Daily Caller editor-in-chief Tucker Carlson became an unexpected addition to the chorus of people critical of Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer following the news that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had been invited to address a joint session of Congress next month.
He was asked on Fox News about reports that Vice President Joe Biden and Democratic National Committee chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz would not attend Netanyahu’s speech on Iran. The White House has also said that President Barack Obama will not meet with Netanyahu during his visit to Washington, D.C., citing the Israeli elections two weeks after the speech.
The speech has rankled Democrats because House Speaker John Boehner extended the invitation without consulting the Obama administration. Dermer reportedly coordinated with Boehner’s office on the invitation.
“The whole thing is just so sad. It’s not like the United States has too many allies. To see a rift between the U.S. and Israel is just depressing,” Carlson said. “I think there’s a lot of blame to go around. I do think there is a problem with the Israeli ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer.”
“He went up to the Hill and gave a briefing to members, some of whom are very strongly pro-Israel,” he continued. “I know some of them and I talked to some of them and some of them said, ‘Look, this guy just flat-out alienated us.’ So I think it’s a mistake not to meet with Netanyahu for the White House. But I also think Israel, and our relationship with Israel, is not being well served by the ambassador to the United States from Israel. And that’s just a shame.”
Dermer has been trying to ease the tensions caused by the speech invitation in recent days, meeting with a number of House Democrats on Capitol Hill. But the list of Democrats who say they won’t attend the speech has continued to grow.