Israel Political Brief March 6, 2012: In Washington, everyone loves Benjamin Netanyahu

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

In Washington, everyone loves Benjamin Netanyahu

Nancy Pelosi and John Boehner listen as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks in the Capitol March 6, 2012. | Reuters

In the FourSquare of American politics, Netanyahu is the mayor of Washington this week. | AP Photo

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is an “old friend,” Mitt Romney told folks at the American Israel Public Affairs Conference in Washington Tuesday.

Rep. Howard Berman, the top Democrat on the Foreign Affairs Committee, edged in close enough at a Capitol press conference to be photographed with Netanyahu.

And Sen. Mark Kirk, who recently suffered a stroke, put out a press release and video to mark Netanyahu’s wish that the Illinois Republican would recover quickly. Kirk isn’t Jewish, but a lot of folks in his old Chicago-area House district are.

In the FourSquare of American politics, Bibi Netanyahu is the mayor of Washington this week….. READ MORE

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) can’t agree on much, but they joined arms to embrace Netanyahu for a private lunch meeting with Berman and other lawmakers who have a hand in foreign policy.

And both leaders sent out transcripts of their remarks at the joint press conference.

“Now is the time to stand together,” Boehner said. “We are here today to tell the prime minister that Congress intends to do so.”

Netanyahu tried to return some of the congressional love during his press conference on Tuesday in the Capitol.

“I don’t think there is a place anywhere else on earth where we can match the clarity, courage and wisdom than … the halls of this institution,” Netanyahu said. “I go back to Israel feeling we have great friends in Washington.”

Israel Political Brief March 5, 2012: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Democratic and Republican Congressional Leaders Nancy Pelosi, Mitch McConnell Address Bipartisan Gala

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

Israeli Prime Minister, Democratic and Republican Leaders to Address Gala

Source: AIPAC, 3-5-12

While Washington, D.C. is increasingly consumed with bickering between Democrats and Republicans, the U.S.-Israel relationship remains the one issue that transcends the partisan divide. In a display of this bipartisan spirit, more than half of Congress will attend tonight’s Gala, along with representatives from 51 countries, administration officials, congressional candidates and other VIPs.

Due to the extraordinary number of attendees, the Gala will take on a different format this year. All 13,000 Policy Conference delegates will fit in Halls D/E, where they will be treated to a pre-Gala concert featuring musical guests from the U.S. and Israel.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will deliver the keynote address. The prime minister’s speech will come a few hours after his meeting with President Obama.

In addition, two longtime supporters of the U.S.-Israel relationship—Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Democratic Leader of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)—will speak at the Gala.

The Gala will be the end of a full day of Monday programming. The morning kicks off with an address by Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT), chair of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

After the morning plenary, delegates will head to panel discussions on topics affecting the U.S., Israel and the Middle East, as well as lobbying workshops, where they will learn from AIPAC’s top experts how to make the case for Israel on Capitol Hill tomorrow.

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