Israeli Election Chief Puts Curbs on PM’s Congress Speech

Speech Will Be Broadcast on 5 Minute Delay in Israel

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s planned speech to the US Congress about the importance of sabotaging negotiations with Iran is set to occur just two weeks before Israel’s election, and is looming large as a campaign subject.

Election Commission chief Salim Joubran doesn’t want the prime minister using the speech to campaign, at least not overtly, and is putting serious curbs on the content of the speech.

Within Israel, Netanyahu’s speech will be broadcast on a 5-minute tape delay, to allow broadcasters to redact any content deemed too political, saying they must not allow “electioneering” in the speech.

Whatever the actual content of the speech, the act of addressing the US Congress itself in the days leading up to the Israeli vote is inherently going to be a political issue, both within the US and Israel. If Netanyahu actual starts campaigning within the speech itself, however, it could backfire, particularly with broadcasters going over his content with a fine-toothed comb.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of