White House Miffed at Netanyahu Invite by Congress

By Tzippe Barrow

CBN News, JERUSALEM, Israel — The White House voiced its displeasure at the invitation to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address to a joint session of Congress on February 11, focusing on Iran and radical Islam.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest called the invitation by House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, “a departure from diplomatic protocol.”

“The typical protocol would suggest that the leader of a country would contact the leader of another country when he’s traveling here,” Earnest told reporters aboard Air Force One en route to an event in Idaho.

“That certainly is how President Obama’s trips are planned when he travels overseas. This particular event seems to be a departure from that protocol,” he said.

Middle East analyst Grant Rumley with the Foundation of Defense for Democracies shared more about Congress’s concerns over the Obama administration’s foreign policy and how it will affect Israel.

Boehner, in turn, told reporters it’s well within congressional protocol to invite a speaker without consulting the White House.

“Congress can make this decision on its own,” Boehner told the press. “I don’t believe I’m poking anyone in the eye. There is a serious threat that exists in the world and the president last night [during the State of the Union speech] papered over it.

In his remarks, Obama said he would veto any legislation that called for new economic sanctions against Iran.

At a hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the status of negotiations with Iran Wednesday, Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., said the administration’s talking points sound like they “come straight out of Tehran” and support “the Iranian narrative of victimization.”

Boehner said America needs “a more serious conversation” about the threat of radical Islam and Iran.

Now that Republicans hold the majority in both houses, the differing perceptions with the White House seem more evident than ever.

“After 18 months of stalling, Iran needs to know that there will be consequences for failure — and that consequence will be additional sanctions,” Menendez said. The senator co-sponsored legislation that would impose new sanctions on Iran if talks fail.

In an official statement posted on his website, Boehner said, “I am asking the Prime Minister to address Congress on the grave threats radical Islam and Iran pose to our security and way of life. Americans and Israelis have always stood together in shared cause and common ideals and now we must rise to the moment again.”

For more than a decade, Netanyahu has been warning about the dangers of a nuclear-armed Iran, pointing out that Iranian leaders call Israel “the little Satan” and America “the big Satan.”

Report via CBN News

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