Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday doubled down on his intention to speak to a joint session of Congress next month, despite criticism from Democrats who say they will boycott the event.

Netanyahu said he fully intended to make the speech and that he will use the moment to criticize negotiations the Obama administration is holding with Iran, which he argues are endangering Israel.


"A bad deal with Iran is forming in Munich that will endanger Israel's existence," Netanyahu said at an event for his Likud Party, according to The Associated Press. "Therefore, I am determined to go to Washington and present Israel's position before the members of Congress and the American people."

Netanyahu downplayed differences between the U.S. and Israel, arguing that there have "always been essential differences between Israel and the U.S." and that "relations have remained sound."

"This will be the case this time as well," he said, according to Haaretz.

"This is not a political issue or a party issue, neither here nor there. This is an existential issue, and I approach it with the fullest responsibility."

Two more Democrats on Monday said they would skip Netanyahu's address, bringing the total number to 9. Vice President Biden is also not planning on attend and has blamed a scheduling conflict.

Some of the Democrats boycotting the event argue it is meant to undercut President Obama and that it is inappropriate for Netanyahu to be delivering the address just two weeks before Israeli elections.

They have also faulted Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) for inviting Netanyahu to come, arguing it was done without the White House's knowledge and that this was a breach of protocol.

Netanyahu in a message on Twitter said he wasn't worried about protocol.

“At the time that there are people involved in protocol of politics, it’s establishing a bad agreement with Iran that will endanger the existence of Israel,” Netanyahu said on Twitter. “My duty is to do everything in order to stop it.”

— Amie Parnes contributed.

— This story was updated at 2:42 p.m.