PressTV: Pro-Israel lobby threatens Democrats who plan to skip Netanyahu speech

Benjamin Netanyahu

Benjamin Netanyahu

Several pro-Israel lobby groups in the United States have threatened to “publicly condemn” Democrats who plan to skip the Israeli prime minister’s speech about Iran before Congress next month.

Benjamin Netanyahu’s well-funded Jewish conservative backers say they may use their funds to draw attention in the districts and states of any Democratic lawmaker who is not at the US Capitol to listen to Netanyahu on March 3.

Netanyahu has been invited by House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner to address a joint session of Congress to speak about the “threat” of Iran’s nuclear energy program.

“This is, I think, a critical visit by the prime minister. If these Democrats would rather put partisan politics ahead of principle and walk out on the prime minister of Israel, then we have an obligation to make that known,” said Matt Brooks, the executive director of the Republican Jewish Coalition, a political lobbying group which promotes Jewish Republicans.

“We will commit whatever resources we need to make sure that people are aware of the facts,” Brooks said. He did not specify what methods this campaign would use, but promised that his group would do whatever it can.

Other Zionist organizations are sending similar messages. “We will, of course, be publicly condemning any Democrats who don’t show up for the speech, unless they have a doctor’s note,” said Mort Klein, president of the Zionist Organization of America, a prominent pro-Israel group with 30,000 members.

“It’s really an anti-American, anti-patriotic position to take,” Klein added.

AIPAC, the largest pro-Israel lobby in the US, is encouraging members of Congress to attend the speech, although the group also has reservations because it is turning into a partisan event.

Growing criticism over Netanyahu speech

Democrats are angry over Boehner’s invitation of the Israeli premier, which was planned without the knowledge of the Obama administration.

The event will take place just two weeks before the Israeli elections, which is seen by the White House and senior Democrats as particularly manipulative. The White House has called the invitation a breach of protocol.

President Barack Obama would not meet with Netanyahu during his trip to Washington, according to the White House. Vice President Joe Biden’s office also confirmed on Friday that he would not be present during Netanyahu’s speech.

It seems Netanyahu plans to go ahead with the trip despite growing criticism both in Israel and the United States. The Israeli prime minister says he will address Congress to lobby against a “bad and dangerous” nuclear deal with Iran.

Iran and the P5+1 group – the US, France, Britain, Russia, China and Germany – are in talks to narrow their differences and pave the way for a final, long-term nuclear accord.

The Republican-controlled Congress, however, is pushing a new round of sanctions on Iran, despite the veto threat from the White House and warnings that additional sanctions at this juncture risked derailing the nuclear talks.

Iran argues that as a committed signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it has the right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

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5 Responses to PressTV: Pro-Israel lobby threatens Democrats who plan to skip Netanyahu speech

  1. Captain says:

    Why does this country even allow war criminals into it, much less speak to Congress (which I believe is unconstitutional.)

  2. Watcher (Nancy) says:

    I will bet dollars to doughnuts that they ALL cower down and lick the filthy boots of the head reptile ‘masser’….
    If there are any that don’t then they can be judged to have merit!

    • Jean says:

      Nancy, check out a book that was written a long time ago – I have an old, autographed copy, called They Dare to Speak Out: People and Institutions Confront Israel’s Lobby by Paul Findlay. It tells how they destroyed his career, because he dared to tell the truth. The original book came out, I believe, in 1985 . . . a long time ago, which shows how long they have been at work building their base within this country.

      Book description: The first book to speak out against the pervasive influence of the American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) on American politics, policy, and institutions resonates today as never before. With careful documentation and specific case histories, former congressman Paul Findley demonstrates how the Israel lobby helps to shape important aspects of U.S. foreign policy and influences congressional, senatorial, and even presidential elections. Described are the undue influence AIPAC exerts in the Senate and the House and the pressure AIPAC brings to bear on university professors and journalists who seem too sympathetic to Arab and Islamic states and too critical of Israel and its policies. Along with many longtime outspoken critics, new voices speaking out include former President Jimmy Carter, U.S. Representative Cynthia McKinney, Senator Robert Byrd, prominent Arab-American Dr. Ziad Asali, Rabbi Michael Lerner, and journalist Charles Reese. In addition, the lack of open debate among politicians with regard to the U.S. policy in the Middle East is lamented, and AIPAC is blamed in part for this censorship. Connections are drawn between America’s unconditional support of Israel and the raging anti-American passions around the world—and ultimately the tragic events of 9/11.

  3. judynz says:

    Politicians, Call their bluff.. Whatever they have on you is all going to come out very soon anyway. If you are going down at least have a saving grace. You will find the public can be very forgiving of people who have been manipulated into situations they haven’t felt they can deal with on their own. We understand how this would have escalated over years of them having their hooks into you.
    Think about the pressure that was placed on you, your family etc. who had to live with the effects of this manipulation & how it prevented you from living a normal life & to grow and evolve as a human being.

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