Majority of Americans Against Netanyahu Address

Majority of Americans Against Netanyahu AddressMajority of Americans Against Netanyahu Address

A large majority of Americans believe that Republican congressional leaders should not have invited Netanyahu to speak to Congress without consulting the White House, according to a new joint CNN-ORC survey.

The nationwide poll, released Tuesday, showed 63 percent of Americans say it was a bad move for congressional leadership to extend the invitation without giving President Barack Obama a heads up that it was coming. Only 33 percent said it was the right thing to do, CNN wrote.

And as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict continues to simmer in the Middle East, the survey found that a similar majority thinks the US should stay out of that fight altogether.

House Speaker John Boehner's invitation to Netanyahu sparked international controversy and further strained the already tense relations between the US and Israeli leaders.

Netanyahu is expected to make the case to Congress next month for increased sanctions on Iran, a key point of contention between the Israeli leader and Obama, who has been urging Congress to hold off on further sanctions for fear of jeopardizing ongoing nuclear talks.

A growing number of Democrats in both chambers, alongside Obama, have said that they won't be attending the speech.

Though the speech has become a partisan issue on Capitol Hill, even Republicans are split on whether it was a good idea for leadership to invite Netanyahu without alerting the White House, with a slight majority — 52 percent — backing the move. Just 14 percent of Democrats say it was the right thing to do, and just over a third of independents support the move.


Report Blasts Netanyahu's Spending

A report by Israel's state auditor found on Tuesday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had improperly used state funds for his family, firing up center-left opponents before a parliamentary election next month.

The report by auditor Joseph Shapira - drawn up after complaints by members of parliament about spending by Netanyahu and his wife - concludes that Netanyahu and his wife had run up household costs that were "significantly excessive" and "inconsistent with the basic principles of proportionality, sensibility, thrift and efficiency."

However, the absence of any substantial criminal impropriety and a forthright campaign by Netanyahu's right-wing party against the report looked likely to limit its electoral impact, Al-Arabiya reported.

The Likud party said in a statement that the media campaign over the report "is a clear attempt to topple the prime minister and the Likud government by trifling with petty issues and distracting voters."

The party added that many of the shortcomings cited had already been rectified and the prime minister was acting on other issues.