House Dems Brainstorming How To Spoil Netanyahu's Speech to Congress: Report

Benjamin Netanyahu (Twitter)
June 14, 2024

House Democrats are brainstorming possible events to spoil Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to Congress, according to an Axios report released Friday.

Many Democrats already said they would boycott the speech, but they are now developing "counter-programming" events to spoil the speech and demonstrate their dissatisfaction with the leader of the Jewish state and the way he's waged war against Hamas in Gaza.

Some of the ideas Democrats have proposed reportedly include a press conference, a vigil, and an event with the families of Israeli hostages who believe Netanyahu is not doing enough to secure their release.

According to the report, Democrats in leadership positions, not just progressives, have been involved in the discussions. Former House majority whip Rep. Jim Clyburn (D., S.C.) told Politico he participated in one of the discussions to counter Netanyahu’s speech. Axios reported that many House Democrats are upset with Netanyahu’s plan to hold the speech next month and believe it undermines the Biden administration’s work to put an end to the war. 

The plans to undermine the speech come after months of tensions between Netanyahu and President Joe Biden, who has threatened to withhold military aid from Israel if it moves forward with an assault on the Hamas stronghold of Rafah.

Democrats protested Netanyahu the last time he addressed the legislative branch, nearly a decade ago. In 2015, 58 members of Congress, as well as then-vice president Biden, skipped Netanyahu’s speech to a joint session of Congress.