PRICE STATEMENT ON NETANYAHU ADDRESS
Washington, DC – Congressman David E. Price (NC-04) released the following statement regarding next week’s address to Congress by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“I do not plan to attend Prime Minister Netanyahu’s address to Congress next month. I make this decision without regard for policy agreement or disagreement; I have often attended such addresses by leaders, including Prime Minister Netanyahu, with whom I have disagreed. My reason, rather, is that this address should not be occurring in the first place, and abstention from attendance is therefore a particularly appropriate response. Speaker Boehner should never have extended the invitation, given the proximity of the speech to Israel’s national elections and the fact that delicate international negotiations, which the Prime Minister wishes to upend, are hanging in the balance. And Prime Minister Netanyahu should never have accepted the invitation, which was extended without the usual consultation of bipartisan leadership and the normal notification of and consultation with the President.
“I remain a strong and steadfast supporter of the US-Israeli security relationship, and of a negotiated two-state agreement that allows Israel and the Palestinians to live side-by-side in peace. Despite occasional political disagreements, I have met with dozens of Israeli leaders in furtherance of the values and interests that unite our two countries. Just last month, prior to Speaker Boehner’s invitation, I had an extensive conversation with Ambassador Dermer in my Washington office. An open dialogue is fundamental to our special relationship with Israel, and I will always be ready to engage in these important conversations with Israeli leaders from across the political spectrum.”