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IPFS News Link • Israel

Risking PR Disaster, Netanyahu To Address Congress On July 24

•, by Tyler Durden

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will address a joint session of Congress on Wednesday, July 24th. Though intended to reinforce US support of Israel and its ongoing war in Gaza, the appearance of the polarizing prime minister amid the initial run-up to the 2024 American general election could well backfire

Many legislators will boycott the appearance, including Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who already promised not to show up. This won't be the first controversial joint address by Netanyahu: In 2015, he used a speech to undermine President Obama's negotiation of an agreement with Iran that severely limited its nuclear energy program. Fifty-eight Democrats boycotted the speech.  

A political lightning rod, Netanyahu is certain to inspire large protests in Washington, and perhaps other cities, coinciding with his appearance. There may well be outbursts inside the House chamber too. A senior House Democrat tells Axios that "a number [of Democrats] are going and disrupting" the speech

Netanyahu's address will come between the Republican and Democratic national conventions, and increased debate on the way Israel is conducting its US-financed, US-equipped war could well be a huge net negative for Netanyahu and his ruling coalition. 

 Underscoring the challenge Netanyahu faces in shoring up Israel's sagging support in the United States, the announcement of the date of his speech came the same day as the latest gruesome, mass-civilian-casualty incident in Gaza. At least 33 were killed at a shelter for displaced Palestinians, reports AP, including nine children and three women. An Israeli military spokesman said the dead included nine Hamas militants who had been using the facility as a base. The carnage came via Israel's delivery of an American-supplied GBU-39 small-diameter bomb -- as evidenced by bomb remnants at the site.