Herzog: Netanyahu must cancel his speech to Congress

Screengrab Times of Israel
Screengrab Times of Israel
Labor leader warns PM ‘throwing Israel’s security under the bus‘; Jewish Republicans threaten to ‘shame’ politicians who boycott address

By Itamar Sharon and AP|The Times of Israel

Political bickering over Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s planned speech to the two houses of Congress on March 3 continued on Saturday, both in Israel and the United States.

In Israel, Netanyahu’s chief rival in the March 17 general elections, Labor chief and Zionist Camp leader Isaac Herzog, said the premier must cancel his trip to the US due to the antagonism his address — which was coordinated with House Majority Leader John Boehner without involving the White House — has caused in Washington.

“The time has come when Bibi (Netanyahu) must announce the cancellation of his visit to Congress,” Herzog said in a speech at an international security conference in Munich. “In conversations I’ve held with many European and US leaders, it is clear there is great anger over Netanyahu diverting the discussion on Iran’s nuclear program for political gain, and turning it into a confrontation with the president of the United States.”

“This speech that was born in sin, as an electioneering ‘production,’ endangers the security of Israel’s citizens and the special relationship between Israel and the US,” Herzog charged.

“With all due respect to Bibi’s campaign, this is the moment when you must act as an Israeli patriot and not throw Israeli security under the bus.”

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