Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has been invited to speak at the annual gathering of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).
CPAC organizers announced Monday that the Israeli prime minister has been asked to address the 40th annual conference for conservative activists — many of whom accuse President Obama of not adequately supporting the Jewish state.
"As we extend our second round of invitations to these conservative leaders, it is easy to see why CPAC 2013 is shaping up to be one the best conferences yet," said Al Cardenas, chairman of the American Conservative Union, which hosts CPAC. "We encourage conservatives across America to register today and join these leaders and thousands of others at CPAC 2013."
The conference is scheduled to run from March 14-16 at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland.
Other invited speakers include: Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, former Rep. Allen West of Florida, former Puerto Rico Gov. Luis Fortuno, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley.
Sens. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, Jeff Flake of Arizona, Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, Mike Lee of Utah, Rand Paul of Kentucky, and former Rep. Artur Davis of Alabama are also scheduled to address the convention, The Washington Times reports.
According to Alana Goodman of Commentary Magazine, “While Netanyahu will probably already be in Washington for AIPAC’s Policy Conference the week before, and it would be great to see him speak at CPAC, there’s no way it will actually happen.”
“It would be silly for him to attend now, right after being accused of siding with the Mitt Romney campaign and while he still needs to maintain a veneer of cordial relations with President Obama,” writes Goodman.
She notes that while Netanyahu is unlikely to attend, “it’s another example of how support for Israel has become ingrained as a conservative value issue,” adding that “CPAC is brave extending the invite, even if the Israeli PM is unlikely to accept.”