Netanyahu: Issues Surrounding Congress Speech Are Procedural

Israeli PM warns that Iran with a nuclear weapon is much bigger problem than issues surrounding his upcoming address to Congress.

Tomer Appelbaum

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu downplayed the significance of the criticisms leveled against him by White House officials and senior Democratic officials concerning his upcoming address to Congress.

"The procedural problems around my speech in Congress are solvable, but Iran with a nuclear weapon is a much bigger problem to solve," Netanyahu said while visiting wounded IDF soldiers at Rambam Hospital in Haifa."

Netanyahu also spoke about the tension in the north that Israel is under constant attack, organized by Iran. "Let there be no doubt about it," he said. "Iran is trying to uproot us from here. They won't succeed."

The invitation by House Speaker John Boehner to Netanyahu last week sparked a serious crisis between the White House and the Prime Minister's Office, placing Israel in the political confrontation between Republicans and Democrats over negotiations with Iran. The White House and Democratic Party leaders asserted that Netanyahu's behavior in the affair was inappropriate.

Senate minority leader Harry Reid and House minority leader Nancy Pelosi both urged Netanyahu to consider how his speech could harm Israel's relationship with the United States, while undermining negotiations between the U.S. and Iran.