NYT Slams Republicans for Inviting Netanyahu to Address Congress

Editorial criticizes House Speaker Boehner, allies' 'breach of sense and diplomacy,' saying congressional passage of new sanctions could lead to all-out war with Islamic Republic.

Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a joint meeting of Congress at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., May 24, 2011.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a joint meeting of Congress at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., May 24, 2011.Credit: AFP

The New York Times has come out strongly against Congressional Republicans' invitation of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address Congress, and their attempt to undermine President Barack Obama's Iran policy.

In a pointed editorial, the newspaper lambasts House Speaker John Boehner and Israeli ambassador to Washington Ron Dermer's collusion in inviting the Israeli leader to address both houses of Congress as a "breach of sense and diplomacy," saying that it is the White House, not Congress, which arranges visits of world leader to the U.S.

On Iran – which is expected to be the focus of Netanyahu's address – The Times cautions that congressional attempts to pass legislation proposing new sanctions against Iran – a legislative move opposed by Obama – could destroy talks currently being conducted with the Islamic Republic on peacefully resolving the nuclear crisis.

And while Obama can veto any Congressional legislation that calls for new sanctions, the Times argues that "given an excuse to withdraw from talks, Iran could accelerate its nuclear program, curbed for a year under an interim agreement, and force the United States or Israel to use military action or a cyberattack to keep Tehran from producing nuclear weapons."

The Republican attempt to circumvent Obama is seen as an exercise in domestic politics, as well: "Republicans apparently see value in trying to sabotage any possible success for Mr. Obama, even if it harms American interests," the newspaper argues.

Despite tensions over the Iranian issue, the editorial says that there is no doubt that Obama will "maintain America's security commitments to Israel." However, Netanyahu's "hostile attempt to lobby Congress to enact more sanctions against Iran" – and pre-election efforts to use his Washington speech to "bolster his standing as a leader capable of keeping Israel safe" in the eyes of his voters back home – will further damage the bilateral relationship.

"Can Mr. Netanyahu really afford to dismiss" its allies, the editorial asks in conclusion – referring specifically to the Palestinians' International Criminal Court bid.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:



Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN


Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

The projected rise in sea level on a beach in Haifa over the next 30 years.

Facing Rapid Rise in Sea Levels, Israel Could Lose Large Parts of Its Coastline by 2050

Prime Minister Yair Lapid, this month.

Lapid to Haaretz: ‘I Have Learned to Respect the Left’

“Dubi,” whose full name is secret in keeping with instructions from the Mossad.

The Mossad’s Fateful 48 Hours Before the Yom Kippur War

Tal Dilian.

As Israel Reins in Its Cyberarms Industry, an Ex-intel Officer Is Building a New Empire

Queen Elizabeth II, King Charles III and a British synagogue.

How the Queen’s Death Changes British Jewry’s Most Distinctive Prayer