SHAFAQNA- The former US secretary of state, James Baker, has sharply criticised Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s planned visit to Washington to speak before Congress, Israel’s Maariv newspaper has reported.
Baker, who served as secretary of state during the rule of former US president George W. Bush said that, “if Netanyahu took the initiative to be invited to speak before the Congress without coordinating with the White House, then it is a flagrant violation of the protocol.”
Speaking during an interview with CBS’s “Face the Nation”, Baker noted: “I can’t remember an instance in which it’s been done”, stressing that “this could cost Netanyahu dearly on Election Day.”
“The speaker of the House has every right in the world to invite whoever he wants to speak to the House; it’s a coequal branch of government. But the executive branch of government really has the primary power and responsibility and authority to conduct the nation’s foreign policy. It’s not in the Congress; it’s in the executive branch. So our foreign policy benefits when there’s cooperation and so does the issue of US-Israeli relations,” he added.
Baker went on to say that, “Netanyahu, with this visit, repeats what happened with former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, who lost elections to opponent Yitzhak Rabin because he was unable to manage relations with the United States.”
“Nothing is more important to the citizens of Israel than to know that their leadership is properly managing the relationship with their most important ally,” he reiterated.