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Cancel the Netanyahu speech

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu intends to go ahead with his speech to Congress on Iran's nuclear program despite the accusation by Deputy Foreign Minister Tzachi Hanegbi that House Speaker John Boehner misrepresented the invitation. The whole thing is so disingenuous given the involvement in the invitation by Ron Dermer (Israel's ambassador to the U.S., a close adviser to Mr. Netanyahu and long-time Republican Party insider).

But before Mr. Netanyahu lectures us on our policies, he should be candid about his own nuclear weapons. One hundred eighty-nine countries have signed the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty, including the U.S. and Iran. Israel is not party to the treaty along with North Korea, Pakistan and India. Why would Mr. Boehner invite the leader of a country whose nuclear weapons policy is opacity? Why would he invite someone who in 2012 at the United Nations said that Iran could create a nuclear weapon within a year, while Mossad (Israel's intelligence service) concluded Iran was "not performing the activity necessary to produce weapons?" Mr. Netanyahu won't be candid about his nuclear weapons and he falsely accuses Iran about their program.

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So where do we go from here? Mr. Boehner should apologize to the American people for the humiliation that he's brought on us by submitting our political processes to approval by a foreign leader. He should cancel the invitation. The U.S. should expel Ambassador Dermer as a persona non grata. His conduct is inconsistent with his diplomatic status.

Richard Heffern, Baltimore

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