Netanyahu Congress Address Date Yet To Be Finalized

( – The top four leaders of the US Senate and House last Friday extended a formal invitation to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address a Joint Session of Congress.

The prime minister accepted the invitation, saying in a statement that he was “moved” to be invited on behalf of Israel to “present the truth about our just war” to the US Congress, the American people, “and the entire world.

Media outlets initially reported that the scheduled date for Netanyahu’s speech was set for June 13. However, the prime minister’s office confirmed on June 4 that the speech would not take place on the thirteenth as it was the second day of the Jewish holiday Shavuot.

In their May 31 letter to Netanyahu, Speaker Mike Johnson, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell wrote that because the United States joined Israel in its “struggle against terror,” particularly in light of the American and Israeli hostages held captive by Hamas, the bipartisan leadership of Congress invited him to address a Joint Session of Congress.

A spokesman for Speaker Johnson told Politico on Monday that the speaker’s office was “coordinating with all relevant parties” to arrange the date for the prime minister’s address and would announce the date as soon as it was finalized.

Congressional Democrats have been divided over Netanyahu addressing a joint session, with the more progressive party members accusing the prime minister of creating a humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders said in a statement last weekend that he would not attend Netanyahu’s speech. Calling the Israeli prime minister a “war criminal,” Sanders said that Netanyahu should not have been invited to address the US Congress.

Meanwhile, President Biden continues to pressure Qatar, Egypt, and Israel to agree to the ceasefire proposal he presented in late May.

However, Prime Minister Netanyahu made it clear on June 1 that Israel’s conditions for ending the war in Gaza had not changed. He reiterated that Hamas’s “military and governing capabilities” must be destroyed, all of the hostages must be freed, and assurances “that Gaza no longer poses a threat to Israel” must be made.

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