Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has accepted House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) invitation to address a joint session of Congress on terrorism and terror-sponsor Iran.
Boehner originally proposed Feb 11, but the date will be bumped to March 3 to coincide with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference in D.C.
AIPAC confirmed that Netanyahu will be speaking at the March 1-3 megaconference.
“I am honored by this invitation, which reflects the special friendship shared by Israel and the United States as well as the strong bipartisan support for Israel across America,” Netanyahu said in a statement today.
“Just last week I discussed with President Obama the common challenges we face from Islamist extremism, including resurgent terrorism and Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons,” he continued.
“I look forward to being able to share with the joint session Israel’s vision for working together to address these threats and to reiterate Israel’s commitment to the bond that unites our two democracies.”
But President Obama will not be meeting with Netanyahu when he visits.
“As a matter of long-standing practice and principle, we do not see heads of state or candidates in close proximity to their elections, so as to avoid the appearance of influencing a democratic election in a foreign country,” White House National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan said in a statement today. “Accordingly, the president will not be meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu because of the proximity to the Israeli election, which is just two weeks after his planned address to the U.S. Congress.”