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Pelosi Criticizes Congressional Invitation to Netanyahu: 'Very Sad'

 June 8, 2024

Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has voiced her strong opposition to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's invitation to speak to Congress next month.

Pelosi contends that the invitation to the Israeli leader is inappropriate and could exacerbate discontent among the American populace, as Fox News reports.

Pelosi Voices Concerns on Netanyahu's Invitation

During an appearance on CNN on Friday, Pelosi expressed her disapproval of Netanyahu’s invitation, stating that she would not have extended it if she were still speaker. “Absolutely not,” Pelosi responded when asked if she supported the invitation. She elaborated on her sentiments, calling the decision "wrong."

Pelosi’s discontent with such invitations is not new. Reflecting on Netanyahu's 2015 visit, when he criticized President Obama's nuclear agreement with Iran, Pelosi shared that she had also opposed his previous appearance.

“I didn’t approve of his invitation the last time,” Pelosi stated, “and I thought it was completely inappropriate.”

Questions Over Netanyahu's Political Future

Pelosi further questioned the implications of Netanyahu’s continued leadership, expressing doubts about his future as prime minister and pondering the opinions of Israeli cabinet members, including Benny Gantz. “What is Benny Gantz going to be saying tomorrow? What’s happening?” Pelosi wondered about the political landscape in Israel.

Pelosi emphasized her concern regarding the humanitarian issues in Gaza and the importance of a two-state solution for achieving peace in the region. She highlighted that the ongoing conflict and the suffering of Gaza residents need attention and resolution.

“We need to help them not have him stand in the way of that for such a long time, him being Benjamin Netanyahu,” Pelosi expressed.

Schumer's Divergent View

Despite their shared support for Israel, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has a different view on Netanyahu’s invitation. He defended his support for Netanyahu’s upcoming address, underscoring the strength of the US-Israel relationship.

“I have clear and profound disagreements with the prime minister,” Schumer said. “But because America’s relationship with Israel is ironclad and transcends one person or prime minister, I joined the request for him to speak.”

Schumer has previously expressed respect for Netanyahu’s past bravery but criticized him for letting his political survival take precedence over Israel’s best interests. “Prime Minister Netanyahu has lost his way,” Schumer remarked earlier this year.

Pelosi's Perspective on Schumer's Support

Pelosi recognized Schumer’s unwavering support for Israel but remained firm in her disagreement regarding Netanyahu’s invitation. She acknowledged the right of others to hold differing views but maintained her stance. “I don’t think it’s a wise decision,” Pelosi stated, “but I respect other people to have their own view of it.”

She elaborated on this sentiment, emphasizing her respect for Schumer’s dedication to Israel, while maintaining her disapproval of the invitation. Pelosi reiterated that opposing Netanyahu’s invitation does not mean opposing Israel.

Broader Democratic Criticisms

Pelosi's objections align with broader criticisms within the Democratic Party. Many Democrats have expressed dissatisfaction with Netanyahu’s handling of Israel's response to the Oct. 7 terrorist attack and its ongoing conflict with Hamas. Their criticism highlights a significant division in opinion regarding Netanyahu’s leadership and policies.

Schumer himself has called for Israel to hold elections to potentially oust Netanyahu, reflecting growing concerns about his leadership from within his own supporters.

“I believe in his heart his highest priority is the security of Israel,” Schumer stated in March. “However, I also believe Prime Minister Netanyahu has lost his way.”


The invitation extended to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak to Congress has drawn strong criticism from Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Highlighting a history of opposition to such invitations, Pelosi emphasized the potential for increased discontent among Americans and stressed the importance of focusing on humanitarian issues and pursuing a two-state solution.

In contrast, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer defended the invitation based on the strong US-Israel relationship, despite his disagreements with Netanyahu. This issue reflects broader Democratic concerns about Netanyahu’s leadership and policies.