NYT Won't give up on Bibi Attacks

While there are obvious differences between Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and the White House on Iran’s nuclear ambitions,the New York Times'  David Sanger goes a paragraph too far in reporting this development (“Chill Bedevils U.S. and Israel In Iran Talks” by David Sanger, front page, Feb. 18)

In his second paragraph, Sanger writes: “The tensions between the United States and Israel over negotiating with Tehran have a long and twisted history, and they plunged to a new low when Mr. Netanyahu engineered an invitation to address a joint meeting of Congress, in less than two weeks, to warn against a ‘bad idea.’”

“Engineered” an invitation? Hardly. House Speaker John Boehner was only too happy to invite Netanyahu to address the lawmakers.  And there is more than ample precedent for his gesture.  Netanyahu spoke from the House dais twice before.  His third time incidentally will match the record held by Winston Churchill. 

And just as Churchill didn’t have to “engineer” his appearances, neither did Netanyahu.

Far from signaling a “new low” in U.S.-Israeli relations, Netanyahu’s address will reflect strong, enduring ties between these two allies.

Leo Rennert is a former White House correspondent and Washington bureau chief of McClatchy Newspapers