ADL Chief Wants Israel Premier To End ‘Circus’
As the controversy surrounding Benjamin Netanyahu speech to Congress reaches new heights, one of the Jewish community’s top leaders is calling on the Israeli prime minister to stay home.
Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti Defamation League said that the political uproar ignited by Netanyahu’s invitation to speak to a joint meeting of Congress makes such a move unhelpful and therefore it should be scrapped.
“It’s a tragedy of unintended consequences,” Foxman told the Forward, describing how the idea of presenting Israel’s view on Iran spiraled out of control, reaching even the Jon Stewart show, a step, Foxman said, that “turned the whole thing into a circus.”
“One needs to restart, and it needs a mature adult statement that this was not what we intended,” Foxman told the Forward. He said that going ahead as planned with the speech would be counter-productive, with all attention given to the political controversy rather than to the issue at stake. “It has been hijacked by politics,” Foxman said. “Now is a time to recalibrate, restart and find a new platform and new timing to take away the distractions.”
Foxman noted that he does not dispute the seriousness of the Iranian nuclear issue and that he agrees with Netanyahu on the need to strengthen sanctions against Tehran, but he argued that recent events have derailed the initial intention of Netanyahu’s address to Congress.