Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Barack Obama during a past meeting at the White House. Obama will not meet with Netanyahu next month, citing the close proximity of the prime minister’s visit to Israeli elections. Credit: White House.
(JNS.org) A strong majority of Americans believe that President Barack Obama should meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when the latter visits Washington, DC next month to address Congress and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference.
According to a YouGov/Huffington Post survey of 1,000 U.S. adults, 58 percent believe that Obama should meet with Netanyahu. Forty-six percent believe that their members of Congress should attend the Netanyahu address, compared with 24 percent who said their elected representatives should not attend and 30 percent who were undecided.
The White House has opposed Netanyahu’s March 3 speech because it contends that House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) did not consult with Obama before inviting Netanyahu. The Obama administration also believes the speech will hurt the P5+1 powers’ chances of reaching a deal in their ongoing nuclear negotiations with Iran. Netanyahu has said he needs to give the speech because a bad nuclear deal with Iran will threaten Israel’s survival.
Obama is refusing to meet with Netanyahu during the prime minister’s trip due to the close proximity of the visit to Israel’s elections on March 17. Vice President Joe Biden and some Congressional Democrats are skipping Netanyahu’s speech.
The poll also found that 49 percent of Americans believe it was “inappropriate” for Boehner to invite Netanyahu without consulting the White House. Boehner, however, said he gave the White House a “heads-up that morning (Jan. 21)” about the invitation.
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