Bernie Sanders calls Israel's Netanyahu a 'war criminal,' promises to boycott his congressional address

 June 2, 2024

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) recently called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a "war criminal." 

Not only that, but, according to Fox News, Sanders promised to boycott Netanyahu's upcoming congressional address.

Sanders did so in a statement that he released on his X account on Saturday, which was the day after House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) officially invited Netanyahu to speak to Congress.

"Netanyahu is a war criminal"

To support his claim that Netanyahu is a "war criminal," Sanders referred to the highly controversial warrants to Netanyahu and others that have been issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for alleged "war crimes."

"The ICC is seeking warrants for the arrest of  Netanyahu and Yahya Sinwar, the leader of Hamas. The ICC is right. Both of these people are engaged in clear and outrageous violations of international law," Sanders wrote.

The congressman continued by writing that Israel "most certainly does not have the right to block humanitarian aid from coming into the desperate people of Gaza, creating the conditions for starvation and famine. This is a clear violation of American and international law."

Sanders went on to say that, while Israel did have a right to defend itself against Hamas' Oct. 7, 2023, terrorist attack, it "does not have the right to kill more than 34,000 civilians."

Sanders concluded, "Benjamin Netanyahu is a war criminal. He should not be invited to address a joint meeting of Congress. I certainly will not attend."

It's happening, whether or not Sanders shows up

Netanyahu has accepted the invitation from the leaders of Congress over the weekend.

The invitation came from Speaker Johnson, House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).

They, in part, wrote:

We join the State of Israel in your struggle against terror, especially as Hamas continues to hold American and Israeli citizens captive and its leaders jeopardize regional stability. For this reason, on behalf of the bipartisan leadership of the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate, we would like to invite you to address a Joint Meeting of Congress.

Netanyahu replied, "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."

The date for Netanyahu's congressional address has yet to be set.

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
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