Tags: Iran | Israel | foxman | adl | netanyahu | cancel | speech

ADL's Foxman Urges Netanyahu to Cancel Speech

By    |   Sunday, 08 February 2015 08:54 AM

Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, has urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to cancel his March 3 speech to a joint session of Congress.

Netanyahu's speech has sparked controversy ever since it was announced by Republican House Speaker John Boehner the morning after President Barack Obama's State of the Union speech. Boehner did not consult with the White House or Democrats in Congress, bringing complaints he breached protocol in acting unilaterally.

There also are complaints in Washington and in Israel that the speech comes too close to Israel's March 17 elections in which Netanyahu faces re-election.

"One needs to restart, and it needs a mature adult statement that this was not what we intended," Foxman told The Jewish Daily Forward.

Netanyahu plans to address the danger of a nuclear Iran, but if he gives the speech as scheduled, it would end up bringing attention only the to the political controversy and not the issue of Iran, Foxman said.

"It has been hijacked by politics," Foxman said. "Now is a time to recalibrate, restart and find a new platform and new timing to take away the distractions."

Foxman said he agrees with Netanyahu on the issue, but suggested that he instead speak to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference in Washington on March 1 or postpone the speech until after the election.

Netanyahu and Israeli Ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer have tried to focus blame on Boehner, saying they assumed he would take care of informing Democrats and that he wouldn't have made the announcement right after Obama's speech in which he laid out his own Iran plans.

Republicans and some Democrats want to impose more sanctions on Iran, but the White House argues that would only set back ongoing talks to ensure Iran doesn't use its nuclear program for weapons production.

Israel's Deputy Foreign Minister Tzachi Hanegbi, a leader of Netanyahu's Likud Party, told a radio show Friday that the prime minister hopes to draw more Democrat votes for sanctions so Congress can override an expected Obama veto.

"So if the prime minister can persuade another one or two or another three or four, this could have weight," Hanegbi said.

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Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, has urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to cancel his March 3 speech to a joint session of Congress. Netanyahu's speech has sparked controversy ever since it was announced by Republican House...
foxman, adl, netanyahu, cancel, speech
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2015-54-08
Sunday, 08 February 2015 08:54 AM
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