Report: White House Concerned About Netanyahu’s Upcoming Speech to Congress

By Yoni Weiss

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu waves as he speaks before a joint meeting of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, in 2015. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

The White House is reportedly concerned that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu could use his upcoming speech to Congress next month to criticize President Joe Biden and accuse him of insufficient support for Israel in its war against Hamas, according to a report by Politico on Saturday. Netanyahu has been extended a bipartisan invitation to address a joint session scheduled for July 24.

Concerns grew after Netanyahu released an English-language video statement last week, accusing the Biden administration of withholding military aid. A source told Politico that Netanyahu’s clip “was not helpful at all” and led to outrage among officials.

In the video, Netanyahu stated that he told Secretary of State Antony Blinken it was “inconceivable” that Washington was “withholding weapons and ammunitions” from Israel in recent months. The White House has refuted Netanyahu’s claim, calling it “incorrect.”

White House spokesman John Kirby responded, “It was perplexing to say the least, certainly disappointing, especially given that no other country is doing more to help Israel defend itself against the threat by Hamas.”

Despite these tensions, Politico reported that Netanyahu has not been invited to visit the White House while in D.C., though an invitation is likely to be extended to avoid too much of a “slap” to Netanyahu’s face. Some Democratic lawmakers have already indicated they intend to skip Netanyahu’s speech.

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