Netanyahu’s Congress speech to be aired in Israel with delay


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to a joint session of the U.S. Congress will be broadcast in Israel on a five-minute delay.

The delay ordered Monday by Israel’s Central Election Committee Chairman Justice Salim Joubran will allow news editors to remove campaign propaganda before it is aired.

A petition filed by the left-wing Meretz party had asked the committee to prevent media outlets from broadcasting the March 3 speech, saying it was illegal campaigning.

Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein ruled last week that the speech could be broadcast in Israel without violating election propaganda laws because it is newsworthy and a current event.

Israel’s national elections are scheduled for two weeks after the speech, on March 17.

The speech has caused controversy both in the United States and at home for Netanyahu. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry have said they will not meet with the prime minister, citing the Israeli elections so soon after as making such a meeting inappropriate.

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