Israeli-American group: all members of Congress should attend Netanyahu speech

Click photo to download. Caption: A musical performance at the Israeli-American Council's Celebrate Israel Festival in Los Angeles on May 18, 2014. Credit: Abraham Joseph Pal.

( The Israeli-American Council (IAC), an organization whose programming reaches more than 150,000 of the estimated 500,000-800,000 Israeli Americans, said all members of Congress should attend Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s March 3 speech to a joint session of Congress on Iran’s nuclear program.

“Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East and is the United States’ closest friend,” Shawn Evenhaim, the IAC’s national chairman, said in a statement. “When a prime minister of Israel accepts an invitation to address Congress, especially about this critical shared goal [of preventing a nuclear Iran], we believe legislators need to hear him. Not listening is unhelpful.”

Vice President Joe Biden and some Congressional Democrats will be skipping Netanyahu’s speech, which has been criticized by the White House on the grounds that House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) did not consult President Barack Obama before inviting Netanyahu.

Evenhaim stressed that the IAC is a non-political organization and is “not taking any side in any political arena” through its statement on Netanyahu’s speech.

“The threat of a nuclear Iran is a threat to world peace, transcending domestic, political, and partisan agendas,” Evenhaim said. “The IAC believes that members of Congress should hear any Israeli prime minister, of any party, on topics of mutual concern.”

Posted on February 23, 2015 .