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Dems Freaking Out Over Possibility Of Netanyahu Addressing Congress

The prospect that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu might soon address a joint session of Congress is already stirring a storm of controversy on Capitol Hill, where liberal Democrats — up in arms over Israel’s conduct in the war with Hamas — are already vowing a boycott.

The bitter conflict has been an ongoing headache for President Biden and other Democratic leaders, who are attempting a delicate balance between supporting America’s closest Middle Eastern ally in a time of war while denouncing elements of Netanyahu’s military strategy, which has resulted in thousands of civilian deaths in Gaza.

The dynamics mirror those that accompanied Netanyahu’s last joint address to Congress, in 2015. The Israeli leader, at the invitation of former Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), used the lofty stage to attack then-President Obama over his nascent nuclear deal with Iran — an extraordinary rebuke by a foreign leader on a sitting president’s home turf that was widely denounced by Obama’s Democratic allies.

Nine years later, some of those same Democrats are voicing concerns that Netanyahu would again use the platform to advance his own political agenda, even if it means going after the Biden administration.

“I boycotted his last visit. I certainly will not attend this one,” said Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), a Jewish Democrat who characterized Netanyahu as “a menace.”

“It’s not going to help move us forward — it’s a detriment,” she added. “Should he come for any reason, in any venue, I am not going to be there.”

The pushback comes three days after the International Criminal Court (ICC), an international body based in The Hague, charged Netanyahu and his defense minister with war crimes for their military operations in Gaza following Hamas’s Oct. 7 terrorist attacks. Among the charges, the ICC has accused the Israeli leaders of directly targeting civilians and using starvation as a weapon of war — allegations that have only fueled the liberal opposition to Netanyahu’s potential visit.

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