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Saturday, July 20, 2024

AOC Says Congress Should Disinvite ‘War Criminal’ Netanyahu

'I think it's counterproductive right now for him to address Congress, particularly as we continue to try to nail down details on the cease-fire...'

(Headline USA) Rep. Alexandria Ocasio–Cortez, D-N.Y., blasted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a “war criminal” this week and argued Congress should disinvite him from addressing lawmakers next month.

House and Senate leaders invited Netanyahu to deliver a joint address on July 24 in a show of support for Israel’s continued military campaign in Gaza. But several Democrats, including Ocasio–Cortez, have protested the visit.

“This man should not be addressing Congress. He is a war criminal,” Ocasio–Cortez wrote on X. “And he certainly has no regard for US law, which is explicitly designed to prevent US weapons from facilitating human rights abuses. His invitation should be revoked. It should have never been sent in the first place.”

Earlier this month, Ocasio–Cortez claimed Netanyahu’s visit would be “counterproductive”—unless he wants to meet with Congress to announce a ceasefire against Hamas.

“I think it’s counterproductive right now for him to address Congress, particularly as we continue to try to nail down details on the cease-fire,” she said. “I certainly do not approve of it, potentially may not attend.”

Several other progressive Democrats have announced similar plans to boycott Netanyahu’s address.

“I don’t plan to attend, and I will plan to participate in whatever advocacy is being done to push for Netanyahu and Hamas to agree to a ceasefire,” said Rep. Greg Casar, D-Texas. “Instead of coming here, we need Netanyahu to stop bombing indiscriminately in Gaza and for him to respect the president’s red line of not having continued military operations in Rafah.”

Even Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., the former House whip, said he would boycott the address, citing Netanyahu’s past tensions with former President Barack Obama.

The progressives’ complaints reflect a growing fracture in the Democratic Party over the Gaza conflict—one that could jeopardize President Joe Biden’s standing in November’s election.

Perhaps in recognition of this, Biden himself has become more vocal of Netanyahu publicly, demanding that Israel pull out of Rafah and threatening to withhold further military aid if the Jewish state refuses.

As of May 2024, as many as 120 hostages were being held by Hamas. The Wall Street Journal reported that as few as 50 hostages were estimated to still be alive, citing U.S. officials.

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