More than a dozen congressional Democrats say they plan to skip Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to a joint session of Congress amid conflicting signals over whether he will pull out from the March 3 address.
Netanyahu struck a defiant tone during a campaign event in Israel on Monday, saying he was “determined” to present the case for why Israel opposed the ongoing nuclear negotiations with Iran “before the members of Congress and the American people.”
“This is not a political issue or a party issue, neither here nor there. This is an existential issue, and I approach it with the fullest responsibility,” he said.
But multiple reports on Monday suggested that his office was weighing ways Netanyahu could alter his plans to mend what has become a tough diplomatic breach, and the Israeli leader did not explicitly mention the speech to a joint session in his public comments.
The White House has expressed frustration over the speech, which was scheduled by Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) without consulting the administration.