Four American lawmakers have announced their boycott of Israeli President Isaac Herzog’s speech before the U.S. Congress, scheduled for next Tuesday, in protest against the violations committed by the Israeli occupation against Palestinians.
Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Cory Bush, and Jamaal Bowman have joined Representative Ilhan Omar in boycotting Herzog’s speech during a joint session of Congress (House and Senate) to be held next Wednesday.
Representative Bush stated, “The Israeli government is responsible for imposing apartheid and gross violations of Palestinian rights.”
She added, “Congress should not give a platform to a head of state who shows no respect for human rights. I will not attend his speech in the joint session.”
In turn, Representative Omar said, “There is no way I will attend the joint session speech by a president of a state that has banned me and denied Representative Rashida Tlaib the opportunity to see her grandmother,” referring to the Israeli government’s decision in 2019 to ban Omar and Tlaib from entering occupied Palestine.
She added, “The Israeli president’s speech represents one of the most right-wing governments in Israel’s history, at a time when this government openly pledges to shatter the hopes of Palestinians for statehood and puts a nail in the coffin of peace and the two-state solution.”
She pointed out that Herzog’s visit comes at a time when ministers in the right-wing Israeli government are attacking U.S. President Joe Biden, and when Israel has been witnessing widespread protests for months against the government’s efforts to control the judiciary.
She continued, “Above all, this visit comes in the bloodiest year for Palestinians in the West Bank, following the largest Israeli incursion into the city of Jenin and its camp in two decades, which destroyed dozens of homes and killed at least 12 Palestinians.”
She noted that human rights organizations, legal experts, and the majority of the international community have condemned Israel’s escalating violations of international law and human rights.
Omar said, “These are all deeply troubling trends, especially considering that we provide Israel with nearly $4 billion in military aid annually.”
She added, “The United States can and should use its diplomatic tools to engage with the Israeli government, but granting the current government the honor of a televised speech in a joint session sends a completely wrong signal at the wrong time.”