Photo Credit: Hadas Parush / Flash 90
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends an event held at the International Conference Center in Jerusalem of the Taglit Birthright program, where Netanyahu was the guest speaker. January 14, 2015.

It looks like Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is looking for a safety net to deal with the mounting controversy over his agreement to address the U.S. Congress on March 3.

“It appears that the Speaker of Congress made a move in which we trusted, but which it ultimately became clear was a one-sided move and not a move by both sides,” HaNegbi said. However, when asked whether Netanyahu should cancel or postpone his address, HaNegbi asked, “What would be the outcome then? The outcome would be that we forsake an arena in which there is going to be a very dramatic decision (meaning Iran).”

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A Netanyahu spokesman declined to comment on HaNegbi’s comments on Friday. HaNegbi is a senior member of Netanyahu’s Likud party.

It is clear the Likud is doing what it can to diffuse any political fallout from the controversy. The White House is working very hard to prevent him from speaking to Congress or being re-elected; Netanyahu is apparently perceived as a threat to Pres. Barack Obama, though it is not clear how or why.

Israel Ambassador Ron Dermer arranged the date with GOP House Speaker John Boehner months ago, setting the address originally for Feb. 11, but changing it to March 3, the same week as the annual AIPAC conference.

The date was set without consulting the White House or anyone from the Democratic Party leadership, skipping the usual protocol – a move which infuriated both President Barack Obama and Democratic leaders.

But what’s upset the White House even more is the topic of the address: Netanyahu has been invited to address the Congress on the issue of the Iranian nuclear threat. The speech is to be delivered less than a month from the deadline for an agreement to limit Iran’s nuclear development activities being discussed with Tehran by world powers.

Obama and his supporters are deeply concerned that Netanyahu could sabotage those talks and derail that agreement, which he has worked hard to achieve.

Netanyahu, for his part, is indeed hoping he can do just that. The Israeli prime minister has underscored in every public address he has made for months the gravity of the situation with Iran, and the existential threat its nuclear development program presents to Israel. Netanyahu is determined to do everything in his power to dial back that agreement, which he insists allows the Iranians to retain the ability to create an atomic weapon of mass destruction with very little additional effort.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.

26 COMMENTS

  1. It is clear, actually, why Netanyahu is a threat to Obama. Speaking to Congress, and thus, we, the American people. Obama is afraid that this speech will make his legacy of bridge-building with Iran

  2. The Democrats are being really disrespectful… Any person in Congress who doesn’t show up, including Biden, is behaving in an extremely inappropriate manner.
    I am contacting my US Senator and US Rep to recommend they attend if they want my vote.

    I will not support elected officials who are so disrespectful, immature, and rude toward the nation of Israel and Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel, that they refuse to hold their responsibilities as elected officials seriously enough to attend his speech and listen to whatever he has to say including anything he may say on terrorism, Hamas, and Iran, etc., all of which are relevant to the lives of Jews and Christians and all Americans.

    As a Christian, I bless Israel and I bless the Jews. I will always stand in support of and as a friend to Israel and all Jews who are, and always will be, God’s Chosen people.

  3. Actually it has come out that the White House knew of the intent to invite Netanyahu to speak, just not when it would be announced. Perhaps Obama didn't want to say anything – setting up congress for drama. There are democrats who want to hear Netanyahu – it is not one-sided as pictured.

  4. Hey ! Is everyone listening ? The Prime Minister must make his point before the American people. It doesn't matter what the political fallout-if any- is. The big fall out is when the bomb falls on Tel Aviv. When and if the US Congress gets the point — maybe Iran will get it too and calculate that chances are that they will be leveled before they build a bomb. Remember Hussein in Iraq, "The Mother of All Army's will Destroy The American Forces(or close to that) and he folded like a house of cards. Is Iran worried about an Israeli attack ? I think so and that is the message Obama does not want people to hear because it will make him look like the Chicago street organizer that he never shook off and if it comes to pass — history will report who the great statesman was. Can you guess ?

  5. Netanyahu should remain unworried because politics in this country are difficult as the left side are recalcitrant bad sports who are prone to have temper tantrums when they don't get their own way. Usually the wimpy right let them get away with their childish behavior because they don't have a backbone.

  6. As an American, I am looking forward to Netanyahu coming to the U.S in March. Iran's nuclear development is not a political issue, but an American security issue. America has allowed our political parties to play games with each other far too long. We want information and we want it now.

  7. The democrats just had their toenails whacked.
    This is very much like Germany killing Jews when it was clear they lost the war. Attacking Israel security now might make Obama feel good but in the end history will treat him
    the same way. Kicking at weaker people when you have been beaten at home and abroad is a terrible way to be remembered. Those who support him are as morally bankrupt as he.

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