Majority of Israelis think Netanyahu should cancel Congress speech

Published February 9th, 2015 - 06:47 GMT
A new study reported Americans aren't the only ones who contest the prime minister's appearance in front of US Congress. (AFP/File)
A new study reported Americans aren't the only ones who contest the prime minister's appearance in front of US Congress. (AFP/File)

As Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu begins to re-think the format of his upcoming speech before the US Congress, Israeli voters weigh in on that controversial speech. 

According to a survey conducted by Army Radio and market research agency Millward Brown, a majority of respondents believe Netanyahu has no need to travel to Washington. 

However, an overwhelming majority said the trip to the US and the speech there would not affect their vote for looming Israeli elections on March 17. 

Fourty-seven percent of respondents said the Prime Minister should cancel the speech, opposed to 34 percent who say he ought to go despite pressure within Israel and from abroad. Nineteen percent abstained. 

The survey also examined how the saga over the Congress speech has affected support for Netanyahu (and the Likud party) in elections for the 20th Knesset. 

Nineteen percent of respondents said the Congress speech reduces the chances of them supporting Netanyahu, whereas 12 percent said the speech increases their support for the prime minister. 

However, 63 percent registered that the speech did not affect their choice of vote whatsoever. 

The speech, initiated by House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner without the knowledge of the White House, was met with an icy response by US President Barack Obama's administration. 

It also sparked a fiery backlash both in Israel and the US, and saw Democratic legislators debating whether or not to boycott, as well as American Jewish leaders urging Netanyahu to cancel. 


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