US Democrats are wrestling with whether to attend Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to the United States Congress on July 24, Al Jazeera reports.

Many lawmakers in the US are torn between their long-standing support for Israel and their anguish about Israel’s bombardment.

While some Democrats are saying they will come out of respect for Israel, a larger and growing faction wants no part of it, creating an extraordinarily charged atmosphere at a gathering that normally amounts to a ceremonial, bipartisan show of support for a US ally.

A large portion of the Congressional Progressive Caucus — lawmakers who are among the most critical of Israel’s handling of the bombardment — is expected to skip. Among them is Washington state’s Representative Pramila Jayapal, the chair of the caucus, who told the Associated Press news agency that it was a “bad idea” to invite Netanyahu.

The Israeli prime minister’s visit is expected to draw significant protests, and some members of the US Congress are planning an alternative event.

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