Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) gave Republicans a piece of his mind during a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing this Thursday over their love of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and the disrespect shown to President Obama.
CONNOLLY: Unfortunately I have to begin by chastising my friends. My friend the chair, who is truly my friend referred to the President as having a temper tantrum about Prime Minister Netanyahu and Mr. Chabot, my friend from Ohio who is also my friend said there's no president who has done more to damage the U.S./Israeli relationship.
I cannot let that go by. A foreign leader has insulted the head of state of the United States government. It’s not a temper tantrum, and it didn’t start with President Obama. It started with Bibi Netanyahu.
You can decide for yourself whether it was appropriate for him to speak to a joint session, but the process is beyond dispute. It was an insult to this government. Friends don’t act that way.
And I would say to my friend Mr. Chabot from Ohio, it would come as news to Shimon Peres, the outgoing president of Israel, who gave President Obama the highest award the Israeli government can give for his support of Israel.
At some point, does the partisan rhetoric ever stop? Where are your loyalties with respect to the prerogatives of this government and our country? And the shameless way Mr. Netanyahu has conducted himself deserves reproach. And I think the president has actually shown restraint.
And I say this as somebody who has a 35-year record of unwavering support for Israel. I’m not a critic of the Israeli government, but I am a critic of how this prime minister has treated my president, everyone’s president. And I cannot sit here and listen to the waving away of bad behavior that is an insult to my country.
We have one president. Whether you like him or not, whether you want to take political issue with him or not, fair enough. That’s fair game. But when a foreign leader insults him, that should not be fair game, and that should never be apologized away, because it damages relationships long-term. It puts a divide where there was never a divide in public opinion in my country, and I worry about that long- term. I hope you do too.
It's sure to fall on deaf ears, but I'm glad he said it.