Rep. Eric Swalwell and Israeli Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu last year.

CONGRESS | 15TH DISTRICT | House Democrats are still upset with Republican Majority Leader John Boehner for inviting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak before Congress next month. Critics say the move circumvents the White House’s tradition authority on such matters.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported Thursday that Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi isn’t exactly penciling in the Mar. 3 speech on her calendar. Pelosi’s intransigence is not a boycott, she says, but not even Vice President Joe Biden is a sure thing for Netanyahu’s address.

However, East Bay Rep. Eric Swalwell has already RSVP’d for the event.

From the Chronicle:

Rep. Eric Swalwell, a Dublin Democrat recently named to the House Intelligence Committee, said that he plans to attend but that it was “unfortunate that the speaker chose to act so unilaterally.”

Although the invitation was Boehner’s prerogative, Swalwell said, “I don’t think just because you can do something means that you always should.”

He noted that aid and support for Israel is unusual in Congress in that it has near-unanimous backing among both parties. “A lot of people are just questioning — why
would the speaker want to jeopardize that?” Swalwell said.

“I will be there; I will listen,” Swalwell said. “I don’t think two wrongs make a right. I’m not going to be disrespectful toward a head of state from a country that is so important to us, but I think we could have accomplished getting updated by the prime minister in a way that worked with the White House.”

Swalwell’s support for Israel has long been evident. Whether through campaign contributions from pro-Israeli groups or two trips to the Holy Land, Swalwell’s support has been unwavering.

When some Palestinians groups in her 15th Congressional District registered protest at a town hall in San Lorenzo last year, he repeatedly said, “I don’t have a dog in this fight. I just want peace in this area.”

But, the impetus for the protest followed a message Swalwell posted on Facebook which the groups understood to favor Israel lives over those killed in Gaza.

“Innocent civilians in Israel have been under constant attack from rocket attacks from Hamas-controlled Gaza,” Swalwell wrote. “These attacks have recently escalated, with over 500 rockets fired at Israel in just the past month. I stand with Israel as it seeks peace and security in the region.”