Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA) highlighted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s upcoming address to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday as a critical event and expressed his concern over the unprecedented contention he has been witnessing surrounding Netanyahu’s appearance.
Netanyahu’s visit has been highly contested by many Democratic members of Congress.
Rep. Royce had the following to say:
A nuclear-armed Iran is one of the gravest security threats facing both the United States and our ally Israel. The House Foreign Affairs Committee has focused intensely on this threat, including the implications of a potential agreement that leaves Iran on the threshold of possessing a nuclear weapon. We have heard from countless experts, Administration officials, and regional partners. Now, with a critical deadline only weeks away, Congress will appropriately hear from the Prime Minister of Israel.
The tradition of foreign leaders addressing Congress on issues of mutual concern goes back more than half a century. I don’t recall there ever being the level of contention that we are unfortunately seeing over Prime Minister Netanyahu’s visit, no matter the views of the dozens of leaders who have addressed Congress. Members of Congress should support this tradition and attend the Prime Minister’s speech. The Speaker made the right decision by inviting the leader of a major ally to discuss a grave security threat facing both countries.
Royce had met with Netanyahu during a visit to Israel last August. Over the course of his travels he also met with Israel’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon. His trip also included a visit and tour of the Iron Dome battery, which was an essential mechanism in defending Israeli civilians against rocket fire from Hamas during last year’s war.
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