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Isaac Herzog’s address to U.S. Congress underscores ‘indestructible relationship’ in the face of American concerns

by Madison Thomas
8 comments
Isaac Herzog's Congressional Address

The ceremonial President of Israel, Isaac Herzog, addressed the United States Congress on Wednesday, reiterating the ‘indestructible relationship’ between the two nations, in the face of U.S. apprehension over Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s contentious judicial reforms and ongoing West Bank settlement construction.

Herzog, succeeding his father Chaim Herzog, is the second Israeli President to make a speech to Congress, marking Israel’s 75th year.

However, Herzog’s visit also brings to light the challenge that Democrats face in reconciling their enduring support for Israel with their disapproval of some actions by the Netanyahu government, a coalition of ultranationalist and ultra-Orthodox parties.

On Tuesday, the House passed a resolution led by Republicans to reaffirm its backing for Israel, which received significant bipartisan support. This action is an indirect censure of a leading Democrat who labeled Israel as a ‘racist state’ over the weekend, but later apologized.

The resolution was presented by Rep. August Pfluger, R-Texas, and received backing from over 400 lawmakers. Although it did not specifically name Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., it was clearly a response to her recent criticism of Israel and its treatment of Palestinians.

Jayapal, the chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, retracted her comments the following day, stating they were intended for Netanyahu, not Israel.

The Republican-led initiative showcased the disagreement among House Democrats over Israel, with younger progressives taking a more critical position towards the long-standing U.S. ally.

Herzog, during his White House visit on Tuesday, reassured President Biden that despite U.S. concerns over Netanyahu’s plans to overhaul the judiciary, Israel’s commitment to democracy remains steadfast.

Opponents argue that Netanyahu’s proposed judicial reforms could lead to authoritarian rule, destroying Israel’s delicate checks and balances system, a claim that has concerned numerous American Jewish groups and Democratic lawmakers.

Herzog’s visit follows a large-scale Israeli operation in the West Bank, which has exacerbated the disagreements with the U.S.

Despite these disagreements, President Biden emphasized the strength of the U.S.-Israel relationship, describing it as ‘simply unbreakable.’ He confirmed America’s unwavering commitment to Israel, despite reservations over several of Netanyahu’s policies.

In anticipation of Herzog’s visit, Biden conversed with Netanyahu over the phone, extending an invitation for a U.S. meeting this autumn. This conversation, according to Herzog, sent a significant message to the region, affirming the ‘indestructible bond’ despite any existing disagreements.

The Biden administration has not confirmed whether Netanyahu will be hosted at the White House, an invitation typically extended to Israeli prime ministers. The delay in extending this invitation has stirred controversy in Israel, with critics citing it as a sign of worsening U.S.-Israel relations.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Isaac Herzog’s Congressional Address

Who addressed the U.S. Congress recently?

The President of Israel, Isaac Herzog, recently addressed the U.S. Congress.

What was the main focus of Isaac Herzog’s address to Congress?

The main focus of Herzog’s address was to reiterate the ‘indestructible relationship’ between Israel and the United States, despite U.S. apprehension over Israel’s internal policies.

What actions of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has the U.S. expressed concern about?

The U.S. has expressed concerns about Netanyahu’s contentious judicial reforms and the ongoing settlement construction in the West Bank.

Who was the resolution passed by the House in response to?

The resolution passed by the House, led by Republicans, was a response to Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., who had recently criticized Israel and its treatment of Palestinians.

How did Herzog reassure Biden during his White House visit?

During his White House visit, Herzog reassured President Biden that, despite U.S. concerns over Netanyahu’s plans to overhaul the judiciary, Israel’s commitment to democracy remains steadfast.

What was President Biden’s stance on the U.S.-Israel relationship?

Despite existing disagreements, President Biden emphasized the strength of the U.S.-Israel relationship, describing it as ‘simply unbreakable.’ He confirmed America’s unwavering commitment to Israel.

Has Netanyahu received an invitation for a White House visit?

President Biden has had a phone conversation with Netanyahu, extending an invitation for a U.S. meeting this autumn. However, the Biden administration has not confirmed whether this meeting will take place at the White House.

More about Isaac Herzog’s Congressional Address

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8 comments

Isabella_M July 19, 2023 - 8:52 am

Guys, we have to keep in mind, political landscape’s complicated. It’s always a tightrope walk between maintaining relations and standing up for values!

Reply
Ron_D July 19, 2023 - 10:40 am

I just hope Herzog’s right, this unbreakable bond thing needs to be real in these uncertain times.. politics can get so messy

Reply
JohnD_Patriot July 19, 2023 - 1:58 pm

You bet! US-Israeli relationship unbreakable! The Dems need to understand that.

Reply
SamK_Liberal July 19, 2023 - 2:30 pm

Netanyahu’s pushing for this overhaul is crazy right, but you have to admit, there’s some valid points in there… but at what cost?? can’t be undermining democracy…

Reply
Jake_Allen July 19, 2023 - 8:29 pm

cant believe the tension between us n israel, thought we were tight! but these issues with netanyahu’s changes are a bit iffy aren’t they?

Reply
Lisa_NYC July 19, 2023 - 9:33 pm

why does everything have to be so divisive these days. Im sure theres a middle ground to be found on Israel…

Reply
Maria_Thompson July 20, 2023 - 2:01 am

So we’re just ignoring settlements in the West Bank?? come on we need a two state solution fast…

Reply
Alex_Historian July 20, 2023 - 4:58 am

Remember Herzog’s dad also addressed congress. Like father, like son, huh. Really historical moment.

Reply

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