Sen. Bernie Sanders has joined the growing list of members of Congress who will be boycotting Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech before a joint session of Congress.
While speaking at the Brookings Institution, Sen. Sanders announced that he would not be attending the speech, “The President Of The United States heads up our foreign policy.The idea that the president wasn’t consulted? That’s wrong….I am not going.”
Sen. Sanders joined a growing list of members of Congress who not be attending the speech. The list of Democrats who will not be attending include Reps. Jim Clyburn, John Lewis, Raúl Grijalva, G.K. Butterfield, and Earl Blumenauer. Bernie Sanders is the first senator to announce that he is boycotting the speech in protest of the way that Boehner and Netanyahu have disrespected the president.
Israeli officials are starting to crack under the backlash. Their first move was to try to blame Speaker of the House John Boehner. After throwing Boehner under the bus didn’t work, Israeli officials are considering changing the format of Netanyahu’s speech to make sure that it does not air on primetime television.
Reuters reported, “As a result, Israeli officials are considering whether Netanyahu should speak to a closed-door session of Congress, rather than in a prime-time TV address, so as to drain some of the intensity from the event, a source said. Another option is for the prime minister to make his speech at the annual meeting of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in Washington the same week, rather than in Congress.”
The outrage and boycott are causing Netanyahu to consider burying the speech. The Israeli Prime Minister still intends to give the speech, but public pressure may force him to abandon the publicity stunt of addressing a joint session of Congress on national television.
Ten House Democrats and Sen. Sanders have committed to skipping the speech. No one from the White House will be attending the speech, as the conspiracy to pressure and embarrass President Obama is turning into a humiliating defeat for Boehner and Netanyahu.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association