US Speaker Johnson says Netanyahu to address Congress

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STORY: :: Mike Johnson says Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu will soon address a joint meeting of Congress

:: May 23, 2024

:: Washington, D.C.

:: Mike Johnson, U.S. House Speaker

"Today, as international bureaucrats have issued arrest warrants for Israel's leaders and likened Israel's just war to the barbarism of October 7th, Washington has been united, I'm proud to tell you in a bipartisan manner against this madness."

"Tonight, I'm happy to announce something else to you that we will soon be hosting Prime Minister Netanyahu at the Capitol for a joint session of Congress. Yes, this will be a timely and I think a very strong show of support to the Israeli government in their time of greatest need."

Delivering a keynote speech at the Israeli embassy's annual Independence Day reception, Johnson, the top congressional Republican and a critic of the Democratic president’s Israel policy, said it would be “a strong show of support for the Israeli government in their time of greatest need.”

Such a speech is sure to further anger some progressive Democrats who are increasingly critical of Israel's military campaign in Gaza and Biden's support for it.

The diplomatic gathering came amid strains between Biden and Netanyahu over a U.S. push for Israel to do more to protect Palestinian civilians in the war against Hamas militants in Gaza.

Previous U.S. administrations have usually sent a high-level official to the Independence Day receptions, reflecting Israel's status as Washington’s top Middle East ally.