Yarmuth rails against 'condescending' speech from Israeli PM Netanyahu

03/03/2015 02:47 PM

Calling Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s remarks to a joint session of Congress an “impressive bit of political theater,” U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Louisville, said he felt validated for not attending the speech Tuesday.

In mid-February Yarmuth issued a statement saying he would not be attending the address from Netanyahu, at the time calling the speech a “sad and ridiculous” litmus test for support of Israel.

Yarmuth’s statements to the media Tuesday came following the address by Netanyahu and was carried online by NBC and Fox News . In the speech Yarmuth said he “resented the condescending tone” from the Israeli prime minister two weeks ahead of a closely fought election in Israel.

In Congress, Netanyahu said Iran’s nuclear program constitutes a “threat to the entire world.” Yarmuth said the president has made clear the U.S. understands the threat from Iran.

“We all know that — it’s nice of him to remind us,” Yarmuth said. “I also resent the fact that he was telling us how to negotiate.”

The White House and congressional Democrats have criticized Netanyahu’s speech to lawmakers, which came at the request of Republicans in Congress and without consultation from the White House.

“This speech was straight out of the Dick Cheney playbook,” Yarmuth said.

The United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia and China have been in negotiations with Iran to limit the country’s nuclear program. Currently the countries are offering sanctions relief for a halt to the program, fearing Iran has hopes of building a nuclear weapon.


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