AFRICANGLOBE- A large majority of Americans do not want Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address Congress, according to a new poll released Tuesday.
Sixty-three percent of Americans opposed House Speaker John Boehner’s invitation to Netanyahu, without first consulting the White House, to speak to Congress about what is believed will be international negotiations with Iran.
Thirty-three percent said it was the right thing to do invite Netanyahu.
Among 1,027 U.S. adults who participated in the Feb. 12 -15 survey by CNN/ORC, even those who identified themselves as Republicans, traditionally strong supporters of Israel, were conflicted about the Israeli prime minister’s invitation, with 52 percent agreeing with the invite and 45 percent opposed to it.
The overwhelming majority of Democrats, 81 percent, opposed the invitation while 14 approved. Among Independents, 61 percent opposed and 36 percent approved.
In January, Boehner extended the invitation to Netanyahu, who has twice spoken to Congress – in 1996 and in 2011 – to address a joint session of U.S. lawmakers.
In his speech, Netanyahu is expected to make a case for increased sanctions against Iran.
The White House considered Boehner’s move a “breach of protocol” and said President Barack Obama would not meet with the Israeli leader while he was in the U.S.
While a majority of Americans are opposed to Netanyahu’s invitation, 66 percent said the U.S. should remain neutral on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, while 29 percent backed Israel. Just 2 percent supported Palestine.
Republicans were divided almost evenly about the U.S.’s role in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. When asked if the U.S. should officially support Israel in the conflict, 49 percent of Republican respondents supported the idea, while 47 percent wanted the U.S. to stay out of it.
The poll also indicated that in the long-term, Americans’ views on the conflict supports a neutral U.S. as 56 percent of those age 50 or older believe the U.S. should stay out of the Israeli-Palestinian fight, while 75 percent of Americans younger than age 50 feel the same.