President Barack Obama and Speaker of the House John Boehner shake hands. The Obama administration and Boehner are in disagreement over the latter’s invitation of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak before a joint session of Congress. Credit: Pete Souza/White House.
(JNS.org) The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) criticized Anti-Defamation League National Director Abraham Foxman for suggesting that Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives John Boehner (R-Ohio) rescind his invitation of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak before Congress and that Netanyahu rescind his acceptance.
On March 3, Netanyahu will address a joint session of Congress on the Iranian nuclear issue and radical Islam. The White House claimed Boehner breached “protocol” by not consulting with President Barack Obama on the invitation, while Boehner said Congress “can make this decision on its own” and that Obama “papered over” the Iranian nuclear threat during his recent State of the Union address. In that speech, Obama vowed to veto a new Iran sanctions bill.
Foxman said the invitation extended by Boehner “looks like a political challenge to the White House and/or a campaign effort in Israel. … I certainly support the sanctions [on Iran] if the [diplomatic] deal doesn’t come through, but having said that, the invitation and acceptance is ill-advised for either side. It is too important an issue to politicize it.” Foxman also said Boehner should disinvite Netanyahu and that the prime minister should “unaccept,” JTA reported.
“I see the White House giving both parties a ladder to climb down by saying this is a protocol breach. I hope they accept it,” said Foxman.
ZOA National Director Morton Klein said in a statement, “At a time when the U.S. Congress is holding hearings on sanctions against Iran, a terrorist regime which is getting close to developing nuclear weapons and a regime which repeatedly threatens to destroy Israel and massacre its 6 million Jews, the advice, wisdom, and experience of Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu is desperately needed. … How dare ADL’s Abe Foxman harm the U.S., Israel’s, and the world’s efforts to fight these monstrous dangers by insulting the Prime minister of the Jewish state and the U.S. Congress by demanding Speaker Boehner rescind this important invitation.”
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