When Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu received an invite to address Congress, many Democrats feared Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) was giving Netanyahu a platform to bolster his re-election campaign.
According to the Huffington Post, the U.S. has had a longstanding policy to not interfere with foreign elections:
“The United States has a policy of not meeting with foreign leaders in advance of elections, so as not to appear to be tilting the electoral balance. But Netanyahu insisted that his motivations had nothing to do with the election, and that the timing of the speech was demanded by the urgency of the Iran nuclear negotiations. There was simply no time to waste.”
Netanyahu gave his speech anyway, dismissing the idea that he would use the speech to stump for his re-election bid.
However, on Thursday, Netanyahu’s political party, The Likud Party, released a new ad, just five days before the election.
In the ad, there are short scenes from Netanyahu’s address to Congress, showing images of him speaking in front of the joint-session, as well as scenes of applause by members of Congress.
Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN), who was overtly opposed to Netanyahu’s appearance before Congress, now says that his “fears are being realized.” The Hill reports:
“The Tennessee Democrat said he suspected Netanyahu would use the footage for campaign ads ahead of the Israeli elections next week, given that he had done so in the past.
‘I had hoped this prediction might have had a chilling effect and caused the prime minister to reconsider before using Congress as a campaign backdrop. Instead, my fears have been realized,’ Cohen said in a statement.”
— Steve Cohen (@RepCohen) March 12, 2015
Although the video is in Hebrew, Mediaite gives a synopsis of the 70 second ad:
“‘The ad mainly focused on a speech he gave elsewhere, and also showed Israeli military equipment — presumably the ‘Iron Dome’ system. Curiously, there seem to be Israeli lawmakers yelling things at Netanyahu that are are clearly audible above the music.'”
On Tuesday, March 17th, Prime Minister Netanyahu will be fighting for re-election as the Prime Minister of Israel. If he wins, he will become the only man to be elected four times to the PM role in Israel’s modern history.