House Speaker John A. Boehner's decision last week to invite Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address Congress in March, just ahead of an election in Israel, appears to be backfiring.
Netanyahu is expected to speak his mind about the threat posed by Iran, a move aimed both at giving momentum to congressional efforts to expand sanctions on the regime in Tehran as well as burnishing the Israeli premier's "Churchillian" chops back home ahead of elections he risks losing.
But, as The Post's Morning Plum observes, it has galvanized Democrats to get behind President Obama, who is staunchly opposed to a sanctions vote because it would undermine current diplomatic efforts to reach a nuclear deal with Iran. The plan to stage the speech was apparently hatched in secret by Boehner (R-Ohio) and Israel's U.S.-born ambassador, Ron Dermer, a former Republican operative, without notifying top Obama administration officials. The White House now deems Netanyahu's visit a breach of protocol and says Obama will not meet with the prime minister so close to his country's elections.