ADL Calls for Bipartisan Support on Netanyahu's Congress Speech

Despite PM's 'ill-advised' decision regarding the invite, U.S. lawmakers must come together with Israel's security - and Iran's nuclear program - in mind, says ADL's Foxman.

Reuters

The Anti-Defamation League issued a statement on Tuesday urging American lawmakers to support the upcoming speech Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is slated to address to Congress on March 3.

ADL director Abraham H. Foxman, who the organization said plans to attend Netanyahu's speech, said that "while the original decision by Prime Minister Netanyahu to accept the invitation to address Congress without consulting the Democratic leadership was, in our view, ill-advised, now that it is happening, the speech deserves support from both sides of the aisle."

"This is a time for Members to transcend the political controversy and come together to underscore the broad support for Israel’s security and understanding of its unique concerns about the threat of a nuclear Iran," added Foxman in the statement.

Netanyahu's plan to address a joint meeting of Congress has been at the center of ongoing controversy since it was first publicized, and has further strained already tense ties between the U.S. and Israel. Congressional Republicans orchestrated Netanyahu's visit without consulting the White House or State Department, a move the Obama administration blasted as a break in diplomatic protocol. Some Democratic lawmakers say they will boycott the speech.

U.S. officials believe Netanyahu's trip to Washington is aimed primarily at derailing a nuclear deal with Iran, Obama's signature foreign policy objective. While Netanyahu has long been skeptical of the negotiations, his opposition has increased over what he sees as Obama's willingness to make concessions that would leave Iran on the brink of being able to build a nuclear weapon. His opposition has intensified as negotiations go into overdrive with an end-of-March deadline for a framework deal.