The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Ohio Republican John Boehner, has issued an invitation for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address a joint session of Congress on March 3.
Speaker Boehner issued this invitation without coordinating with the White House, in violation of protocol – but he violated much more than that.
By inviting Netanyahu to speak to Congress only two weeks before Israeli general elections in which Netanyahu is a candidate, Boehner violated the unwritten rule that Congress not meddle in a foreign county’s elections. But that’s not all.
Speaker Boehner has made clear that his goal in inviting Netanyahu at this time is to try to tip the balance in Congress against the White House in the ongoing debate over Iran nuclear negotiations and new Iran sanctions. Boehner’s move to use Israel, yet again, as a wedge issue in internal American politics, is inappropriate and irresponsible, violating the cardinal rule that U.S. support for Israel should not be turned into a partisan issue. Boehner’s invitation also represents a shameless attempt to exploit support for Israel to manipulate Congress into adopting policies that are potentially deeply harmful to U.S. national security and national interests.
Boehner’s invitation to Netanyahu has drawn criticism, bafflement, and outrage from across the spectrum – in the US, in Israel and around the world. The pro-Israel, pro-U.S., pro-peace in the Middle East position on this mess is clear: Boehner’s invitation to Netanyahu must be rescinded, and if Netanyahu is to be invited to address Congress, it should be on a date after the Israeli elections and after the Iran negotiations/sanctions debate between Congress and the White House has been completed.
We urge you: take action today. Urge your Member of Congress to add their name to the letter to Boehner being circulated in the House urging Boehner to postpone the invitation to Netanyahu.