March 02, 2015

Watson Coleman Statement on Netanyahu Address


CONTACT: Courtney Cochran, (202) 225-5801

Washington, DC (March 2, 2015) ― Today, Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12) issued the following statement ahead of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s March 3 address to a joint session of Congress:

“As a fierce supporter of Israel, I am disappointed in Speaker Boehner’s efforts to drag Prime Minister Netanyahu into the GOP’s endless efforts to undermine President Obama.  His failure to consult with the White House ahead of inviting the Prime Minister, and his decision to move forward with the address despite the upcoming Israeli elections is inappropriate and disruptive to U.S. foreign policy.  Further, Speaker Boehner has chosen to violate protocol and disrespect the long history of bipartisan support for Israel in this chamber while we are in the midst of the most serious Iranian nuclear negotiations in our nation’s history.

“In February, I joined 23 of my colleagues in urging Speaker Boehner to postpone the invitation because of my misgivings.  Unfortunately, that letter received no response.  After significant thought and consultation, I cannot condone Speaker Boehner’s tactics, and do not feel I can attend the Prime Minister’s address.

“While I regret the unfortunate circumstances that the Speaker has set in motion, I firmly believe that Israel remains our most important strategic ally in the Middle East.  I look forward to working with my colleagues on policies that will further the U.S.-Israel relationship, and our joint interests.”