Bernie Sanders says will boycott 'war criminal' Netanyahu's Congress speech

Bernie Sanders says will boycott 'war criminal' Netanyahu's Congress speech
Bernie Sander's announcement that he will boycott Benjamin Netanyahu's congressional speech comes amid mounting protests against Biden's support for Israel.
2 min read
02 June, 2024
Senator Bernie Sanders labelled Benjamin Netanyahu a war criminal [Getty]

US Senator Bernie Sanders has said he will not attend a congressional speech by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was sent an official invite by the body on Friday.

In a statement published to X, formerly Twitter, on Saturday, Sanders said that the congressional invitation was "a sad day for our country".

Sanders' statement also included a list of things that Israel has no right to do in its war on Gaza  following Hamas' 7 October attack.

The list included not having the right to "go to war against the entire Palestinian people", as well causing the mass displacement of Gaza's residents and the destruction of key infrastructure including schools, water and sewage systems and its healthcare system.

Israel's war on Gaza has killed 36,379 Palestinians and wounded a further 82,407. Over 10,000 people are believed to be buried under rubble in Gaza, according to the UN.

Sanders also threw his support behind the International Criminal Courts' (ICC) seeking of arrest warrants for Netanyahu and Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar.

"The ICC is right. Both of these people are engaged in clear and outrageous violations of international law," he said.

"Benjamin Netanyahu is a war criminal. He should not be invited to address a joint meeting of Congress. I certainly will not attend."

Sander's comments come amid growing dissent from within the US over Biden's strident support for Israel's war.

On Friday, pro-Palestinian protesters broke into parts of Brooklyn Museum, occupying the museum lobby and handing banners, leading to scuffles with the police and arrests. The protests come after months of university campus protests.

On Thursday, US State Department official Stacy Gilbert resigned in protest against a department report that she claimed was "patently, demonstrably, quantifiably false" after it claimed that Israel was not blocking humanitarian aid into Gaza.

She joins eight other US officials to publicly resign over the Biden's support for Israel, although Gilbert claims at least two dozen more have done so without public declarations.