Likud Calls on Opposition to Support Netanyahu's Congress Speech

Netanyahu's party says politicians should 'rise above the personal and political' when such a grave matter as Iran's nuclear program is on the table.

Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis
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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the launch of Likud's election campaign, January 5, 2015.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the launch of Likud's election campaign, January 5, 2015.Credit: David Bachar
Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis

The Likud party called on Israeli opposition parties on Saturday to stand behind Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his plan to speak before the U.S. Congress in March.

"On such a crucial existential issue for the citizens of Israel, opposition leaders should rise above political and personal considerations and stand alongside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu," the party said in a statement.

"There are fundamental differences between Netanyahu and the U.S. administration over the dangerous agreement taking shape with Iran and over the need and the necessity to continue the sanctions on Iran," the statement said.

"Prime Minister Netanyahu maintains a fierce opposition to the agreement, which would allow Iran to manufacture dozens of atomic bombs within several years. Opposition leaders should stand by Netanyahu in the struggle to stop the bad deal with Iran." The Likud called on the politicians to support Netanyahu's "resolved and important decision to make his voice heard in the only place where it is possible to put a stop to such an agreement – the U.S. Congress."

Earlier on Saturday, Amos Yadlin, the Zionist Union's candidate for defense minister, criticized Netanyahu and said he has "failed" in safeguarding Israel's security. "After six years in power, Iran is closer than ever to a nuclear bomb," Yadlin said at a public gathering in Holon. "The relations with the U.S. – a cornerstone of Israel's national security – have taken a heavy blow, and we must urgently rehabilitate them."

Meretz chairwoman Zehava Galon also cautioned on Saturday that Netanyahu's planned speech in Congress and at AIPAC. "As usual, the prime minister is carrying on with characteristic detachment [from his surroundings], continues to belittle the entire world and looks only after himself," she said at an event in Rehovot.

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