Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) said Wednesday that he has no plans to attend Israeli president Isaac Herzog’s upcoming joint address to Congress, addressing ongoing tensions between the Israeli and Palestinian governments.
“No way in hell am I attending a joint session speech from a President whose country has banned me and denied @RashidaTlaib the ability to see his grandmother,” Omar said on his Twitter thread. He noted that the US should not invite a president to a government that has banned him and his fellow legislator, Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), to visit their country.
“Israeli President Isaac Herzog’s speech comes for the most right-wing government in Israel’s history, at a time when the government has openly vowed to “crush” Palestinian hopes of statehood – essentially putting a nail in the coffin of peace and a two-state solution,” Omar said in his thread.
Omar added to his thread the recent issues and concerns of the country and its government, noting that far-right members of the government tried to push legislation that would overhaul the country’s Supreme Court.
He also noted that he recently turned down an invitation for a joint address with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Congress last month because of his government’s human rights record.
“The United States can and should use its diplomatic tools to engage with the Israeli government, but giving the current government the honor of a joint televised address sends completely the wrong signal in the wrong direction. time,” Omar concluded in his thread.
Herzog, who has been the country’s president since 2021, is scheduled to address a joint meeting of Congress on July 19, as the politician visits Washington to mark the 75th anniversary of Israel’s founding.
Herzog will be the second Israeli president to address Congress after his father, Chaim Herzog, in November 1987.
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