Former Connecticut senator and Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Lieberman called on members of Congress to take part in Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech on Iran’s nuclear program on March 3.
Lieberman, a Shabbat-observant Jew, wrote in a Washington Post op-ed published Monday that the 23 House of Representatives Democrats who asked House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to postpone Netanyahu’s address should “go to the joint meeting [of Congress] and hear what the prime minister has to say.”
“Go because this is about determining how best to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons and not just another Washington test of partisan and political loyalty,” Lieberman wrote. “Go because—regardless of what you think of the leaders involved or their actions in this case—you are a strong supporter of America’s alliance with Israel, and you don’t want it to become a partisan matter.”
The White House has opposed Netanyahu’s speech on the grounds that Boehner did not consult with President Barack Obama about the invitation. Vice President Joe Biden, the president of the U.S. Senate, is skipping the speech.
Some controversy stems from the fact that Netanyahu is up for re-election, with Israeli voting taking place just days after the planned Congress speech.