House Dem Not Attending Netanyahu’s Joint Congressional Address

Another House Democrat has pulled out the upcoming joint congressional address from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on July 24. Speaking on Sunday’s episode of NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) said that he would not be attending the event.

Complaining about Netanyahu’s treatment of former President Barack Obama, Khanna said, “He should not expect reciprocity.”

“I will not attend. I said that if he wants to come to speak to members of Congress about how to end the war and release hostages, I would be fine doing that, but I’m not going to sit in a one-way lecture,” the lawmaker continued.

“And I agree with Representative Clyburn. I mean, how he treated President Obama, he should not expect reciprocity. That said, I think it should be polite. We’re not going to make a big deal about it. He’s obviously addressing the Congress, and there has to be decorum,” he added.

Khanna’s revelation of his plan to ditch the congressional address puts him with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who has also said that he would be skipping the address. When he made his announcement earlier in the month, Sanders accused Netanyahu of causing the civilian deaths in Gaza, ignoring the bit where Hamas terrorists use Palestinian civilians as human shields.

“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 June 1 statement.

Pointing to casualty numbers provided by the Hamas-controlled Gaza Health Ministry, Sanders stated, “What [Speaker Mike] Johnson is going to have to explain to the American people is why he thinks it’s OK to invite somebody to a joint session who is responsible for the deaths of some 38,000 Palestinians at this point, 60% of whom are women and children, elderly people.”

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

Other progressive lawmakers, like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have voiced opposition to the planned address, even though they did not outrightly say they would not attend.

Doubting that the appearance would be “productive,” Ocasio-Cortez told reporters, “Not only is there very little purpose to it, but I think it is patently unproductive. 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. I certainly do not approve of it, potentially may not attend.”

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