Israeli PM Netanyahu Set to Address Congress on July 24

This will be the fourth time Mr. Netanyahu will address Congress, breaking the record held by the late British Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will address a joint session of Congress on July 24, announced House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on June 6.

The speech comes as Israel has been fighting Hamas in Gaza since the terrorist group attacked the Jewish state on Oct. 7, 2023, resulting in the largest single-day massacre of Jews since the Holocaust.

Additionally, the announcement of the speech comes about a couple of weeks after President Joe Biden announced a proposal Israel apparently put forth that would eventually end the war after three stages. However, Mr. Netanyahu said that Israel’s objective of annihilating Hamas has not changed and that there will be no permanent ceasefire unless that happens.

Mr. Johnson, Mr. McConnell, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) sent a letter to Mr. Netanyahu on May 31, inviting him to address Congress.

“We join the State of Israel in your struggle against terror, especially as Hamas continues to hold American and Israeli citizens captive and its leaders jeopardize regional stability,” they wrote.

To build on our enduring relationship and to highlight America’s solidarity with Israel, we invite you to share the Israeli government’s vision for defending democracy, combatting terror, and establishing a just and lasting peace in the region,” they added.

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This comes as there has been tension between Mr. Netanyahu and President Biden, and other U.S. lawmakers over the war, such as over Israel’s planned full-scale military operation in the Gazan city of Rafah.

Members of Congress have already told The Epoch Times whether they would attend the speech were it to happen.

“I probably would not go,” said Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) without elaborating.

The invitation also comes as the International Criminal Court a couple of weeks ago announced it will seek warrants for the arrest of Mr. Netanyahu, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, and Hamas leaders Yahya Sinwar, Ismail Haniyeh, and Mohammed Diab Ibrahim Al-Masri for allegedly committing war crimes and crimes against humanity, beginning with the Hamas attack on Oct. 7 and continuing with Israel’s response.

Rumors about the speech first began to swirl on March 20 that the Republican House speaker was considering inviting the Israeli leader to address Congress. When asked again about the idea during an interview on CNBC’s “Squawk Box“ program on March 21, Mr. Johnson said it was in the works.

The speech comes a few months after Mr. Schumer decried Mr. Netanyahu’s handling of the war and called for new elections in Israel.

On May 21, Mr. Schumer said he supported inviting Mr. Netanyahu to Congress.

The last time Mr. Netanyahu addressed Congress was in 2015, when he warned about the then-upcoming Iran nuclear deal, which he said he opposed because the United States and allies gave Tehran sanctions relief while not adequately addressing its nuclear program and not dealing with Iran’s other activities, such as the regime’s leading support for terrorism.

This will be the fourth time Mr. Netanyahu will address Congress, breaking the record held by the late British Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

Last year, Israeli President Isaac Herzog addressed a joint session of Congress in commemoration of Israel’s 75th birthday. That speech was also boycotted by numerous Democrats.

Stacy Robinson contributed to this report.

Original News Source Link – Epoch Times

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