Bernie Sanders ‘Will Not Attend’ Netanyahu Speech Before Congress


Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said he would “not attend” a speech given by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after Republican and Democrat lawmakers invited Netanyahu to speak before a “Joint Meeting of Congress.”

Sanders issued a press release on Saturday describing Netanyahu as a “war criminal” and stating that he “should not be invited to address a joint meeting of Congress.”

House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA), Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) wrote a letter addressed to Netanyahu on Friday, inviting him to speak before a “Joint Meeting of Congress.”

Netanyahu accepted the invitation, stating that he was “excited for the privilege to present in front of the representatives of the American people and the entire world the truth about our just war against those who wish to kill us,” according to the Times of Israel.

Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (not pictured) speak to the media following talks at the Chancellery on March 16, 2023 in Berlin, Germany. Netanyahu’s one-day visit to Berlin is being accompanied by protests, including both by people angry over Israel’s policies towards Palestinians as well as those critical of possible new legislation in Israel supported by Netanyahu that would undermine the independence and the power of Israel’s Supreme Court, effectively curtailing democracy in Israel. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

“It is a very sad day for our country that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been invited – by leaders from both parties – to address a joint meeting of the United States Congress,” Sanders said in his statement.

While Sanders acknowledged that Israel had a “right to defend itself against” Hamas’s October 7, 2023 attack, which left 1,200 murdered and more than 250 people taken as hostages, he added that “It did not, and does not” give Israel the right “to go to war against the entire Palestinian people.”

Sanders continued to reference how the International Criminal Court (ICC) had announced it was seeking arrest warrants for Netanyahu, Israel Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, and three Hamas leaders.

The ICC “recently announced that it is seeking warrants for the arrest of Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel, and Yahya Sinwar, the leader of Hamas,” Sanders said in his statement. “The ICC is right. Both of these people are engaged in clear and outrageous violations of international law.”

“Benjamin Netanyahu is a war criminal,” Sanders continued. “He should not be invited to address a joint meeting of Congress. I certainly will not attend.”

Sanders has been critical of Israel as it has continued a military offensive operation against Hamas in the aftermath of the U.S.-designated terror organization’s attack on Israel.

At the beginning of May, during an interview on NBC’s Meet the Press, Sanders said Israel had broken international law and should not get “another nickel” from the United States in foreign aid.

When asked in an interview with CNN what exactly Israel should do to eliminate Hamas, Sanders has stated that it is “a difficult issue,” and that Israel can not “destroy the entire people” in Gaza.





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