Inviting Netanyahu to D.C.

By Talia Mullin / From ScheerPost

In a recent piece from the Israeli publication, Haaretz, titled “Inviting Netanyahu to D.C., Democratic Leaders Stabbed Israel’s Liberals in the Back,” Amir Tibon criticizes Netanyahu’s upcoming visit to the U.S. congress in Washington while never having visited local areas impacted by the Oct. 7th attack and failing to prioritize, as well as actively denying, hostage deals. The invitation was initiated by Republican Speaker of the house, Mike Johnson, and co-signed by Chuck Schumer, Majority Leader of the U.S. Senate, and Hakeem Jeffries, Minority Leader of the House of Representatives.

Tibon writes:

“Why Johnson would want to invite Netanyahu, in the midst of an American election year, is obviously clear: He thinks it will be politically beneficial for Republicans to have Netanyahu attack Biden’s policies in front of the cameras, in the heart of Washington. Biden will also have to decide if he wants to meet Netanyahu or not – and any choice he makes will come with an electoral price. This is a great political move for Republicans.

But why on earth would Schumer and Jeffries play along with it? Politically, they get nothing out of it. It seems that fear of being attacked as not sufficiently supportive of Israel caused them to surrender to Johnson’s “threat” to invite Netanyahu without them.”

Both Democrats and Republicans are in on the efforts to host Netanyahu with certainly no concern for demands from the “pro-Palestine” supporters, and furthermore, they fail to realize that this hosting of the Prime Minister does nothing to aid the “pro-Israel” group they aim to appease – aside from their partners in the AIPAC lobby. Tibon, an Israeli citizen and journalist for Haaretz, holds the perspective that “it is not ‘pro-Israel’ to side with Netanyahu’s party,” which is actively fighting against the families of those held hostage and their wishes for a secure and safe release.

Additionally, the confirmation of the invitation comes shortly after an Israeli lawmaker in Netanyahu’s Likud party accused Dani Elgarat – brother of Yitzhak Elgarat who is held hostage by Hamas following his kidnapping from a kibbutz settlement on the border with Gaza – of “using his brother’s position for political gain.”

Tibon comments, “If such an accusation was made against Elgarat by an American member of Congress, that lawmaker would have been accused of antisemitism. What shall we say when it comes from a member of Netanyahu’s ruling coalition?”

Not only is this statement quite offensive but also an accidental admission of their own behavior. Whilst ignoring the suffering and demands of their own people, Israeli politicians help to prop up Donald Trump’s presidential campaign – by means of this invitation – for their own political gain. Upon his visit Netanyahu will publicly critique Biden and his policies with the aim of weakening his reelection campaign despite the administration’s uncompromising support of Israel throughout these past seven months.

As Tibon sees it, Trump has publicly announced his crackdown on “pro-Palestine” protests and his reelection would be advantageous to Israeli politicians whose concern is much more centered on maintenance of power, rather than the demands of Jewish-Israeli people.

Similar to his fellow party member’s insensitivity, Netanyahu has not made any visit to the communities which were attacked on Oct. 7th nor taken any responsibility for his failure to protect the people which he is meant to lead.

This indifference of powerful politicians to real human suffering – even when it comes to their own people – is especially frightening when the motivation for their actions is the political gain of another party in an allegedly completely separate and foreign system while discussion of hostage deals or the 36,000+ lives lost are generally left out of the conversation.

Tibon shares his parting thought about the connection between American and Israeli politics:

“Schumer and Jeffries probably got nice phone calls from friends at AIPAC for co-signing the invitation. But they, and their Jewish Democratic supporters, should know how all this looks from here: They have stabbed Israel’s liberal forces in the back.”

Talia Mullin is a staff writer for ScheerPost. She is a graduate of the University of Southern California where she studied communication, Spanish and international relations. She is based in Idaho and Los Angeles.

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