Illinois’ only Jewish member of Congress is not pleased that the prime minister of Israel is scheduled to speak there next month. U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Evanston) says the invitation, without the involvement of the White House, is a Republican scheme intended to drive a wedge between the Democratic Party and pro-Israel Jews, but Jewish voters aren’t biting.
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“This isn’t the first time that the Republicans have tried to portray the Democrats as somehow less than pro-Israel, and it seems that election after election, that about 70 percent-plus, usually plus, (Jewish voters) vote for the Democrat for president,” she said.
As a policy concern, Schakowsky says it’s important not to disrupt delicate negotiations aimed at preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu disagrees with the president’s proposal and wants to articulate that to Congress. Schakowsky says she’s undecided on whether she’ll be in the room for the speech.
The speech is scheduled for March 3. Schakowsky says the prime minister should be invited, by the White House, for after his election on March 17.