The US Congress will hear from Netanyahu on 24 July

USA TODAY

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will address US lawmakers in Washington DC on 24 July, congressional leaders announced on Thursday.
He will speak to both chambers of Congress – the Senate and the House of Representatives – as the Israel-Gaza war continues.
Republicans and Democrats both invited the prime minister to speak, but the date of his speech was not made official until Thursday.
Mr Netanyahu condemned the ICC move, saying he rejected with disgust that “democratic Israel” had been compared to what he called “mass murderers”.
Top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer said in a separate statement that he supported the invitation despite his “clear and profound disagreements with the Prime Minister, which I have voiced both privately and publicly”.
“But because America’s relationship with Israel is ironclad and transcends one person or prime minister I joined the request for him to speak,” he said.
Hamas-led fighters killed about 1,200 people and took 251 others hostage during an attack on southern Israel on 7 October.
Mr Netanyahu last spoke to the US Congress in 2015, when both chambers were controlled by Republicans.

POSITIVE

Congressmen announced on Thursday that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will speak to US lawmakers on July 24 in Washington, DC.

As the Israel-Gaza conflict rages, he will address the Senate and the House of Representatives in Congress.

Even though the prime minister was invited by both Republicans and Democrats to speak, his speech’s official date was not announced until this past Thursday.

On charges pertaining to the war, the prosecutor for the International Criminal Court filed an application last month for arrest warrants against the Israeli leader and Yoav Galant, his minister of defense.

Mr. Netanyahu denounced the ICC’s decision, expressing disgust at the comparison of “democratic Israel” to “mass murderers.”.

In a statement made public by congressional leaders, Mr. Netanyahu stated that he was “extremely moved to have the privilege of representing Israel.”. to tell the truth about our rightful fight against those who would destroy us.

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, both Republicans, invited the prime minister and expressed their hope that Mr. Netanyahu would seize the chance to “share the Israeli government’s vision for defending democracy, combatting terror, and establishing a just and lasting peace in the region.”.

The timing of Mr. Netanyahu’s visit coincides with a deteriorating relationship with the US, particularly among influential US Democrats.

In a different statement, leading Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer stated that he accepted the invitation in spite of his “clear and profound disagreements with the Prime Minister, which I have voiced both privately and publicly.”.

“However, I supported the call for him to speak because America’s relationship with Israel is unwavering and goes beyond any one person or prime minister,” he added.

As the war drags on and the number of casualties in Gaza rises, US President Joe Biden, a Democrat, has also become more critical of Israel.

Political pressure from the left wing of his party has mounted on Mr. Biden, who is seeking reelection in November, to exert more effort in persuading Israel to halt its war in Gaza.

A number of progressive figures, including Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, have declared their intention to abstain from attending Mr. Netanyahu’s speech as a mark of disapproval of Israel’s actions in the Gaza Strip.

During an attack on southern Israel on October 7, fighters led by Hamas killed approximately 1,200 people and kidnapped 251 more.

Since then, fighting has lasted for nearly eight months in Gaza, and the health ministry run by Hamas reports that at least 36,470 people have died there.

A six-week cease-fire in Gaza would be the result of a cease-fire agreement that Mr. Biden recently made public on behalf of his administration.

A permanent end to the war would be followed by a “surge” in humanitarian aid and the exchange of some hostages for Palestinian prisoners, according to the president’s three-part plan, which was unveiled last week.

However, some members of Israel’s government have voiced their opposition to the proposal, which has cast doubt on the possibility of an agreement.

Israel’s ruling coalition is united against the agreement, which Hanoch Milwidsky, a senior member of the Knesset for Mr. Netanyahu’s Likud Party, called “completely unacceptable.” He spoke with the BBC on Sunday.

When Republicans controlled both chambers of Congress in 2015, Mr. Netanyahu gave his last speech to them. Utilizing the occasion, he chastised Democratic President Barack Obama for his pursuit of an agreement with US allies and Iran to reduce Tehran’s nuclear program.

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