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Nearly half of Americans disapprove of inviting Netanyahu to address Congress

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-03-02 11:28

Nearly half of Americans disapprove of inviting Netanyahu to address Congress

Anti-Israel demonstrators led by the protest group Code Pink protest outside the entrance to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) policy conference at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, March 1, 2015. [Photo/Agencies]

WASHINGTON -- Nearly half of American voters think that US House Speaker John Boehner should not have invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address US Congress without having consulted the White House, according to a new poll released Sunday.

A total of 48 percent of those surveyed believed Boehner's decision to invite Netanyahu without first notifying President Barack Obama was not appropriate, while 30 percent said Republicans should have done so, and another 22 percent said they didn't know enough to answer, according to the NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

The results came amid rising tensions between the Israeli leader and President Obama. The White House has said Obama would not meet with Netanyahu during his visit to Washington, D.C., citing that the visit comes in too close proximity to Israeli elections.

Netanyahu, who views a nuclear Iran as an existential threat to the state of Israel, is expected to reiterate his objections to the negotiations over Iran's nuclear program during his planned speech to US Congress Tuesday. He flew to the United States Sunday.

Susan Rice, Obama's national security advisor, last week called Netanyahu's scheduled speech "destructive" to the relationship between the US and Israel. US Secretary of State John Kerry also slammed Netanyahu for his opposition to the ongoing Iran talks.

The poll surveyed 800 registered voters from Feb. 25-28, with a margin error of 3.5 percentage points.

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