Netanyahu is a ‘war criminal,’ shouldn’t address Congress, AOC says


Photo: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., turned to X on Tuesday night, calling Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a war criminal. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., fiercely criticized Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s upcoming address to Congress next month, calling him a “war criminal,” and accusing him of having no regard for U.S. law.

House and Senate leaders from both sides of the aisle have invited Netanyahu to address Congress on July 24, delivering the most recent show of wartime support for the longtime ally despite mounting political divisions over Israel’s military assault on Hamas in Gaza.

House Speaker Mike Johnson, a Republican, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat, along with Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell and House Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries, signed the letter extending the invitation to Netanyahu. They said the offer was intended to “highlight America’s solidarity with Israel.”

But not all members of Congress are in favor of the visit, including Ocasio-Cortez.

“This man should not be addressing Congress. He is a war criminal,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote in a post on X. “And he certainly has no regard for US law, which is explicitly designed to prevent US weapons from facilitating human rights abuses. His invitation should be revoked. It should have never been sent in the first place.”

The representative and other progressive “Squad” Democrats are furious that their leaders agreed to invite Netanyahu to address Congress.

The invitation spurred pushback from the left, where a growing number of Democrats have voiced criticism for Netanyahu’s handling of the war in Gaza in retaliation for Hamas’ Oct. 7, 2023, terror attack in Israel. 

The controversy took on new significance last month when the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) chief prosecutor, Karim Khan, announced he would seek arrest warrants against top Israeli and Hamas officials, Netanyahu included.

File: An aid mission to two hospitals in northern Gaza found horrifying scenes of children dying of starvation, amid dire shortages of food, fuel and medicines, the World Health Organization said .Over 13000 children in Gaza are being displaced every day according to MSF. Children as young as five told MSF that they “would prefer to die.” The Gaza genocide has been compared to the Holocaust by the Brazilian president “It’s not a war of soldiers against soldiers. It’s a war between a highly prepared army and women and children ”, he said

Instead of coming here, we need Netanyahu to stop bombing indiscriminately in Gaza and for him to respect the president’s red line of not having continued military operations in Rafah,” Rep. Greg Casar, D-Texas, told Fox News Digital earlier this month. “I don’t think it’s a good time for him to be coming.”

Asked if he planned to attend the speech, Casar said, “I don’t plan to attend, and I will plan to participate in whatever advocacy is being done to push for Netanyahu and Hamas to agree to a cease-fire.”

Earlier this month, she told reporters that Netanyahu’s visit would not be “productive.”

“Not only is there very little purpose to it, but I think it is patently unproductive. I think it’s counterproductive right now for him to address Congress, particularly as we continue to try to nail down details on the cease-fire,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “I certainly do not approve of it, and potentially may not attend.”

Netanyahu’s visit to the Capitol also comes as the relationship between President Joe Biden and the leader of the Jewish state has frayed in recent months. 

Biden has privately and publicly criticized Netanyahu’s handling of the war, and criticized the Israeli government for not letting more humanitarian aid into Gaza.