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Israeli Ambassador Defends Netanyahu Speech To Congress As 'Sacred Duty'

AP Photo / Gali Tibbon

"Now there may be some people who believe that the Prime Minister of Israel should have declined an invitation to speak before the most powerful parliament in the world on an issue that concerns the future and survival of Israel," Dermer said. "But we have learned from our history that the world becomes a more dangerous place for the Jewish people when the Jewish people are silent."

"That is why the Prime Minister feels the deepest moral obligation to appear before the Congress to speak about an existential issue facing the one and only Jewish state," he continued. "This is not just the right of the Prime Minister of Israel. It is his most sacred duty -- to do whatever he can to prevent Iran from ever developing nuclear weapons that can be aimed at Israel."

Dermer, who was Netanyahu's top political adviser before becoming ambassador in 2013, coordinated with Boehner's office to arrange the prime minister's speech, according to Hareetz.

The White House has called the March 3 speech, planned without consultation with the administration, a breach of protocol. President Barack Obama will not meet with Netanyahu when he comes to Washington, D.C., with the White House citing the Israeli elections two weeks later.