'Squad' Dems furious at Netanyahu's invite to Congress: 'Accused war criminal'


Progressive “Squad” Democrats are furious that their leaders have agreed to invite Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address Congress.

“Absolutely,” Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., told Fox News Digital on Wednesday when asked if she was disappointed that House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., agreed to sign onto the invitation.

“We should not be creating a platform and welcoming an accused war criminal,” Pressley said.

Netanyahu accepted the bipartisan invitation late last week, declaring in a statement that he was “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.” There’s no set date yet.

NETANYAHU SAYS BIDEN PRESENTED ‘INCOMPLETE’ VERSION OF GAZA CEASEFIRE

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Progressive “Squad” Democrats like Reps. Greg Casar and Ayanna Pressley are criticizing the decision to invite Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Congress. (Getty Images)

It’s 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.

“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. “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.”

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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said she’s not sure if she will attend the address. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., told reporters earlier this week that Netanyahu’s appearance would not be “productive” after he accepted his invitation.

“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 Monday night. “I certainly do not approve of it, potentially may not attend.”

Reps. Cori Bush, D-Mo., and Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., would not speak to Fox News Digital about the matter.

“I’m not going to comment, thank you,” Omar responded when asked about Netanyahu’s coming address. Bush told Fox News Digital she had to attend a meeting and could not stop to respond to questions.

Fox News Digital reached out to Jeffries’ and Schumer’s offices for comment. 

NETANYAHU INVITED TO ADDRESS CONGRESS AS BIDEN URGES HAMAS TO TAKE ISRAEL PEACE OFFER

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Speaker Mike Johnson pressured Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to agree to inviting Netanyahu. (Getty Images)

Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., had been publicly pressuring Schumer for weeks to sign onto an invitation for Netanyahu to address a joint session of Congress, an honor reserved for the heads of state of the U.S.’s staunchest allies. He told reporters in late May that he was prepared to invite Netanyahu to address the House alone if Schumer did not join his effort. 

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Meanwhile, the issue of Israel’s war in Gaza has brought long-simmering fractures between the progressive and the establishment left to the surface. 

Far-left lawmakers have been critical of President Biden for not taking a firmer stance on Gaza, with some, like Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., warning it could cost him the 2024 presidential election

On Tuesday, a vote to levy sanctions on the ICC if it went after the U.S. or allies like Israel garnered support from 42 Democrats, despite the White House coming out strongly against the idea of sanctions. Democratic leaders up to the president himself have criticized the ICC threat.



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