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Speaker Johnson plans to invite Israel’s Netanyahu to meet with Congress sooner rather than later

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House Speaker Mike Johnson is poised to extend a formal invitation to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address a joint meeting of Congress amid the country’s war with terrorist group Hamas. 

The Louisiana Republican is expected to send the invite sometime in the next eight weeks. If not in that time frame, the Israeli prime minister could be invited to speak after the August recess, in September, per a senior Johnson spokesperson. The timeline for the invitation was first reported by Punchbowl News. 

Johnson’s office said Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., has agreed to the joint address by Netanyahu despite his recent call for new elections in Israel during the war and pressure from the left flank of Democrats for him to oppose it. 

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When previously asked about the possibility, Schumer told reporters, “Look, I’m discussing that now with the speaker of the House, and as I’ve always said, our relationship with Israel is ironclad and transcends any one prime minister or president.”

This comes as Democrats and the Biden administration itself continue to break with Israel publicly, with the White House most recently coming out against a bipartisan effort to sanction the International Criminal Court over warrants requested against Netanyahu and another Israeli official. 

“The United States said that they would, in fact, back the sanctions bill,” Netanyahu told host Morgan Ortagus on her Sirius XM show, which is set to air Sunday, as Politico first reported. “I thought that was still the American position because there was bipartisan consensus just a few days ago.”

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

The Israeli prime minister said, “frankly, I’m surprised and disappointed” in President Biden. 

The stance against bipartisan-supported sanctions on the ICC is the latest public break the administration has had with Israel. 

While the White House said it rejected the ICC’s decision and did not believe it had jurisdiction, “We don’t believe that sanctions against the ICC is the right approach here, no,” National Security Council coordinator John Kirby said. 

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biden and netanyahu

Israel has come under renewed scrutiny for its actions in Rafah, a southern city along the Gaza Strip. The country has launched attacks targeting senior Hamas leaders in the area, resulting in significant civilian casualties. The move has drawn the elevated ire of activists and lawmakers who have already been critical of the country’s actions in Gaza. 

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Smoke rises from Rafah

Biden had sent a clear message to Israel not to move forward with an offensive in Rafah, even claiming, “I made it clear that if they go into Rafah – they haven’t gone in Rafah yet – if they go into Rafah, I’m not supplying the weapons that have been used historically to deal with Rafah, to deal with the cities – that deal with that problem,” in a recent interview on CNN. 

However, the administration has suggested the red line laid out by the president was not violated by Israel’s latest actions in Rafah. “As a result of this strike on Sunday, I have no policy changes to speak to,” Kirby told reporters after the strike. 

Neither the White House nor Schumer’s office immediately provided comment to Fox News Digital.

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