Black clergymen from around the country are sending as clear message to members of Congressional Black Caucus: Stick around for Israeli Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to Congress.
Boycotting the speech out of solidarity with President Obama would be “a slap in the face to Israel.”
When about two dozen lawmakers — most of them black caucus members — took the president’s cue and announced they suddenly had more pressing engagements, the clergy informed them that not only would they be doing a disservice, but President Obama is also, according to The Washington Times.
“The thing to me that makes no sense is why the Congressional Black Caucus has teamed up with this current administration against Israel,” Pastor Dexter D. Sanders of the Rock Center for Transformation in Orlando, Fla. told The Times.
“And yes, black caucus, I’m saying you have gone against Israel when you decide to protest the prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, from coming and speaking on the behalf of the nation of Israel,” Sanders continued. “That is a slap in the face to the people of Israel, and not only that, it’s a slap in the face to God. And not only that, it’s also a slap in the face of all Bible-believing African-American people in this country.”
The Times reported:
The Christian pastors, representing churches nationwide from California to New York, delivered an often fiery defense on behalf of the speech at Thursday’s press conference at the National Press Club, organized by the Center for Urban Renewal and Education.
Some black caucus members have argued that the Netanyahu speech comes as an insult to President Obama. House Speaker John Boehner invited the Israeli prime minister without first checking with the president, although Mr. Netanyahu has said he notified the White House before accepting.
Pastor Cecil Blye of More Grace Ministries in Louisville, Ky. said that the repeated claims by black caucus Democrats that House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, broke protocol by inviting Netanyahu without first advising the White House were ridiculous.
“Charges from some members of the United States Congress about the breaking of protocol are no more than a very red herring,” Mr. Blye said. “The American people need to hear Israel’s voice on this urgent matter now. If one side of the aisle can facilitate this, so be it.”
Netanyahu is scheduled to speak Tuesday.
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