Poll: Nearly 2/3 of Americans Say Netanyahu Congress Speech a 'Bad Move'

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U.S. President Barack Obama (R) meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House in Washington on October 1, 2014.Credit: Reuters

Almost two-thirds of Americans say the Congress should have coordinated its invitation to Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu with the White House, while a third said the move was all right, poll results released Tuesday say.

The poll, from CNN and the U.K. market researcher ORC International, said 63 percent of Americans thought the invitation without coordination was a "bad move" while 33 percent thought it was "the right thing to do," CNN reported.

Among Republicans, 52 percent approve of the move, while 14 percent of Democrats and a bit more than a third of independents say it was okay, the poll says.

The Israeli prime minister is slated to address Congress on March 3. Netanyahu is expected to extend his warning of the dangers inherent in allowing Iran to acquire nuclear-weapons capability. 

The invitation was arranged by the speaker of the House of Representatives, John Boehner, the Ohio Republican, and by Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer. 

But President Barack Obama was not alerted to the plan until after the invitation was extended.

Responses from the political and media spheres called the move anything from a breach of protocol to a violation of Obama's foreign-policy responsibilities under the U.S. Constitution.

At least one analyst said the invitation and speech were within Congress's foreign-policy powers under the Constitution.

In Israel, the central accusation against the premier is that the speech constitutes campaigning, since it will take place two weeks before the Israeli election.

The country's campaign-oversight committee has cleared Netanyahu to make the speech but with a delay, enabling Israel's broadcasters to ensure that the speech includes no remarks that could constitute electioneering.

Obama and Vice President Joe Biden won't meet with Netanyahu on the trip, and assorted members of the House and Senate said they won't attend the speech.

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