US House Democrats disagree on how to protest Netanyahu’s address

There is much talk of counter-programming, including a press conference, a vigil, or an event featuring hostage families.

By Vered Weiss, World Israel News

Many Democratic lawmakers are finding ways to express their disapproval of the visit by Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu next month.

According to Axios, there is much talk of counter-programming, including a press conference, a vigil, or an event featuring hostage families who don’t feel Netanyahu has done enough to free the hostages.

Former House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) told Politico he was participating in one counter-programming meeting.

One House Democrat said, “These conversations are happening. And it’s not just progressives.”

They added, “We are hearing from others in the caucus that they would like to be part of counter-programming that is focused on peace, bringing the hostages home, and ending this horrible conflict.”

“More moderate Dems are extremely frustrated that this Netanyahu visit undermines the work of the Biden administration and is disrespectful to Israelis who want Netanyahu out, ” they concluded.

Even some moderate Democrats who usually support Israel have been critical of IDF operations in the past month.

Over 60 Democrats sat out the previous address by Netanyahu in 2015.

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Some Progressive Democrats have already signaled their intention to boycott Netanyahu’s address to Congress on July 24.

Others have declared that they will attend the speech but plan to disrupt it.

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Ca.) told ABC’s Meet the Press that he would not attend Netanyahu’s address. He indicated that if he is speaking on “how to end the war and release hostages, I would be fine doing that. But I’m not going to sit in a one-way lecture.”

He added, “We won’t make a big deal about it. He’s obviously addressing the Congress and there has to be decorum.”

Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA), who has taken a staunchly pro-Israel position, called out those who wish to boycott or disrupt Netanyahu’s talk.

“For any member that boycotts, it makes a Hamas terrorist smile. I don’t think it’s helpful; I don’t think performance art is important during a war,” he said.