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Rangel Wants To Meet With Israeli Envoy Over Netanyahu Capitol Hill Speech

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Rep. Charles Rangel says he'd like to meet with an Israeli diplomat to discuss Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's scheduled speech on Capitol Hill next month.

Speaking at a function for the Jewish Community Relations Council on Sunday in Manhattan, the dean of New York's congressional delegation said he'll ask for a meeting with Israel's deputy consul general "to see what good could possibly come out of a visit where the president has not been invited, the vice president is out of the country."

Rangel, D-N.Y., said Israel has always been a source of bipartisan support, WCBS 880's Jim Smith reported. But some Democrats are reportedly planning to boycott Netanyahu's address to a joint session of Congress, charging that Republicans ignored protocol by inviting the prime minister without first consulting the president and that the speech opens the Capitol up to Israeli politics.

The address is scheduled to come as negotiations are concluding between the Obama administration and Iran over the future of the Iranian nuclear program.

Rangel Wants To Meet With Israeli Envoy Before Netanyahu Capitol Hill Speech

"I have never thought that the Republican Party would use the politics of Israel to further divide the House of Representatives," Rangel said.

Rangel did not say if he will skip the speech.

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, has defended his invitation to Netanyahu, saying he thinks it's important for Americans to hear what the prime minister has to say about topics such as Iran and the threat of radical Islamic terrorism.

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