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March 18, 2021 12:08 pm

Israeli President Rivlin Reportedly Invited to Address Joint Session of US Congress

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Israeli President Reuven Rivlin talks during a press conference at the Presidential Palace in Nicosia, Cyprus, Feb. 12, 2019. Photo: Reuters / Yiannis Kourtoglou.

i24 News – Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin has reportedly been invited to address a joint session of Congress in the United States, according to Hebrew media reports.

Rivlin is reportedly still weighing the decision and a date for his arrival remains unclear.

In addition, questions remain on whether Congress can fully convene before Rivlin ends his term as president in July due to coronavirus restrictions, according to the Times of Israel.

In 2015, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu traveled to Washington to address both chambers of Congress in an effort to lobby against the Iran nuclear deal.

The speech caused outrage among many Democratic lawmakers, who saw the move as a blatant attempt to undermine then-president Barack Obama’s foreign policy priorities.

Rivlin is currently in Europe on a diplomatic tour with IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi to lobby against the US reentering the Iran deal.

Rivlin met with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris, where he called on France and other European states to oppose a decision by the International Criminal Court (ICC) to open a war crimes investigation into Israeli political and military leaders.

In an op-ed published in French daily Le Figaro Thursday, Rivlin wrote, “A tribunal created to deal with the most serious crimes of concern to the international community is being used as a political weapon. It is a morally and legally bankrupt decision.”

“For us, this is not an abstract legal issue. The soldiers and civilians that the International Criminal Court threatens to investigate are our children and grandchildren, our neighbors and friends. We will do everything we can to protect them, just as they protected us when we asked them to,” he added.

In early March, the ICC’s Attorney General Fatou Bensouda announced she had launched a probe into alleged crimes perpetrated in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and eastern Jerusalem.

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