NY State Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn) is appealing to fellow Democrats not to turn their backs on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who is scheduled to address Congress tomorrow. In an impassioned appeal to each individual Democrat who has publicly stated his or her intentions not to attend Netanyahu’s address, Hikind is urging the lawmakers to remember that it is Iran, not Israel, that has long been an enemy of the United States and that listening to Netanyahu is in America’s best interests.
“I am reaching out as a Democrat and a fellow American to respectfully request that our representatives reconsider,” said Hikind. “I understand their concerns about protocols, but I believe this matter is far too serious to allow protocols or etiquette to get in the way. For Israel, it is a question of life and death.”
Hikind explained that the U.S. government has long recognized Iran as the world’s foremost state sponsor of terrorism. “Iran allies itself with recognized terror organizations such as Hezbollah and Hamas while its leaders unashamedly declare their goal to destroy the State of Israel,” he said. “As such, I believe U.S. leaders are duty-bound to ensure that Iran is not given the weapons to make good on their threats. A nuclear Iran endangers not only the citizens of our ally Israel and our other allies in the Middle East, but also the people of the United States.
“It is time to look past decorum and get to the heart of the matter. It is in the best interests of the United States that we listen carefully to Prime Minister Netanyahu. Consequently, I implore our representatives-my fellow Democrats-not to boycott the Prime Minister’s address, and not to let this issue divide us.”