remains to be seen.

Netanyahu has also been facing increasing pressure internationally over his policy towards Iran. Recently leaked cables revealed that Israeli intelligence contradicted Netanyahu’s claims on Iran’s nuclear weapons program.

All of which makes tomorrow’s speech a high stakes gamble which, even if successful for Netanyahu in the short term, risks permanently weakening the US-Israeli relationship.

CommunityThe Bullpen

Netanyahu Addresses AIPAC Before Speech To Congress

{!hitembed ID=”hitembed_1″ width=”500″ height=”281″ align=”none” !}

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke today at AIPAC claiming the US-Israeli relationship has never been stronger. The speech comes before Netanyahu is set to give a speech tomorrow before the US Congress on a possible deal the US is working on with Iran regarding  nuclear weapons and sanctions.

The speech has created controversy given that Netanyahu went around President Obama and accepted a unilateral invitation from House Speaker John Boehner. Obama said his objection to Netanyahu speaking was due his belief in observing a prohibition on foreign leaders campaigning in the US in the weeks prior to elections in their respective countries.

Netanyahu’s decision to speak has divided Democrats and Jewish-Americans generally. Some Democrats are planning on not attending the speech in protest to the perceived disrespect Prime Minister Netanyahu has shown to President Obama.

So far, 30 Democrats — four senators and 26 representatives — have said they will not attend the speech. Nearly half are African-Americans, who say they feel deeply that Mr. Netanyahu is disrespecting the president by challenging his foreign policy. But a half-dozen of those Democrats planning to stay away are Jewish, and represent 21 percent of Congress’s Jewish members.

“I stand with Israel, always have stood with Israel, and always will, but this speech is not about Israel,” said Representative Steve Cohen, Democrat of Tennessee, who accused the prime minister of politicking in Congress with an eye on Israel’s March 17 election. “Netanyahu is not Israel just like George W. Bush wasn’t America.” He will not be attending.

Israeli public opinion is also divided with many Israelis worrying that Netanyahu’s move will damage US-Israeli relations. Whether the speech will end up backfiring and actually hurting Netanyahu’s electoral prospects remains to be seen.

Netanyahu has also been facing increasing pressure internationally over his policy towards Iran. Recently leaked cables revealed that Israeli intelligence contradicted Netanyahu’s claims on Iran’s nuclear weapons program.

All of which makes tomorrow’s speech a high stakes gamble which, even if successful for Netanyahu in the short term, risks permanently weakening the US-Israeli relationship.

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Dan Wright

Dan Wright

Daniel Wright is a longtime blogger and currently writes for Shadowproof. He lives in New Jersey, by choice.