“The prime minister is welcome in the United States at any time. We have an unparalleled close security relationship with Israel, and we will continue to,” Kerry said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week." “I talk to the prime minister regularly, including yesterday. We don't want to see this turned into some great political football.”
Kerry did, however, concede that Boehner’s invitation, not to mention Netanyahu's acceptance, caught the administration by surprise.
“Obviously, it was odd, if not unique, that we learned of it from the speaker of the House and that an administration was not included in this process. But the administration is not seeking to politicize this,” Kerry said.
Despite Kerry's attempt to play down the political strains caused by the invitation, the speech has stoked discord between Republicans and Democrats in Congress. It has also put considerable strain on politicians eager to work with Israel on security but skeptical of Netanyahu’s position on nuclear negotiations with Iran.
On Sunday, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) knocked Netanyahu for suggesting that he represents not only the people of Israel on the topic of Iran but all Jewish people.
"He doesn't speak for me on this,” Feinstein said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union." "I think it's a rather arrogant statement. I think the Jewish community is like any other community. There are different points of view. I think that arrogance does not befit Israel, candidly."