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February 13, 2015 2:15 pm

Support for Netanyahu Speech to Congress on Iranian Nuclear Threat Surges

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Pro-Israel activists and legislators on both sides of the house are shoring up support for Prime Minister Netanyahu's forthcoming speech to Congress on Iran. Photo: Twitter

Advocacy group Christians United for Israel (CUFI) has hailed the response to an action alert distributed to its supporters urging members of Congress to attend Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s forthcoming speech to a joint session of Congress on the threat posed by Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

“Within five hours the action alert generated more than 10,000 responses,” a CUFI statement said. Respondents sent emails to their legislators declaring, “I can think of no issue more important for America, Israel and the West than our response to Iran’s nuclear efforts. And I can think of no voice on this issue more important than the Prime Minister of our front-line ally, Israel.”

CUFI executive director David Brog reaffirmed his condemnation of those Democrats who said they would boycott the speech, based on the now disproved claim that the Obama White House was not told in advance by Netanyahu of his acceptance of House Speaker John Boehner’s invitation. “Our elected officials have a sacred duty to listen to all views on this critical issue – including those with which they may disagree – before making up their minds. Whether they like the fact that Netanyahu was invited or not, they should stop acting like peevish children and start doing their jobs,” Brog said.

CUFI’s announcement came as senior GOP leaders stepped up criticism of those Democrats who plan to boycott Netanyahu’s speech.

Speaking on the Senate floor on Thursday, Marco Rubio (R-FL) demanded, “One of our strongest ally’s prime minister wants to speak before the Congress and they won’t even attend the speech? What do you think the headlines will be read as in Iran, by the terrorists in Gaza, by the terrorists in Judea and Samaria, by the terrorists in all parts of the world, such as in Lebanon, who want to destroy Israel? What do you think they are going to read into it?”

Some prominent Democrats have also dissented from the position taken by colleagues, on the grounds that the Iranian nuclear issue is too serious for partisan politics.

“A nuclear Iran is a huge threat to the United States and an existential threat to Israel. I agree with Prime Minister Netanyahu that a nuclear Iran is an existential threat to Israel,” said Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) in a statement on the ongoing US-led negotiations with Iran.

“I believe the only way Iran will voluntarily stop their march for nuclear weapons is if they know that tougher and tougher sanctions will be enacted if they fail to come a strong agreement that prohibits them from obtaining nuclear weapons,” Schumer said. “If Iran does not come to an agreement by March 24th I stand ready to vote for additional sanctions.”

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