More than 70 percent of the federal legislators who have announced their intent to skip Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu’s March 3 speech to a joint session of Congress about the Iranian nuclear threat are endorsed by the left-wing lobby J Street.
J Street has endorsed 18 of 24 House of Representatives members and two of four U.S. senators who are skipping Netanyahu’s speech, according to the lobby’s announcements of endorsements for elections in 2010, 2012, and 2014.
In advance of Netanyahu’s speech, J Street distributed an online petition opposing the speech on the grounds that the prime minister of Israel “is not the spokesman for all Jews.”
“Add your name. Help us let [Israel’s Ambassador in Washington, Ron Dermer, know that-as an American, as a Jew-Benjamin Netanyahu doesn’t speak for you,” the J Street petition said.
The J Street-endorsed members of Congress skipping Netanyahu’s speech include U.S. Sens. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) and Tim Kaine (D-Va.), as well as U.S. Reps. Earl Blumenaur (D-Ore.), James Clyburn (D-S.C.), Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), Diana DeGette (D-Colo.), Donna Edwards (D-Md.), Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.), Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.), Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas), Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), John Lewis (D-Ga.), Betty McCollum (D-Minn.), Jim McDermott (D-Wash.), Chellie Pingree (D-Maine), Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.), Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), and John Yarmuth (D-Ky.).