Bernie Sanders Won’t Attend Netanyahu’s Speech in Congress


Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) announced he would “not attend” a speech by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after bipartisan lawmakers invited Netanyahu to speak before 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) extended the invitation to Netanyahu on Friday, inviting him to address a “Joint Meeting of Congress.”


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 by those angry over Israel’s policies towards Palestinians and those critical of possible new legislation in Israel supported by Netanyahu that would undermine the independence and 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 Israel’s right to defend itself against Hamas’s October 7, 2023 attack, which resulted in 1,200 murders and over 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 referenced the International Criminal Court (ICC) announcing it was seeking arrest warrants for Netanyahu, Israel Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, and three Hamas leaders.

“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 continues its military offensive against Hamas following the U.S.-designated terror organization’s attack on Israel.

In early May, during an interview on NBC’s Meet the Press, Sanders stated that Israel had broken international law and should not receive “another nickel” from the United States in foreign aid.

When asked in a CNN interview what precisely Israel should do to eliminate Hamas, Sanders stated that it is “a difficult issue,” and that Israel cannot “destroy the entire people” in Gaza.

Elizabeth Weibel
Elizabeth Weibel
Maryland raised. Virginia based.

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