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February 23, 2015 11:39 am

Israeli-American Group: All Members of Congress Should Attend Netanyahu Speech

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The Israeli-American Council said all member of Congress should attend PM Netanyahu's upcoming address. Photo: Avi Ohayon/GPO.

JNS.org – 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.

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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.”

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