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February 18, 2015 1:50 am

Obama’s Boycott of Netanyahu is Collapsing

avatar by Moshe Phillips and Benyamin Korn

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is reportedly considering a change of plans in regards to his scheduled address in front of Congress next month. Photo: Cherie Cullen.

The final numbers are not yet in, but it seems clear that the White House-orchestrated campaign to boycott Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to Congress is collapsing.

Despite two weeks of intense anti-Netanyahu leaks, insults, and pressure, the White House has so far succeeded in persuading only a handful of Democratic members of Congress to stay away from the speech.

A grand total of two Senators and 12 Representatives have publicly announced that they are boycotting Israel’s prime minister. Assuming that those figures change only marginally in the days ahead, it will mean that 98% of the Senate and 95% of the House of Representatives will be in attendance.

Even the most vocal critics of Prime Minister Netanyahu, the members of the Congressional Black Caucus, are not united against the Israeli leader. Emerging from a meeting with President Obama last week, Caucus chairman Rep. G.K. Butterfield told reporters, that the subject of Netanyahu’s speech “didn’t come up” during their 90-minute meeting with the President. But he then proceeded to chastise Israel’s prime minister for supposedly being “disrespectful” to the president, and Congressman Hank Johnson said it was “about President Barack Obama being a black man disrespected by a foreign leader.”

But not all the African-American congress members joined the anti-Netanyahu chorus. U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-New Jersey), who is the only senator in the Congressional Black Caucus, refused to toe the line. The Politico reports that when his colleagues began lambasting Prime Minister Netanyahu, reporters asked Booker where he stood, and he pointedly dissented, saying “I’ve been asked that a number of times–I’m not commenting.”

Knowing of Senator Booker’s longtime support for Israel and close relationship with many American Jewish leaders, we find it difficult that he will go along with an insulting and disrespectful boycott of Israel’s prime minister.

Another major crack in the anti-Netanyahu boycott effort appeared this weekend in the form of a message from Elie Wiesel in a full page advertisement in the New York Times and Washington Post, sponsored by “This World: The Values Network.”

The Nobel Peace Prize Laureate has always been something of a moral compass for the Jewish people – certainly far more than the two or three Jewish organizational leaders who have been quoted as opposing Netanyahu’s visit. We all remember Wiesel bravely confronting President Reagan over his visit to the Bitburg cemetery, not to mention his speaking out on so many other important issues over the years. So Wiesel’s words in the Times and Post ads carry particular weight.

Wiesel announced that he will personally attend Netanyahu’s speech. He appealed to President Obama and Vice President Biden to “put aside the politics” and hear what Israel’s prime minister has to say. He pointed out that Netanyahu will speak to Congress the day before Purim – the day when, in ancient times, “a wicked man in Persia named Haman” sought to destroy the Jews… Now Iran, modern Persia, has produced a new enemy,” Wiesel wrote. “The Ayatollah Khomeini has been as clear as his predecessor in declaring his goal: ‘the annihilation and destruction’ of Israel. He is bent on acquiring the weapons needed to make good on the deadly promise.”

Finally, it’s worth mentioning another crack that appeared in the boycott effort this week. The pro-Palestinian lobbying group J Street, which has been the engine driving the boycott movement, has been circulating a poll claiming that 84% of American Jews support President Obama’s position on Iran.

But now the fraudulent methods used to elicit that 84% number have been exposed. It turns out that the respondents were not asked about the actual terms that Obama is negotiating with Iran. They were asked whether they would support an imaginary agreement under which Iran would completely and permanently give up its capability to produce nuclear weapons. Unfortunately, that is not at all what President Obama is insisting upon, according to numerous news reports.

A genuinely objective poll, which asked American Jews whether they want the U.S. to insist that Iran be permanently prevented from having the ability to manufacture nuclear weapons, would surely find the vast majority of Jews in favor.

When Prime Minister Netanyahu appears next month before Congress, with the overwhelming majority of Congress members from both parties in attendance, he will explain the truth about the Iranian threat and the danger of the U.S. agreeing to weak and unenforceable terms.

And that, of course, is what the Obama Administration, J Street, and the other Netanyahu-bashers most wish to prevent.

The authors are president and chairman, respectively, of the Religious Zionists of America, Philadelphia, and candidates on the Religious Zionist slate ( in the World Zionist Congress elections.

The opinions presented by Algemeiner bloggers are solely theirs and do not represent those of The Algemeiner, its publishers or editors. If you would like to share your views with a blog post on The Algemeiner, please be in touch through our Contact page.

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  • TH

    What I don’t understand is ….politicians “sling mud”,call each other names…so to speak….during their campaign speeches to win your vote and to trash their opponents reputations all for the sake of winning the election or supporting their candidate they want in office. Why…Tell me Why .. Is Obama so upset that (He says) Netanyahu called him a “black man” ? According to Obama he is 1/2 black isn’t he? And he should be used to the mud slinging and should just shrug it off like any other grown up leader has done in the past to get thru important nuclear threatening negotiations …instead of saying ( for example) ” I’m not talking or meeting with you cause you hurt my feelings!”………GIVE ME A BREAK….GROW UP!

  • Fred Chalfin

    I am sorry to say that our President doesn’t have the chutzpah to deal with the Iranians or the Russians. Both are spitting in his eye. He is so afraid of them that he will do a Chamberlain to appease them. Where is Ronald Reagans spirit when you need it.

  • Francis

    Obama can’t take what he dishes out !!!!

    In fact; Obama has been overly disrespectful as first to Israel !!!!!

    More Obama word games !!!!

    Get this dirt bag low life Obama out of the White House !!!!!

  • Benyhel albernaz

    The Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, should condemn the agreement between Iran and the US, in a speech that must be frank in Congress, on 03/03/2015. And why I’m quoting this? Since the corruption of the human being in the Garden of Eden, the facts are virtually unchanged: the man draws a daily war between good and evil in your consciousness. What motivated the US, which owe much to the Jews, move aside and adopt a posture confusing even for Americans, supporting and / or mute before massacres produced by the terrorists of the Islamic State (ISIS) against humanity, constant threats Iran to eradicate the Jewish state, the horrors of the civil war in Syria …. ??? I think the reason is an old acquaintance, the god Mammon (Money). After decades fighting wars, declared by forged reasons or economic interests, the US is tremendous financial difficulties, and how to solve this problem ??? They return to imperialist behavior, trying to commercially exploit developing countries, making “historic agreements with Cuba, after 50 years of economic blockade “, trying to sell arms to Iran, old enemy … Who believes this attitude of” good young man “of the Lord Barack Obama ??? The old struggle continues between those who fear” HASHEM “and who do not fear, for as Yeshua said: “KNOW THE FRUIT TREE” (Matthew 24:33) .Cremos that God is always in control, let’s see who will have the final word, and long live the ROSH BENJAMIN NETANYAHU RISHON And The ETERNAL SALVATION FOR ISRAEL (Isaiah 45:17) !!! “For behold, the day cometh shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor ramo.Mas unto you that fear my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of. your feet in the day that I, saith the Lord of hosts. ” (Malachi 4: 1-3)

  • Yoel Larry

    I suppose there were some Jews in Persia who refused Queen Esther’s plea for the Jewish
    People to fast and pray for G-d’s Mercy.

  • The only man who is going to handle the middle east is BBN, not one other leader around the world has the capability.

  • Of course Obama tried to boycott BBN, he is on his way down and hasn’t a clue about the threat of Islam. The only man who is going to deal head on with the Middle East.

  • Mother Nature

    Who’s being “disrespected?” Not Obama, but Netanyahu. The nastiness of Obama’s administration and state dept. towards Netanyahu is a scandal! Having voted for him twice I now cannot stand to look at him.

  • American Native

    The funny part is Obama isn’t black…

  • david freilich

    Someone ought to take a poll about those dangerous numbskulls over at J Street.

  • david freilich

    Someone ought to take a poll about those dangerous numbskulls over at J Street. They are in league with the enemies of the Jewish People…..

  • E benAbuya

    As an attempted counter to the Wiesel ad a group has taken out a full page in the NYT that explicitly invokes the “dual-loyalty” slur, the Jews foment war slur; and rests on the delusion that, even the best deal potentially in the works, will “. . .prevent war and prevent a nuclear armed Iran.”

    • Edward

      I never understood the “Dual Loyalty” charge.

      When did LOYALTY become bad???

      Can one be loyal to both parents, all your children?

    • retired

      Are you sure that they paid the Times?
      The NY Times runs garbage like this all the time & they do it on their own dime!

  • SHmuel HaLevi

    Mr. Obama Muslim upbringing with Islam and his closest associates close connection to Islam do not provide him or his associates with the required understanding on how to play the game in the civilized world.
    Islam, which is at their core and it uses stomping, violation of all agreements, deceit, feigning, gruesome mayhem when they are not resisted. They do fold and fade under direct confrontation.
    It is intrinsic to their every moment in life.
    The Senator and Mr. Netanyahu are very much aware of those characteristics. And performed as one must in that setting.
    What remains to be seen is if Mr. Netanyahu presses his plans and ours using his early lead or punts.

  • Cory Booker has always been a man of principle; he would not sell out Israel over politics and more than Dr. Martin Luther King would have.

    • Do not let us down. Be there and be counted. You may not remember, but I was your man at Ivy Hill when you ran against Sharpe James

  • Delila Gibson

    Please congress be respectful toward Israel and the Prime Minister. This country has turned its back on God. Anyone or country that turns the back on Israel will suffer the wrath of God! God said he would turn whole nations into Hell. Support Israel!

    • victoria preston

      blacks should not sell out dr. martin. luther king! dr. king was all about backing up Israel! by backing up a muslium leader AGAINST Israel just because he shares a same colir of skin is a slap in the face to Dr. martin luther king jr. and all he stood for! blacks and the rest of the american people have to choose which man of color they are going to back up as obama and king are on two totally different sides! come on black african american people! do not choose obama a muselium and make dr. martin luther king jr.s death was for nothing! he gave his life, dont make that for nothing! stand with mr. king and ISRAEL!!!!

    • TH

      I totally agree ! We need to change our ways and turn this Nation towards God and beg for His mercy and Support Israel before its too late.

  • Pat

    You can tell a book by it’s cover , you can tell an idiot by their actions.
    God Bless Israel.

  • gea

    It is good that US Congress will get a truthful report about ayatolahs bildng nuclear bombs, rather then lies form OBama who had NO integrity and is incompetent to be in a position of power in USA. He must be impeached and removed from power ASAP. As a lame duck he can still inflict lost of damage to USA>

    • Sean Doyle

      Our own intelligence community says Iran is not building a bomb. Let Israel, and Israel alone, attack Iran.

      • Concerned citizen

        Can’t agree any more.
        I don’t want our children to sacrifice their lives and create widows and parent less
        Children by some one else’s Paronoid ideation.
        God is watching. He will take revenge soon
        Let him handle his paronia and suffer.Obama please do not kill our children for some one else.
        Racist people stop calling Obama black and be disrespectful.
        He is better human being more than most of us.

  • You should know that President Obama loves NOT only golf but also bowling! But he has been practicing ‘bowling’ especially in politics…

    I invite you to notice that in the Middle East, which is President Obama’s favorite ‘bowling alley’ there is a SKITTLE [?] – in the President’s conception!! – which he wants to break – it’s name is BIBI!

    We all hope that Prime Minister Netanyahu can remain VERTICAL and defend the interests of the State of Israel!

  • Michael Fox

    President Obama, whose mother was white and who was raised mostly by his white grandparents decided somewhere along the way to put on blackface and do the shuck and jive. He made a calculated politically astute decision so he could become America’s first black President. He is a fraud and a master of manipulation selling snake oil.

    • Proud Obama Supporter

      Did you pick up your hateful talking points from Rudy Giuliani? You are an ignorant racist.

      • How can you use the words, “Proud and Obama”, in the same sentence..anytime he’s criticized you call , “Racist”, maybe he’s just a lousy president, and maybe America needs a real leader…

      • Malkia

        Proud Obama Support: Michael Fox is not ignorant about the facts, nor a racist. He is not America’s first black president, he is America’s first Islam President

  • Lauren Goldman

    Rep. G.K. Butterfield chastised Israel’s prime minister for supposedly being “disrespectful” to the president, and Congressman Hank Johnson said it was “about President Barack Obama being a black man disrespected by a foreign leader.”

    Cue Al Sharpton.

    If I remember correctly, throughout this summer’s war with hamas, the White House voiced a number of dismissive remarks concerning PM Netanyahu, and now we find out that Israel is being kept out of the loop in the negotiations with Iran.

    • Maggie

      Lauren Goldman, Funny how Rep. Butterfield chastised Bibi as being disrespectful towards Obama. I seem to recall how disrespectful Obama was to Bibi when he was made to leave the White House (after meeting with Obama) through the back, along the path where the garbage cans were lined up. Hmm….

      Also, I’m just so damn tired of the race card being thrown around by Democrats/Liberals/Progressives. THEY have set race relations back over 60 years.

  • Ivan Gur-Arie

    IT is a shame that members of the black caucus have to reach into the stinking depths of racism to protect Obama. When one can say that Netayanhu is making the speech to disrespect a black man then I know that these fools are unable to understand anything beyond skin color. It is the KKK in reverse. Obama starting to look like the spoiled brat ont he street who wants the spoiled brat on the street who wants the rules changed otherwise he will have a hissy fit.

  • Brian Shapiro

    Go Bibi

    • Concerned citizen

      What do you mean by Go BiBi.
      Living in United State I have to respect Our President more than leader of any other country.
      It is not right for any leader to utilize opportunity against the head of the country to speak
      in the House for his own election benefits.
      He is going to convince the house to start a war on Iran,that is his aim,with misleading stories
      He did exactly same and convinced President Bush to attack Iraq for misleading statement
      of weapons of mass destruction,which was a lie..
      Thousands of our children got killed and not to mention disabled soldiers who are the children and fathers of our citizens.
      Attack on Iraq has created the monster ISIS.
      What is going create is worse than ISIS by displacing human beings who will become enemies of USA.they will not forget in generations to come.
      We will have further enemies for the Paranoia of Natanyahu.
      Please continue the peace process and do not create more problems to humanity.
      Our senators and congressman will have repercussions in the next election for their judgement in being party to war.

  • Stan

    I remember seeing a video of Cory Booker giving a speech several years ago, about Israel. It was phenomenal. The other racially biased members of the Black Caucus should be asked if they reacted this way when Obama treated Netanyahu so miserably, forcing him to sit and wait while Obama went off to have dinner with his family. By their measure, this should have been considered an anti-Semitic act.

  • judithg

    cory booker is a good man but I want to see him seated on march 3. that’s all.

  • Leo Toystory

    If Barack Hussein Obama were a MAN instead of a stinking little weasel, he’d show up at Netanyahu’s speech. After all, he wouldn’t be the first muslim leader to appear with an Israeli Prime Minister.

  • Golum

    ….again… I’m ashamed to be a Democrat and ashamed that I voted for Barry O!!!

    I just hope the Repub’s have a decent candidate~~~

    • Jane Leibowitz

      Any Republican candidate is better than a progressive.

  • NCS

    Truth will always trump deception.

  • Ben Lopez

    I thought i heard oboma say he always had an open mind.what happen to it now?

    • Harvey Lithwick

      His supporters confuse an open mind with an empty head.

  • Ben Lopez

    Go benjamin go talk to the congress ,someone needs to!

  • Fred

    It a sad indictment of Jews like J Street to be so treacherous. They do explain the idea of the Judas goat quite plainly.
    One should applaud Netanyahu for his courage to face the Muslim Barak Hussein Obama who with the new Iranian (Persia) Hamman try to wipe the Jews of this earth.

  • steven L

    If the US senators/trices and congressmen/women have ANY interest in their country, they will sho-up in W DC. The absentees will be counted and considered as DEFECTORS!
    For once the American people will have the opportunity to repudiate the Pr. and hopefully take the necessary measures to roll back Khamenei the Shia Jihadist.
    H. Johnson, a racist or an idiot or both?
    The Obama Adm used the Islamic MO: fake victimization when actually they lie to the American people.
    According to Alinsky, everything is permitted even if unconstitutional.
    I wonder which Jewish organizations oppose “Mr. Smith” goes to Washington!
    I realized that they must be liberal.

  • Jim O’Donnell

    I don’t believe it’s possible to “pointedly dissent” by not commenting, whether or not Booker attend the event.

  • Rosewood11

    I’m glad people who actually had the audacity to think they were worthy of a taxpayer-funded salary have decided to turn up to hear the address of one of the few real leaders in the world when he comes here. Go, Bibi!!! Would that you were President of the United States, as well!!!

  • Herb Glatter

    It’s too early to declare any sort of victory, time will tell. President Obama told us in 2012: “I will have more flexibility after the election.” Obama unbound is more dangerous to America and Jews than ever.

  • Ms Bo Salsberg

    It appears that in lieu of any reasonable explanation to prohibit the Prime Minisister’s address to our nation’s politicians, hiding behind a very flimsy excuse of racisim has surfaced. Rediculous to think that Mr. Prime Minister will have come so far across the world to discuss such nonsense when increasing terror faces not only Israel, but the world. Is our President so afraid of a face to face that he cringes and feigns racial rejection…

  • Eco

    And HOWS CARES WHAT THIS PSYCHOPATH Netanyahu WONT TO SAY???!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • donna

      English please?
      I can’t quite make out what you intended to say, and don’t want to presume I do..

  • Eco

    And HOWS CARES WHAT THIS PSYCHOPATH Netanyahu WONT TO SAY???!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • lucifer69

      I told you to stop smoking that s…t. You need a brain lobotomy.

  • Dear Editor and readers.
    This denial of not allowing Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to address the US Congress is a reminder of that old tale of “parable and truth”. Netanyahu wants to tell the “naked truth”, but the Obama Administration does not, since it would bring out Obama´s >”negligence of the facts and the concealment of US Intelligence on the subject matter”. –
    Israel being “in the eye of the huricane” in a manner of speaking, has a more easier access as to what is going on in Iran since they are in the same region of the Middle East. They can monitor much easier telecommunications as awell as an undeground network that Iam sure that they already have receiving an updated “feedback” on the doings of the Iranian regime. Telling Netanyahu the US Congress the facts of the Iranian threat is “like hearing it direct fromn the horse´s mouth” as the Americans saying goes.


  • Simone Miller

    Obama seems to think that it was OK to slap Bibi in the face when he went on his first trip to the Mid-East. He has been doing everything in his power to publicly denigrate the leader of the only true ally of the US in that misbegotten area and now he wants Bibi to turn the other cheek. We are Jews not Christians.

  • Steven Sass

    WHO are the 12 Congressmen and 2 Senator’s still planning the boycott? Is ANYONE reporting how March 3rd date was selected and by who? The Purim connection is significant and I doubt Boehner knew it, but if he made a general date did Bibi’s office pick up Purim? I HOPE MUCH IS MADE OF THE CONNECTING DATE — CAN WE FIND A GOOD ESTHER STAND-IN? THE Israeli actress so much in the news? Even a Kabala toting Madonna would add a lot! Bring Jewish history to the world! Lets get actors from THE 300 to be in the Pro-Israel demonsration!

    • debra


      does it really matter who ‘picked’ that date. I think purim in these times, for Jews, is a timely date whether picked or not.
      The truth of the matter is Israel is most probably THE best and true ally of the united states as we…are supposed to represent freedom.
      You steven are laughing at a date and a holiday that does happen to be very important for Jews.
      Be suspicious if that is what you are, and maybe you are correct I fervently hope much IS made of this date.
      Purim whether you know it or not was a time when jews were in peril, they were to be wiped off the face of the earth… and we thank God for Esther and her persuasion over her husband to save the Jews.
      Maybe you should insert the word HOLOCAUST for PURIM and HITLER for esther.
      Gee, I wonder which actor is available to play the part of Hitler…. and don’t forget to make much of the date that the death camps were liberated.
      Yes, let’s bring Jewish history to the world. why not?
      We have black history month so we know about their history.
      Most everyone knows the history and story behind Christianity….
      Jewish history, when studied, must be studied side by side with world history, as much of the history of many countries coincides with the persecution or expulsion of Jews.
      So yes, by all means know Jewish history and you will be knowledgeable about the history of the world…
      It might do you, steven, some good to study some kind of history…

      by the way, and knowing you do not care, your joke was an insult…. so I suppose…you will laugh until your sides hurt.
      good luck to you.

  • Sean Sandlin

    Why do our people consistently vote Democratic? They are not our friends and the Torah is explicit that Tikkun Olam is from individuals not government. My people confuse the hell out of me sometimes. Perhaps, it is because most of us (not me) are secular leftists?

    • Helen Nonamee

      sean, I too always wonder why American Jews vote Democratic. And most did vote for Obama TWICE!

  • BarbAnn

    The black members are getting in Obamas line, unable to think for themselves.

    • Irwin Dorsey

      Let’s here the truth for once

      • Concern citizen

        The truth we are going to hear is same as he said to president Bush about
        Iraq had Weapons of mass destruction which do you think was truth?
        Do you want to hear another similar truth?

    • gea

      Ub fiortunatey, black antisemitism and political corectness is more prevalent among blacks who had straeyde far away form the message of Martin Luytther King.

      Obama is incompetent president but a ver competent liar, and a community organizer for jihad.

  • Yehoshua Friedman

    Cory Booker should be in the Democratic race for President.

    • mackykam

      You mean to say the failed mayor of Newark, NJ, elected to the senate, is qualified to be president? On what basis? His café au lait ass? We’ve been there and done that.

    • Amnon

      Mr Friedman
      I and I suppose a lot of Jews in USA have are fed up whit the democrat presidents ,I suppose you are not.