Hours before Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's address to Congress on Iran tomorrow, Americans for Peace Now is calling today on Netanyahu to refrain from using his speech to undermine diplomacy with Iran, further deepening the partisan rift on Capitol Hill, and causing further divisions among American Jews.
Debra DeLee, the President and CEO of Americans for Peace Now (APN) today said:
"Netanyahu decided to address Congress in defiance of pleas from many – both in the US and in Israel – who care deeply about the damage that this decision is causing to the bilateral relations between the countries. Netanyahu's decision might also cause damage to the very objective of his visit: bolstering efforts to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.
"The damage already caused is severe, but not irreparable, and the appropriate time for Netanyahu to start repairing the damage is tomorrow, when he stands before a joint session of Congress.
"It is incumbent upon Netanyahu to deliver a speech that does not compound the damage; a speech that is not an affront to the president of Israel's chief ally; a speech that does not undermine the Obama administration's efforts to address Iran's nuclear quest diplomatically; a speech that does not seek to abort a deal with Iran before it has been born; a speech that does not further polarize Congress, along partisan lines, on Israel; a speech that helps resolve the deep dissonance among American Jews, who both care deeply about Israel's security and wellbeing and support the office of the President, support President Barack Obama himself, and support the White House's efforts to diplomatically resolve the nuclear standoff with Iran.
"Given his stated goals as he comes to Washington, and given his conduct so far in relation to the visit and to tomorrow's speech, we are extremely concerned about the further damage it may cause. We call on Netanyahu to act responsibly, and pivot to rebuilding trust with President Obama and his administration, with America's Jewish community and with the American people."