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Vice-President Biden to Snub Israeli PM at Joint Session of Congress in March


Zeca Oliviera explained to me that protocol dictates that a joint-session of the House and Senate be attended by the Senate pro tempore, who is by designation Vice-President Joe Biden. In March, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be addressing a joint session of congress on the subject of the threat Iran poses to the West. However, the VP’s office revealed on Monday the vice-president will be traveling abroad during Netanyahu’s high-profile visit. It is without question that President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu deeply disagree on the ongoing Iran negotiations. President Obama believes that by engaging the Iranians in a spirit of respect, they will make concessions on their nuclear enrichment program.

For his part, Prime Minister Netanyahu can cite tens of thousands of reasons why Iran can’t be trusted as his nation has been struck by Iran-backed Hezbollah’s rockets that many times over the past two decades. Netanyahu has called Obama’s ongoing negotiations pointless. Instead, he strongly favors tougher sanctions on Iran for being a state sponsor of terrorism. Israeli elections will take place two weeks after the PM is scheduled to address congress.

The Obama administration says that such a high-profile visit is inappropriate so close to an election as it can be perceived as the US meddling in Israel’s internal politics. It has also been learned that a group of Senate Democrats may boycott the address. President Obama publicly said that he is not encouraging his party to boycott the address, but that each senator may choose for themselves whether to attend.

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