Jeremy Burton Statement on Boston Herald Article

In an article published in today’s (2/18/15) Boston Herald (Elizabeth Warren can raise stature if she stiffs Bibi), a statement was attributed to me that I did not make regarding Prime Minister Netanyahu’s address to Congress. The Herald has since updated the online version of the article to no longer suggest that I said that “[Warren] skipping the event won’t cost her.”

It is deeply unfortunate that this statement was initially attributed to me. I share the anger of those members of our community who see this quote as in any way diminishing the value of their voices in the conversation about whether members of our congressional delegation should attend the speech as an expression of respect and support for the US-Israel relationship.

What I told this reporter and what I have said often in recent weeks is that it is a vital concern of the Boston Jewish community as well as to the people of Israel that the US-Israel partnership - which our congressional delegation has historically and strongly supported – must not become a partisan issue in Washington.

Reasonable people have concerns about the timing of the Prime Minister’s address to Congress. Some will choose to attend and some will not. We are not encouraging or discouraging Senator Warren or the rest of the Massachusetts delegation from attending the speech.

I have had many discussions with Senator Warren about the Iranian nuclear threat and I know she takes these issues seriously and examines them with great thoughtfulness.  Senator’s Warren’s decision to attend or not attend Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech to Congress next month should not be the defining factor of how her strong and ongoing support for the US-Israel relationship is perceived.

The speech, and who attends it, is not the issue. The real issue is the serious threat of a nuclear capable Iran. We cannot take this threat lightly and we need to have an honest, thoughtful discussion without partisan rhetoric or divisive actions for political gain. Regardless of the decisions individual members of our delegation make in the coming week about attendance, we look forward to working with them to ensure that the US-Israel partnership continues to be a robust one, and to examine the issues related to the Iranian threat in a fair and thoughtful way.

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Jeremy Burton
Executive Director
Jewish Community Relations Council