Politics

Israel Supporter Rep. Jan Schakowsky Explains Why She's Boycotting Netanyahu's Address To Congress

| by Sean Kelly
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Illinois Representative and vocal supporter of Israel Jan Schakowsky announced that she intends to boycott Israeli Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu's planned speech to Congress.

Schakowsky, the lastest in a growing list of lawmakers who will skip Netanyahu's address, said that she agrees with the criticism of House Speaker John Boehner's decision to invite Netanyahu to Washington just two weeks before his country's election.

"After much thought, I have made the decision not to attend Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's March 3 scheduled address before a joint session of Congress, while still hoping it will either be postponed to a more appropriate date or delivered in a closed session," Schakowsky said in a statement. Schakowsky, the only Jewish member of Congress from Illinois, said she believes Boehner's invitation has "managed to threaten, in my view, both the security of Israel and the historic bipartisan support in the Congress."

"This is not the first time that the Republicans have tried to divide the Democrats and paint themselves as the only true supporters of Israel," she said."The reality is that, when it comes to tangible deliverables, the Obama administration has been unfailing in its cooperation with Israel — more so than most, if not all, administrations over the last 40 years."

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Schakowsky joins a number of politicians who will reportedly not be in attendance, including Secretary of State John Kerry, Vice President Joe Biden and President Obama himself, who will also, according to reports, not be meeting with Netanyahu during his visit.

Sources: Chicago Tribune, Huffington Post

Photo Credit: chicagodefender.com, Elvert Barnes/Flickr