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Elizabeth Warren will not attend Netanyahu speech

Senator Elizabeth Warren attended banking hearing in Washington on Feb. 24.SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

WASHINGTON — Senator Elizabeth Warren and two other members of the Massachusetts congressional delegation plan to skip Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to Congress Tuesday, saying they are protesting the invitation made by House Speaker John Boehner.

Representatives Katherine Clark, a Melrose Democrat, and Jim McGovern, a Democrat of Worcester, also are planning to miss the event.

Warren announced she would not attend the speech in a statement issued by her office Monday evening.

“I strongly support Israel, and I remain deeply concerned about the prospect of an Iranian nuclear weapon, which I discussed in detail with Prime Minister Netanyahu when we met in Jerusalem last November,’’ the Democratic senator said in a statement. “It’s unfortunate that Speaker Boehner’s actions on the eve of a national election in Israel have made Tuesday’s event more political and less helpful for addressing the critical issue of nuclear nonproliferation and the safety of our most important ally in the Middle East.”

Clark struck a similar tone.


“Speaker Boehner has poisoned a critical foreign policy discussion with partisan gamesmanship,” Clark said in a statement. “I will continue my full-throated support for Israel, but I will not be part of Speaker Boehner’s attempt to divide our Congress and country over one of our strongest allies.”

Netanyahu will appear Tuesday at the invitation of House Speaker Boehner. President Obama and his chief diplomat were not involved in the invitation, a departure from protocol that has injected a sense of partisanship into the speech and outraged some Democrats.

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