WASHINGTON, Feb. 8 (UPI) -- Pro-Israeli leaders have urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to cancel his controversial speech to Congress, while some condemn the possibility of a speech boycott.
Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism, said it was a "bad idea" for Netanyahu to carry out his speech to Congress so closely to the elections in Israel to be held March 17. The Union for Reform Judaism is one of the largest Jewish organizations in North America.
Netanyahu will speak about the dangers of a nuclear-powered Iran to a joint session of Congress scheduled on March 3.
"I would want him to re-think it," Jacobs said. "He should find another way to express his voice."
Other leaders have also called on Netanyahu to cancel his speech, stating the controversy surrounding the speech is becoming a distraction that may take away from the goal of stopping Iran from gaining nuclear weapons.
Leaders fear the controversy will turn Israeli affairs into a partisan issue in U.S. politics and create a divide in the Jewish community.
National Director of the Anti-Defamation League Abraham Foxman said prohibiting a nuclear-powered Iran is a shared goal.
"It has been hijacked by politics," Foxman said. "Now is a time to recalibrate, restart and find a new platform and new timing to take away the distractions."
Seymour Reich, former chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish American Organizations, said Netanyahu should "bite the bullet and postpone his address."
The White House has said President Barack Obama will not meet Netanyahu during his trip. Multiple high-profile Democrats such as Vice President Joe Biden and Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., the first Jewish congressman from Tennessee, may not attend Netanyahu's speech.
"We will commit whatever resources we need to make sure that people are aware of the facts," Brooks said. "That given the choice to stand with Israel and Prime Minister Netanyahu in opposition to a nuclear Iran, they chose partisan interests and to stand with President Obama."
Klein said that his organization "will, of course, be publicly condemning any Democrats who don't show up for the speech -- unless they have a doctor's note."
Sheldon Adelson, a "casino king" worth $28.9 billion, is the largest donor to the Republican Jewish Coalition. Adelson has spent millions of dollars attempting to defeat Democratic candidates in previous elections, including $100 million trying to put a Republican candidate in the White House in 2012.