PM 'Expects Courtesy' of Letting Him Speak in US

Netanyahu met Tuesday with US Reps. Robert Pittenger (R-NC) and Dennis A. Ross (R-FL), repeated his intention to speak to Congress.

Gil Ronen ,

Binyamin Netanyahu at Yad Vashem
Binyamin Netanyahu at Yad Vashem
Uri Lenz/Israel Hayom/POOL/Flash 90

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, met Tuesday at his Jerusalem office with US Rep. Robert Pittenger (R-NC) and US Rep. Dennis A. Ross (R-FL) and told them at the start of their meeting that he expects people to give Israel, which is threatened by Iran, “the courtesy” of listening to its position.

"The American-Israeli alliance is a powerful one. It's based on common values, common interests. It's a bipartisan relationship. We appreciate the support of Democrats and Republicans alike. We have a great national interest in preventing Iran from acquiring the means to develop nuclear weapons. We believe this isn't a partisan issue. It isn't a Democratic issue; it's not a Republican issue. It's an Israeli issue. It's an American issue. It's a global issue and we believe that the current proposal before Iran, handed over by the P5+1 is very dangerous to Israel and dangerous to the region and the peace of the world.

“That's why I think it's important for me to speak before the members of Congress, all members of Congress, and explain Israel's position. Now there are those who think otherwise. I'm open to hearing their case and I would hope that they would extend Israel, the country whose very existence is threatened by Iran, that same courtesy."

Amid reports that the Obama administration is refusing to share information regarding Iran with Israel as “punishment” for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s upcoming speech before Congress, The Washington Post’s David Ignatius on Monday provided new details into the tensions between Jerusalem and Washington.

According to Ignatius’s column, the mistrust between the Obama administration and Netanyahu has widened even further in recent days because of suspicion in the United States that the Israeli prime minister has authorized leaks of details about the U.S. nuclear talks with Iran.

“The decision to reduce the exchange of sensitive information about the Iran talks was prompted by concerns that Netanyahu’s office had given Israeli journalists sensitive details of the U.S. position, including a U.S. offer to allow Iran to enrich uranium with 6,500 or more centrifuges as part of a final deal,” wrote Ignatius.