Susan Rice Slams Netanyahu Visit as 'Destructive'
Says PM is damaging Israel's relationship with Washington
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Feb 25, 2015 9:15 AM CST
National Security Adviser Susan Rice.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(Newser) Controversy has been swirling over the Israeli prime minister's upcoming speech to a joint session of Congress, which John Boehner planned without Obama administration approval and comes shortly before Israeli elections. Now, National Security Adviser Susan Rice is bashing the visit as having "injected a degree of partisanship, which is not only unfortunate, I think it's destructive of the fabric of the relationship," she told Charlie Rose yesterday. The New York Times calls the comment "the strongest public rebuke" the administration has made of the trip, noting that it sends a clear signal about the potential damage to ties between the countries.

Meanwhile, some Senate Democrats have asked for a closed-door meeting with Netanyahu while he's here—an invitation he has turned down, NBC News reports. "Though I appreciate your kind invitation to meet with Democratic Senators, I believe that doing so at this time could compound the misperception of partisanship regarding my upcoming visit," Netanyahu wrote to Dick Durbin and Dianne Feinstein. Durbin says it's "disappointing" that Netanyahu declined "an opportunity to balance the politically divisive invitation from Speaker Boehner."