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(WASHINGTON) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will address Republican senators via a video conference at their conference lunch Wednesday — a move that comes days after Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called for Israel to hold a new election seen as a way to replace Netanyahu.

Senate Republican Conference Chair John Barrasso invited Netanyahu to address the conference, his spokesperson said.

Netanyahu was previously scheduled to speak virtually with Senate Republicans at their retreat last week, but he had a scheduling conflict. Members heard from Israeli Ambassador Michael Herzog last week instead.

The meeting comes as in an election year as tensions on Capitol Hill and at the White House over Israel have mounted following what is seen as Schumer’s calls to replace the prime minister and President Joe Biden’s warnings against Israel launching an invasion of the southern Gaza city of Rafah.

In a formal address on the Senate floor last week, Schumer delivered a scathing speech that was highly critical of Netanyahu, saying he is an “obstacle to peace” and that he has “lost his way” as Israel bombards Gaza amid a growing humanitarian crisis there.

“As a lifelong supporter of Israel, it has become clear to me: The Netanyahu coalition no longer fits the needs of Israel after Oct. 7. The world has changed — radically — since then, and the Israeli people are being stifled right now by a governing vision that is stuck in the past,” Schumer said.

Republicans, led by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, have sharply rebuked Schumer’s remarks. McConnell said calls for the election of a new leader in Israel are “grotesque” and “unprecedented.”

Former President Donald Trump appeared to take aim at Democrats like Schumer when he said in a recent interview with his former White House adviser Sebastian Gorka that Jewish Americans who vote for Democrats — amid Israel’s war against Hamas and other tensions in the Middle East — “hate” their religion and Israel and that they “should be ashamed of themselves.”

“Any Jewish person that votes for Democrats hates their religion,” he said in the interview. “They hate everything about Israel, and they should be ashamed of themselves because Israel will be destroyed.”

In a floor speech Tuesday, Schumer said Trump’s comments to Gorka were “reprehensible and dangerous.”

“The former president’s comments were utterly disgusting and a textbook example of the kind of antisemitism facing Jews, pushing the dangerous antisemitism trope of dual loyalty,” Schumer said. “To say you hate Israel or your religion because you have one political view over the other is sick, it’s hateful, it is unadulterated antisemitism and it serves to use Israel as a political wedge further damaging the bonds between US and Israel.”

Netanyahu’s comments to the Senate Republicans come after Biden and the prime minister have clashed over Israel’s expected military invasion in Rafah.

In the latest development in a standoff between Biden and Netanyahu that’s gone on for weeks — with the U.S. demanding a satisfactory “plan” from Israel — national security adviser Jake Sullivan said Tuesday that Netanyahu, at Biden’s request, would be sending a delegation to Washington to try to work out what he called “an alternative approach.”

The GOP meeting with Netanyahu will occur behind closed doors, but Republican leadership will hold its weekly press conference immediately after.

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