Pelosi says it's 'wrong' to invite Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to speak to Congress: 'Very sad'

Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., spoke out against the invitation sent to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak to Congress next month, declaring, “This is wrong.”

During an appearance on CNN Friday, Pelosi, when asked whether she would have invited Netanyahu to speak if she was still speaker, replied, “Absolutely not.”

“I think this is wrong,” Pelosi told CNN’s Dana Bash. “Frankly, I didn’t approve of his being invited the last time [in 2015] but the speaker just on his own invited him without consulting with the rest of the leadership. And it came and he criticized President Obama for the masterful work that he had done with the nuclear agreement regarding Iran to stop them from developing a nuclear weapon. And I thought it was completely inappropriate.”

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Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., condemned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s invitation to speak to Congress next month. (Screenshot/CNN)

“I feel it’s very sad that he has been invited, but who knows by then- will he still be prime minister? What is Benny Gantz going to be saying tomorrow? What’s happening? Everything I read is that they’re unhappy about this or unhappy about that. Not just Benny, but other members of his cabinet,” Pelosi continued. “I wish that he would be a statesman and do what is right for Israel. We all love Israel. We all fought for Israel. October 7 was terrible. Hamas is a terrorist organization. They’re dedicated to the destruction of Israel. The hostages are not free. The people of Gaza are suffering. We need to help them not have him stand in the way of that for such a long time, him being Benjamin Netanyahu.”

“I think it’s going to invite more of what we have seen in terms of discontent among our own people about what’s happening there. Let’s try to have a two-state solution to make peace in the region rather than coming to the Capitol to draw protesters,” she added.

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was invited to speak to Congress July 24. (Abir Sultan/Pool Photo via AP, File)

Bash then asked Pelosi to respond to the statement released by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., who said late Thursday, “I have clear and profound disagreements with the prime minister… But because America’s relationship with Israel is ironclad and transcends one person or prime minister, I joined the request for him to speak.”

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“I don’t think it’s a wise decision but I respect other people to have their own view of it,” Pelosi responded. “And Chuck is a strong supporter of Israel, as am I. Because I don’t support Netanyahu doesn’t mean we don’t support Israel. But I’m not making any judgment about anybody’s invitation or anybody’s attendance. It’s completely up to them.”

“And again… Israel has no better friend than Chuck Schumer. So I respect his view, I don’t necessarily share it,” Pelosi added.

Pelosi said she disagrees with her Democratic colleague Chuck Schumer as congressional leaders invite Netanyahu to speak on Capitol Hill. (Getty Images)

Many Democrats on Capitol Hill have openly attacked Netanyahu over his handling of Israel’s response to the Oct. 7 terrorist attack and its ongoing war against Hamas.

Schumer made international headlines earlier this year when he called for Israel to oust Netanyahu by holding an election.

“I have known Prime Minister Netanyahu for a long time. While we have vehemently disagreed on many occasions, I will always respect his extraordinary bravery for Israel on the battlefield as a younger man. I believe in his heart his highest priority is the security of Israel. However, I also believe Prime Minister Netanyahu has lost his way by allowing his political survival to take precedence over the best interests of Israel,” Schumer said in March.

Joseph A. Wulfsohn is a media reporter for Fox News Digital. Story tips can be sent to [email protected] and on Twitter: @JosephWulfsohn.

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