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Israeli President Herzog invited to address joint meeting of Congress

Congressional leaders have invited Israeli President Isaac Herzog to address a joint meeting of Congress when he visits the United States next month, to mark the 75th anniversary of Israel’s founding.

Herzog has been invited to address Congress on July 19 by Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.).

“The world is better off when America and Israel work together,” McCarthy said in a statement Thursday, noting that the United States was the first nation to recognize the state of Israel, 11 minutes after it declared independence in 1948.

“Today, we continue to strengthen the unbreakable bond between our two democracies,” he said.

McCarthy traveled to Israel in May and addressed the Israeli Knesset, or legislature.

“If we remain united, then the forces of freedom and democracy will always prevail,” McCarthy said then. “Together, we will build a world in which our children live with more peace, enjoy more robust economic ties, and are treated with the respect and fairness they deserve.”

In a statement Thursday, Schumer noted that the support for Israel “transcends party politics” and has been bipartisan and bicameral for decades.

“I am pleased Congress will have the opportunity to hear from President Herzog, who has always been a great leader and is particularly influential at this time, to commemorate 75 years of the success of the State of Israel and the strong, enduring U.S.-Israel alliance,” Schumer said in the statement.

Schumer and former House speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) sent an invitation in October for Herzog to address a joint meeting of Congress when he was in Washington for meetings, but it did not take place.

It has become a modern tradition for foreign leaders to address a joint meeting of Congress, if invited, during their formal state visits to the United States. Only two such addresses took place under President Donald Trump. Since President Biden took office, there have been four such addresses — including one by Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and another by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky last year during a surprise visit to Washington.

In April, South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol delivered a nearly hour-long speech to a joint meeting of Congress, praising the “synergy” between his country and the United States. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed a joint meeting of Congress last week, focusing on India’s growth.

This post appeared first on The Washington Post

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