Netanyahu, Biden 'Likely' To Meet As Progressives Plan Boycott Of Congressional Speech

The White House has announced that President Joe Biden will 'likely' meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu later this month, when he'll be in Washington to address a joint session of Congress on July 24.

His invitation to address Congress by Republicans has already proven divisive, given a number of Democrats have declared they intend to boycott it. Likely dozens will not be in attendance, similar to what happened when the Israeli premier addressed Congress nearly a decade ago.


On Wednesday a White House official told The Times of Israel that "The president has known Prime Minister Netanyahu for three decades. They will likely see each other when the prime minister is here over the course of that week, but we have nothing to announce at this time."

But tensions have been soaring, given just last month the White House canceled a meeting with an Israeli national security delegation after Netanyahu issued a video chastising the US for withholding some weapons shipments. The White House was left furious.

At the time, Biden press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre called into question the Israeli leader's narrative. "We genuinely do not know what he’s talking about. We just don’t," she told reporters.

She had noted that "there was one particular shipment of munitions that was paused, and you’ve heard us talk about that many times." Jean-Pierre then emphasized, "There are no other pauses — none — no other pauses or holds in place."

Biden has over the last months on various occasions gone negative against the 'far right' Netanyahu government, despite Israel having long been a very close US ally, over human rights abuses and mass killings in Gaza.

The US administration has on the one hand continued to approve of major weapons and aid packages to Israel, but on the other has highlighted the soaring civilian death toll due to the IDF offensive. Progressive Democrats have made their anger known, with many vowing to not vote for Biden in November.

Newsweek has recently highlighted Congressional Democrat discontent with Biden's Gaza policy in the following

The AP reported that interviews with more than a dozen Democrats revealed the discontent over Netanyahu's upcoming speech, and how some feel it is a Republican ploy to divide Democrats.

Some Democrats have said they will attend Netanyahu's speech to show support for Israel, but others are clear that they won't be attending.

Rep. Lloyd Doggett, a deputy whip for the Congressional Progressive Caucus, has stated that Netanyahu "needs to be staying in Israel and working for the peace that he has been unwilling to support in the past."

The "indiscriminate bombing that he has encouraged... has led to loss of lives that should never have happened. He has not prioritized the hostages; he ought to be doing that instead of coming here," he told The Hill days ago.

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