Are Democrats Planning to Skip Netanyahu Speech to Congress?


House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi hinted that Democrats may skip next month's address to Congress by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Asked if most House Democrats would attend the March 3 speech, Pelosi said, "I don't know."

"With all the respect in the world for the prime minister, and all the love in the world for the state of Israel, I don't know that even everyone in Israel is supportive of the invitation," she told reporters at a Democratic retreat in Philadelphia.

President Obama and the White House is still furious that House Speaker John Boehner invited Bibi. The White House is in sensitive negotiations with Israel foe Iran and Obama contends he does not want to affect the March 24 Israeli election.

Netanyahu has telephoned Pelosi, Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid and New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, in hopes of lessening their opposition to his visit. The calls, according to congressional aides, did not change minds.

Senate Democrats might not support new sanctions on Iran until after March 24. 

Boehner defends his decision to invite the Israeli PM, saying he has the right to invite world leaders to "talk to the members of Congress about the serious threat that Iran poses and the serious threat of radical Islam."

Meanwhile, the Jerusalem Post reports that Netanyahu is enjoying a surge in the latest opinion polls of Israeli voters after the snubbing by Obama, who has refused to meet with him during his March trip to Washington. 

The poll found that the Likud would win 25 seats, the Zionist Union 24, Bayit Yehudi 14, the Joint Arab List 12, Yesh Atid 11, United Torah Judaism and Koolanu eight, Shas seven, Meretz six, and Yisrael Beytenu five. The parties polled that did not cross the 3.25-percent electoral threshold were Green Leaf and both Yahad Ha’am Itanu and Otzma Yehudit.