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California Lawmaker Announces Boycott of Netanyahu’s Congressional Speech

Rep. Ro Khanna and Sen. Bernie Sanders criticize Netanyahu's policies and past actions.

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) has announced that he will not attend an upcoming congressional address by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Khanna made his position clear during an interview with NBC’s Peter Alexander, who was guest-hosting "Meet the Press" on Sunday morning.

Khanna criticized Netanyahu's previous treatment of former President Barack Obama as part of his rationale. “He should not expect reciprocity,” Khanna stated. “I will not attend. I said that if he wants to come to speak to members of Congress about how to end the war and release hostages, I would be fine doing that, but I’m not going to sit in a one-way lecture.”

Khanna further aligned himself with Representative Jim Clyburn's views, adding, “I mean, how he treated President Obama, he should not expect reciprocity. That said, I think it should be polite. We’re not going to make a big deal about it. He’s obviously addressing the Congress, and there has to be decorum.”

Khanna’s stance follows a similar announcement by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who has also decided to skip Netanyahu’s address. Sanders went a step further, blaming Netanyahu for the civilian deaths in Gaza. “What [Speaker Mike] Johnson is going to have to explain to the American people is why he thinks it’s OK to invite somebody to a joint session who is responsible for the deaths of some 38,000 Palestinians at this point, 60% of whom are women and children, elderly people,” Sanders asserted, referencing figures provided by the Hamas-controlled Gaza Health Ministry.

The criticism from Khanna and Sanders highlights the deepening rift between certain progressive members of Congress and Netanyahu's government. As Netanyahu prepares to address Congress, these decisions underscore ongoing debates within the U.S. about foreign policy and support for Israel.

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