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Israeli Leader's Scheduled Speech Splits Ohio Congress Delegation

Tom Borgerding / WOSU News
Democratic U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) said during a Monday appearance in Columbus that he'll attend Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech to a joint session of Congress.

Some democrats, including at least two Ohio members of Congress, plan to boycott Tuesday’s scheduled speech to a joint session of Congress by Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.

The Israeli Prime Minister was invited to address Congress by Ohio Republican Speaker John Boehner. Boehner did not inform the White House of the invite. The snub prompted some democrats, including Marcie Kaptur and Marcia Fudge of Ohio, to boycott the speech. Senator Sherrod Brown says he’ll listen to the Prime Minister.

  “I plan to attend Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech,” says Brown (D-Ohio)

Q) Why did you decide ultimately to attend?

“Well it was an easy decision. I respect Israel. I respect one of the world’s best, most vibrant democracies, one of our closest allies. Our single closest ally in the Middle East. I respect the office of Prime Minister of Israel. So, I’m going to show up,” adds Senator Brown.

Democratic Congresswoman Joyce Beatty says she’ll attend the speech. And, as a former member of congress, Governor John Kasich, will also attend Netanyahu’s speech. The Israeli Prime Minister has been critical of Obama Administration efforts to reach a nuclear deal with Iran.