WASHINGTON – When House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) announce he had invited Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address a joint session of Congress just a few weeks ahead of an Israeli election, he was criticized for giving Netanyahu a platform to boost his campaign.
The United States has a policy of not meeting with foreign leaders in advance of elections so as not to appear to be tilting the electoral balance. But Netanyahu insisted that his motivations had nothing to do with the election, and that the timing of the speech was demanded by the urgency of the Iran nuclear negotiations. There was simply no time to waste.
Already, however, Netanyahu is using his speech as a prop in a campaign commercial back in Israel, where the prime minister is shown basking in the applause of members of Congress who did not boycott his speech.
With five days left until the Israeli elections, he launched the 80 second campaign ad above, featuring his controversial address to the U.S. Congress earlier this month, along with footage of rockets being launched.
Current polls project Netanyahu’s Likud Party to secure three fewer Parliament seats than the Zionist Union, led by Isaac Herzog and Tzipi Livni.
In previous campaign ads, Netanyahu has attacked Herzog as too weak to lead Israel, warning that he would allow Iran to obtain nuclear weapons and surrender an unacceptable amount of territory to the Palestinian Authority. Herzog, however, claims that his slight lead in the polls indicates that Israeli voters are fed up with Netanyahu’s security-focused agenda and want a leader who will address domestic economic concerns.
H/T HuffPost blogger Laura Goldman
Source: Huff Post