Written by Ashton Snyder on
 June 10, 2024

Congress Prepares for Boycott and Disruptions of Netanyahu Address

A growing number of Democratic lawmakers are preparing to boycott Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s upcoming speech to a joint session of Congress.

Axios reported that the expected boycott of Netanyahu's address is gaining momentum within the Democratic Party. The controversy primarily stems from Netanyahu's approach to the Gaza war, which has been a point of contention among many Democrats.

The event brings back memories of 2015 when 58 Democratic lawmakers opted to skip Netanyahu's speech under similar circumstances.

Democratic Concerns Over Netanyahu’s Visit

Significant opposition within the Democratic ranks points to an unprecedented level of discontent with the decision to invite Netanyahu. Representative Pramila Jayapal, the Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, forecasted a "large" boycott, emphasizing the heightened emotions among lawmakers who oppose the invitation.

Representative Jim McGovern has confirmed he will not attend, expressing a wish that the speech would not occur. Progressive members, who were critical of the idea from its inception in March, stand firmly against Netanyahu’s appearance, viewing it as a divisive move by the Republicans.

Some Democrats feel torn, balancing their support for Israel with their objections to Netanyahu's war policies. This internal conflict has led some to remain undecided, with their attendance potentially hinging on developments in Gaza, particularly the prospect of a ceasefire.

Previous Boycotts Influence Current Decisions

The memory of the 2015 boycott looms large as many of the lawmakers who skipped Netanyahu's previous address are now planning to do the same. An anonymous House Democrat indicated the fluid and unpredictable nature of the situation, with members likely to make last-minute decisions based on the state of the Gaza conflict.

This source suggested that if the situation in Gaza remains unresolved, up to 100 Democrats could choose to boycott. Additionally, discussions are ongoing about whether some Democrats might go further by actively disrupting the speech.

Representative Mark Pocan has called for a more nuanced approach, proposing that engaging in dialogue and clearly highlighting Netanyahu’s actions might be more effective than a simple boycott. He cautioned against leaving seats vacant, which could be occupied by Republican staffers.

Coordination and Finalization of Netanyahu’s Speech Date

Representative Dan Kildee acknowledged the likelihood of some Democrats boycotting but emphasized his duty to attend, reflecting a sentiment among some lawmakers who feel their presence in Congress is obligatory. The anticipated boycott varies widely among Democrats, with some committed to protesting while others remain conflicted.

Despite initial reports suggesting a June 13 date coinciding with the Jewish holiday Shavuot, Netanyahu's speech date remains unconfirmed. Taylor Haulsee, a spokesperson from the Speaker's office, stated that coordination is ongoing with all relevant parties to finalize a date for Netanyahu’s address.


The potential boycott of Netanyahu's speech underscores deep divisions within Congress over his policies and presence. Democrats are increasingly vocal about their opposition, with significant portions planning to boycott or disrupt the event. The factor of ongoing Gaza conflicts weighs heavily on lawmakers' decisions, making the situation fluid and highly unpredictable.

Representative Jayapal and others advocate for a substantial protest, reinforcing the prominent discontent with the Republicans' invitation. McGovern, Pocan, and Kildee provide a spectrum of responses, from outright boycott to careful consideration and obligatory attendance, encapsulating the varied stances within the Democratic caucus.

Author Image

About Ashton Snyder

Independent conservative news without a leftist agenda.
© 2024 - American Tribune - All rights reserved
Privacy Policy