National Security Adviser Susan Rice criticized Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's upcoming address to Congress, calling it "destructive" to relations between Israel and the United States.
In an interview with Charlie Rose on Tuesday, Rice said that the relationship between the U.S. and Israeli, which has "always been bipartisan," has become strained by partisan behavior in recent weeks.
"What has happened over the last several weeks — by virtue of the invitation that was issued by the speaker and the acceptance of it by Prime Minister Netanyahu two weeks in advance of his election — is that on both sides, there has now been injected a degree of partisanship," Rice said of Netanyahu's planned March 3rd speech to Congress. "It’s destructive of the fabric of the relationship."
According to reports, Netanyahu declined offers to meet with Senate Democrats during his visit, and he will also not meet with President Obama. Obama said that meeting with Netanyahu just two weeks before his election would be "inappropriate." Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry will not be in attendance during the Prime Minister's address.
Lawmakers have also spoken out against Netanyahu's speech, warning that it could negatively affect talks over Iran's nuclear plan.
"We want the relationship of the United States and Israel to be unquestionably strong, immutable, regardless of political seasons in either country, regardless of which party may be in power in either country," Rice said. "We’ve worked very hard to have that, and we will work very hard to maintain that relationship."
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