News Tip: Invitation to Netanyahu 'Totally Inappropriate,' But Not a First, Says Duke Expert
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s impending address to a joint session of Congress Tuesday continues to draw fire. Netanyahu was invited by House Speaker John Boehner, in what many have described as a rebuke to President Obama’s Iran policy.
"It is totally inappropriate for a speaker of the House to get involved in foreign policy in ways that circumvent the president of the United States,” says Bruce Jentleson, Duke University professor of public policy and political science and former senior adviser to the U.S. State Department policy planning director.
“This was true in the late 1980s when Democratic Speaker Jim Wright tried to go around President Reagan by convening his own alternative track peace talks on Nicaragua. It was true when Republican Speaker Newt Gingrich had foreign leaders coming to him not just for courtesy calls but to do business. Regardless of the political parties involved, facilitating end runs by foreign leaders is not the proper role for the speaker.”
Bruce Jentleson is a professor of public policy and political science at Duke University's Sanford School of Public Policy and author of "American Foreign Policy: The Dynamics of Choice in the 21st Century" (5th edition, 2013). In 2009-11 he was a senior advisor at the State Department working on the Middle East and other issues. He also is a Global Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
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