Israeli opposition calls on Netanyahu to nix Congress speech

AP News
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Posted: Feb 07, 2015 7:11 AM

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli opposition leaders are calling on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to cancel his planned speech in front of the U.S. Congress.

Labor Party leader Isaac Herzog said Saturday that instead of warning the world about Iran's nuclear program, the controversy around the speech had damaged Israel's crucial relationship with the United States.

In the latest blow, Vice President Joe Biden announced he will miss the March 3 address because of unspecified foreign travel. The Obama administration is deeply irked that Netanyahu made his speaking plans with the Republicans and behind the White House's back.

Zehava Galon of the leftist Meretz party also called on Netanyahu to cancel his plans. Centrist leader Yair Lapid said the speech's fall out was "causing serious damage to Israel's strategic relations with the United States."