Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address joint meeting of Congress next month

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gives statements to the media inside The Kirya, which houses the Israeli Defence Ministry, after their meeting in Tel Aviv on October 12, 2023. (Photo by JACQUELYN MARTIN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

(WASHINGTON) — A date has finally been set for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address Congress.

House Speaker Mike Johnson and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell announced that Netanyahu will address a joint meeting of Congress on July 24.

“I am very moved to have the privilege of representing Israel before both Houses of Congress and to present the truth about our just war against those who seek to destroy us to the representatives of the American people and the entire world,” Netanyahu said in a statement.

The speaker, who has been a staunch supporter of Netanyahu, first floated the idea of inviting the prime minister to Congress in March.

It was around this time that Schumer called for new elections in Israel calling Netanyahu an “obstacle to peace.”

“I will always respect his extraordinary bravery for Israel on the battlefield as a younger man. I believe in his heart his highest priority is the security of Israel,” Schumer said on the Senate floor on March 14. “However, I also believe Prime Minister Netanyahu has lost his way by allowing his political survival to take precedence over the best interests of Israel.”

Netanyahu last addressed Congress in March 2015. With his address on July 24, Netanyahu will become the first foreign leader ever to address Congress in a joint meeting four times.

His speech is expected to divide Democrats, and several have told ABC News they plan to skip the address.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer put out his own statement Thursday night, saying he had joined in on the request for the address.

“I have clear and profound disagreements with the Prime Minister, which I have voiced both privately and publicly and will continue to do so. But because America’s relationship with Israel is ironclad and transcends one person or prime minister I joined the request for him to speak,” Schumer said in his statement.

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