update deskU.S.-Israel Relations

Eight members of Congress boycott talk by Israel’s president

Those skipping the speech reveal that they really oppose Israel rather than its policies, the Republican Jewish Coalition stated.

U.S. House Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) (left) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.). Credit: EPA/Jim Lo Scalzo/Israel Hayom.

Seven Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, an Independent, opted not to attend Israeli President Isaac Herzog’s address to a joint session of Congress on July 19.

The House members were Reps. Ilhan Omar (Minn.), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.), Cori Bush (Mo.), Rashida Tlaib (Mich.), Jamaal Bowman (N.Y.), Nydia Velazquez (N.Y.) and Raul Grijalva (Ariz.).

“Boycotting Herzog, a former Labor Party standard-bearer who represents the State of Israel—not a political party, faction or policy—shows they really oppose Israel,” the Republican Jewish Coalition stated on July 18.

The legislators refusing to attend “are ruining the bipartisan support that has always existed for Israel,” the RJC added.

Bush and Tlaib declared that “Israel is an apartheid state. To assert otherwise in the face of the colossal body of evidence … is to deny this reality.”

Explaining why she was boycotting the speech, Ocasio-Cortez told a reporter: “There’s currently a crisis of democracy and apartheid” in Israel.

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