House Speaker Kevin McCarthy delivered remarks before the Israeli Knesset, the national legislature of Israel. McCarthy led a bipartisan congressional delegation, consisting of 20 lawmakers, to the country to celebrate its 75th anniversary of independence. The trip is McCarthy’s first foreign trip as House speaker and marks the second time a sitting speaker traveled to Israel since Newt Gingrich did so in 1998.
Receiving a standing ovation for his remarks, McCarthy reinforced U.S.-Israeli relations and announced the formation of a House-Knesset parliamentary friendship group. He said the newly formed friendship group will allow the House to engage more directly with the Israeli Parliament, travel to Israel to strengthen existing relationships and host Knesset members traveling to the U.S: “This will be part of a new chapter of U.S.-Israel relations … If we remain united, then the forces of freedom and democracy will always prevail … This is the foundation of our special relationship.”
McCarthy emphasized Israel’s efforts to achieve independence in his speech to the parliament, calling the nation’s rebirth “nothing less than a modern miracle,” and said that the United States and Israel are the only two countries “conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all our equal.” Said McCarthy: “My greatest hope is that our special relationship can serve as a foundation for greater peace across the Middle East. The progress towards peace in the past few years have simply been remarkable.”
The House Speaker said the Iranian regime is the main threat to peace in the Middle East: “Most of the turmoil in this region, the violence and instability, can be traced back to that source,” and added that as long as he is House Speaker, the United States will continue to fully fund security assistance for Israel and ensure that Iran never acquires a nuclear weapon: “We cannot allow the Iranian regime’s evil campaign to succeed.”
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