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Fact Check: Has Netanyahu Not Been Invited to the White House?

President Joe Biden‘s response to the conflict in Israel has been criticized by opponents this week, who attacked him for hosting a barbecue after heavy fighting broke out at the weekend.

Biden has said the United States “unequivocally” condemned the “appalling assault against Israel by Hamas terrorists from Gaza”, declaring that “Israel has a right to defend itself and its people.”

However, according to Fox News host Martha MacCallum, his administration has not shown an historically welcoming attitude to Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, claiming it had not invited him to the White House in an “unprecedented” move.

The Claim

On an edition of The Story with Martha MacCallum on Fox News, on October 10, 2023, MacCallum claimed the Biden administration had not invited Benjamin Netanyahu to the White House.

Speaking to former director of national intelligence John Ratcliffe, MacCallum said: “And it appears that the White House has allowed their feelings about Bibi Netanyahu, the prime minister, to impede them from having an open dialogue with him and showing support for him that would be strengthening to the U.S.-Israeli alliance.

“He hasn’t even been invited to the White House which is unprecedented, I think, in presidential U.S. history over the past decades at least.”

The Facts

MacCallum’s claim is inaccurate.

Netanyahu has been invited to the White House under the Biden administration. The invitation was extended three weeks ago as the pair met in New York, outside of the U.N. General Assembly.

In a meeting held before the press on September 20, 2023, Biden told Netanyahu in his opening remarks “Welcome, welcome, welcome. And I hope we’ll see each other in Washington by the end of the year here.”

Netanyahu had not been extended an invitation after he was sworn in for a sixth term in December 2022. The move led to comments from then-House Speaker Kevin McCarthy in May 2023 that he would be willing to go over Biden’s head to invite Netanyahu to Washington if the president didn’t.

White House spokespeople had previously said that the two leaders would meet in the United States but did not set a date, as reported by multiple media outlets.

So, while the Biden administration’s invitation may have been recent, MacCallum is incorrect to claim that no invite was made.

Newsweek has contacted media representatives for Fox News for comment.

The Ruling


MacCallum is wrong. While Biden had not made an invitation for months after the Israeli prime minister was sworn into office for a sixth time in December 2022, the president invited Netanyahu to the White House during a meeting in September 2023 in New York.

FACT CHECK BY Newsweek’s Fact Check team

False: The claim is demonstrably false. Primary source evidence proves the claim to be false. Read more about our ratings.

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