Today William Kristol, Chairman, Emergency Committee for Israel, and Gary L. Bauer, Chairman, Christians United for Israel Action Fund, released the following statement on the emerging Democratic boycott of the Israeli Prime Minister's speech to Congress:
In mid-January, the Speaker of the House of Representatives invited the Prime Minister of Israel to address Congress. The Prime Minister accepted the invitation. He will deliver remarks to a joint session of Congress on March 3rd.
Some Senators and Congressmen are now threatening to boycott the speech. Whatever their intentions and reasons, their action will be construed, at home and abroad, as a victory for the enemies of Israel and the enemies of a strong U.S.-Israel relationship.
Some members of Congress claim to be upset that the Speaker may have violated protocol or blindsided the Administration by inviting the Prime Minister. But then why take their anger out on the Prime Minister, and thereby on the State of Israel? Others claim that this speech will somehow help the Prime Minister in his reelection campaign -- as if Israeli voters are going to base their choice on one speech to the U.S. Congress, a speech in which the Israeli Prime Minister will reiterate arguments about Iran's nuclear program with which the major opposition parties agree and on which there is national unity.
The bottom line is simple: The enemies of Israel benefit most from this campaign against the Israeli Prime Minister's speech. Whatever their views on Israeli politics or the Iranian nuclear negotiations, members of Congress who are friends of Israel should not play into the hands of Israel's enemies -- and America's -- by boycotting this speech. Boycotting Israel is high on the agenda of the enemies of Israel. Welcoming Israel's Prime Minister to the halls of Congress is the least that those who claim to be friends of the Jewish state should do.
As representatives of two proudly pro-Israel organizations, we urge members of Congress to do the right thing for the U.S. and Israel. And for those who would turn their backs on Israel and boycott its leader -- they are no friends of Israel, and we pledge to do our best to educate voters about their undermining of Israel and the U.S.-Israel relationship at this crucial hour.