White House Cold Over Netanyahu Address to Congress

The White House gave an icy response to news that Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was invited to address Congress next month, saying it was a departure from diplomatic protocol, according to AFP

"We haven't heard from the Israelis directly about the trip at all," White House press secretary Josh Earnest said. "The typical protocol would suggest that the leader of a country would contact the leader of another country when he is traveling there… So this particular event seems to be a departure from that protocol."

The White House added it would "reserve judgment" on any possible meeting between US President Barack Obama and Netanyahu for now. The Obama administration, Earnest said, would want to hear about plans for the trip and Netanyahu's message "before we have a decision to make about any meeting."

House speaker John Boehner announced Netanyahu's invitation earlier Wednesday.

"In this time of challenge, I am asking the prime minister to address Congress on the grave threats radical Islam and Iran pose to our security and way of life," Boehner said in a statement.

Netanyahu "is a great friend of our country, and this invitation carries with it our unwavering commitment to the security and well-being of his people," he added. 

The Prime Minister has addressed the US Congress twice before, in 1996 and 2011. 

The remarks follow reports of a sharp decline in US-Israel relations, after an explosive report in Yedioth Aharonot last week that the US Consulate in Jerusalem views itself not as "the US Consulate in Israel," but rather the "US Consulate in Palestine," and has been slowly replacing its Israeli security guards with Palestinian Arabs who may have criminal records – all in flagrant violation of Israeli law. 

In addition, several weeks ago, Consulate officials entered the Samaria community of Adei Ad with guards armed with M-16s without permission – and nearly caused an international incident

Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/190293

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