One shoe dropped on Friday: Abe Foxman of the ADL said that Israeli PM Netanyahu ought to cancel his scheduled speech to the Congress because the controversy has turned into a political “circus.” Foxman: “Now is a time to recalibrate, restart and find a new platform and new timing to take away the distractions.”
Another shoe dropping. Haaretz reports increasing pressure on Israeli PM Netanyahu to cancel the speech, set for early March.
An official at the Prime Minister’s Office denied on Monday a Reuters report claiming Benjamin Netanyahu was considering canceling his speech before a joint session of the U.S. Congress.
Earlier, the report quoted Israeli officials who said that the content of Netanyahu’s speech may be “toned down” to be less partisan, that the speech may be made behind closed doors and that Netanyahu may make his speech at the AIPAC convention rather than in Congress.
That could be the out: Netanyahu would just address the AIPAC policy conference on March 1-3 in Washington, thus saving face. And he’d get full attendance of Congress after all!
Another Democrat has bowed out of the Netanyahu show. Independent Bernie Sanders, who represents Vermont. DaveWeigel tweets:
At Brookings, Bernie Sanders says he’s not going to the Netanyahu address to Congress.
No one can put this fire out. Now David A. Love of the Grio is calling on the Congressional Black Caucus to boycott the speech as a “highly abnormal” affront to President Obama. Two black congresspeople have already said they’re not going: John Lewis and G.K. Butterfield. Love says “the rest of the CBC should follow suit” because the Republicans are trying to embarrass Obama and undermine his Iran policy. And the move is the “ultimate sign of disrespect” to African-Americans. It follows Republican efforts to disempower African-American voters and Israel’s efforts to punish African asylum-seekers.
[I]f all of this will not keep the Congressional Black Caucus from Netanyahu’s speech, then perhaps they should ask the prime minister why he believes African people are a threat to Israel.
Netanyahu said yesterday that he accepts invitations to speak, and implied that the plans are full speed ahead.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday that despite the growing criticism both in Israel and the United States, he plans to address a joint session of the U.S. Congress to lobby against a nuclear deal with Iran, just as he went to Paris last month after the attack on a kosher supermarket.
“I went to Paris not just as the prime minister of Israel but as a representative of the entire Jewish people,” Netanyahu said, during a conference for French-speaking Likud activists. “Just as I went to Paris, so I will go anyplace I’m invited to convey the Israeli position against those who want to kill us. Those who want to kill us are, first and foremost, any Iranian regime that says outright it plans to destroy us. I will not hesitate to say what’s needed to warn against this danger, and prevent it.”
Netanyahu is becoming increasingly incensed about a possible Iran deal with the west. He tweets:
PM at the Cabinet meeting: The major powers and Iran are galloping toward an agreement that will endanger the existence of Israel.
Josh Block of the Israel Project does Netanyahu one better. President Obama is demented.
Sadly its Pres Obama who is trying cement Iran as what he dementedly calls “a force for stability”