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U.S. House Speaker McCarthy: ‘If Biden doesn’t invite Netanyahu, I will’

Speaker says Israel and America have ‘unique bond’

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, May 1, 2023 (Photo: Amos Ben-GershomGPO)

In an interview with Israel Hayom news, U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy promised to invite Netanyahu to Washington if U.S. President Joe Biden does not. 

"If that [an invitation to the White House] doesn't happen, I'll invite the prime minister to come meet with the House. He's a dear friend, as a prime minister of a country that we have our closest ties with," McCarthy said. 

McCarthy is currently leading a bipartisan Congressional delegation to Israel. The delegation will visit the Yad Vashem World Holocaust Remembrance Center before visiting the Knesset, where the top U.S. diplomat will address the Knesset plenum. He will become the second speaker of the house to do so, following Newt Gingrich in 1998. 

When McCarthy was asked how long he would wait to extend the invitation to Netanyahu, he answered, "I think it's too long now. He [Biden] should invite him soon." 

McCarthy said he had already invited Israeli President Isaac Herzog to speak to both chambers of Congress in June, in honor of Israel’s 75th anniversary. 

McCarthy also stated that Netanyahu was in good company when it comes to a lack of dialogue with Biden. 

"President Biden hasn't talked to me about the debt ceiling for the last 80 some days so I think he, the prime minister, might be in good company if he treats me the same way," McCarthy joked. 

McCarthy, who has been to Israel before, is leading the bipartisan delegation to Israel to celebrate Israel’s 75th anniversary, saying, “It's such a unique bond that our two nations have.” 

He recalled that America was the first nation to recognize Israel’s declaration of independence, remarking that within “minutes of the nation becoming a nation, America recognized you, which I think changed the course of history.” 

McCarthy also said Biden should do more to support the Abraham Accords. 

“This administration should get further behind the Abraham Accords and grow them even bigger. We watched what the power of that was able to do for peace and others,” he said. 

When asked about the threat to democracy in Israel, McCarthy responded that democracy means debating ideas. 

“Democracy means people can have a difference of opinion; democracy means you can openly say it, you can actually debate it, that's healthy.” 

McCarthy has a history of speaking in Israel’s defense, including his statement in 2021 during the Israel-Hamas conflict in Gaza when he condemned Hamas, saying, “There is no moral equivalency between Israel and Hamas.” 

At that time, he called for bipartisan support of Israel. 

“Congress, for its part, should maintain its bipartisan track record of providing security assistance to Israel: no restrictions on funding and no new conditions on aid." 

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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