James Clyburn, Barack Obama, Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, International, Global

James Clyburn To Skip Israeli PM’s Address To Congress: ‘I’m Going To Treat Him The Same Way He Treated Barack Obama‘

The NAACP shares some of the same sentiments as the venerable Congressman.

With Israel’s wartime campaign in Gaza and Benjamin Netanyahu’s past tensions with former President Barack Obama, Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC) will skip the Israeli prime minister’s speech in July.

“Because I’m going to treat him the same way he treated Barack Obama, but I am going to participate with a group of others in an alternative session to his joint session to see what now we can get some attention to what makes sense,” Clyburn told NewsNation.

Obama’s feud with Netanyahu started in 2015 following the prime minister’s position on Palestinian statehood and the U.S. seeking a nuclear deal with Iran.

The legendary legislator wants to see a  two-state solution in the Middle East. “You must remember that Barack Obama attempted to push that issue, Joe Biden is pushing that issue, and, on every front, Netanyahu has been opposing that,” Clyburn said. 

The NAACP shares some of the same sentiments as Clyburn. In early June, the civil rights organization penned a letter to President Joe Biden, pressuring him to press pause on the sale of weapons to Israel.

“The most recent statement from the Biden administration is useful but does not go far enough,” the letter read, according to NBC News. “It is one thing to call for a ceasefire; it is another to take the measures necessary to work towards liberation for all. It is imperative that the violence that has claimed so many civilian lives immediately stop.”

According to NBC News, Biden-Harris campaign spokesperson Sarafina Chitika said Biden “shares the goal for an end to the violence” and acknowledges the stakes of the upcoming election in correlation with growing tensions in the Middle East.

“The stakes of this election couldn’t be higher, and with our communities, our democracy, and our freedoms on the line, our campaign is putting in the work to earn—not ask for—every vote,” Chitika said.

Clyburn said he stands with the NAACP on this issue, “but I’m also a legislator supporting this administration,” he said. “And I do know that when you’re trying to find common ground, you cannot have it your way, totally all the time. So Joe Biden is working hard trying to find common ground with the people of Israel. And most people of Israel are against what Netanyahu is doing.”

The Israeli Prime Minister is scheduled to appear at a joint meeting on July 24, despite Democrats who have expressed their criticism of Israel’s military campaign in Gaza, which has killed more than 37,000 people since October 2023. Clyburn has met with other Democratic leaders who have vowed to boycott the session.

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