I am going to the United States not because I seek a confrontation with the President, but to speak up for very survival of my country.— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) February 10, 2015
The White House said Obama would not meet with Netanyahu because Israeli elections will take place two weeks after the speech, making the visit appear political. Vice President Joe Biden is also not expected to attend the speech and senior Democrats have said they may boycott.
"This is the U.S.-Israeli relationship that extends beyond parties," Obama said at a news conference Tuesday. "And the way to preserve that is to make sure that it doesn’t get clouded with what could be perceived as partisan politics."
Netanyahu said he plans to speak before Congress on an issue where he and Obama disagree.
I intend to speak in the U.S. Congress because Congress might have an important role on a nuclear deal with Iran.— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) February 10, 2015
Obama has said that he would
a bipartisan bill that would impose additional sanctions on Iran. The move, Obama said, would undermine talks over the nation's nuclear program and risk setting up a military confrontation. "What's the rush" in imposing sanctions before letting the talks run their course, Obama asked. "There are real differences substantively" between the U.S. and Israel on Iran, "but that's separate and apart from the whole issue of Mr. Netanyahu coming to Washington. All right?" Obama said.
We do have a profound disagreement today w/U.S. Admin & P5+1 over the offer that has been made to Iran which threatens Israel's survival.— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) February 10, 2015
In a full statement, Netanyahu wrote that "disagreements over Israel's security have occurred between prime ministers in Israel from the left and from the right and American presidents from both parties. None of these disagreements led to a rupture in the relationship between Israel and the United States. In fact, over time, our relationship grew stronger."
Netanyahu under the deal Iran would be able to " break out to a nuclear weapon in a short time." Netanyahu said he needed to speak before the March 24 deadline for an agreement.
Iran is a regime that is openly committed to Israel's destruction.— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) February 10, 2015