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February 24, 2015 3:27 pm

Israeli Opposition Leader Isaac Herzog Cancels AIPAC Conference Appearance

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Isaac Herzog will not attend the AIPAC conference next week in Washington. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

JNS.org – Zionist Union alliance head Isaac Herzog, the opposition leader in the Israeli Knesset and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s stiffest competition in the country’s March 17 election, announced that he has canceled his scheduled appearance at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference next week in Washington, D.C.

“A few days ago, I told the AIPAC conference organizers that I was deeply sorry, but that I could not attend the conference at which I had been invited to deliver a speech. American Jewry is very important to me, but it is clear that replacing the Netanyahu government is just as important, and that is my primary mission these days,” Herzog told reporters in Jerusalem.

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Herzog also criticized Netanyahu’s planned speech to a joint session of Congress about Iran on March 3.

“Netanyahu’s spin about who is going to Washington must stop,” Herzog said. “My firm position against a nuclear Iran is known by every Israeli and American, including the US president, and I know how to voice it in a sharp, clear manner—from here (Israel), not from there.”

Israeli Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz (Likud) had urged Herzog to join Netanyahu in front of Congress as part of a display of unity against the Iranian nuclear threat. Herzog’s participation would “represent consensus and a unified front, and would help repel the danger,” Katz said on his Facebook account.

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  • JOHN TRAIN

    Stopping a nuclear Iran is more important by far than the political futures of Herzog and Livini. From the start, Herzog should have endorsed Prime Minister Netanyahu’s invitation and offered to be in the audience at Congress to show unanimous Israelis support.

    Such an action would have kept the focus as it should be on Pres. Obama’s pending “deal” which will allow Iran within 15 years to obtain nuclear weapons to whatever extent it wants to have them.Herzog should join Netanyahu at Congress as part of a display of unity against the Iranian nuclear threat. Herzog’s participation would “represent consensus and a unified front, and would help repel the danger,”

  • Ben

    Herzog’s behavior is unfortunate. He really should help Israel present a united front. It would seem that him getting to be a Prime Minister justifies anything in his own eyes, even undermining the effort to prevent a nuclear Iran. Snubbing AIPAC is a very bad strategic choice, for Israel and for Herzog personally.

  • What’s the big deal about the invitation of Netanyahu being a breach of protocol?
    Beohner has invited Pope Francis to speak to Congress. Nobody is screaming about protocol.
    http://www.speaker.gov/press-release/speaker-boehner-invites-pope-francis-address-joint-meeting-congress

  • Julian Clovelley

    Nice try – attempting to get Herzog to join Netanyahu in front of Congress. On the one hand it would limit the damage to Netanyahu if the Congress speech results in him looking ridiculous

    On the other it would reverse the relative importance between the relationship with Iran and the upcoming General Election in Israel. As in any Democracy the General Election is vastly more important

    Netanyahu’s present gambits to get himself re-elected have turned the result of the Israeli election into a matter of international concern, instead of being what they should be, solely the concern of the residents of Israel currently living within its borders

  • BERNHARD LAZARUS

    Herzog is a disgrace Putting his personal ambition ahead of the welfare of the Jewish state.

    Even a nebbish like him knows that Bibis speech is factually addressed to the World not only to the two houses in the USA

  • Intellectualist

    Good move. AIPAC is going to be kicked around. Anyone who doesn’t stand clear will be damaged.

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