This week, House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.), joined House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), House Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-Minn.), House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas), Congressman Joe Wilson (R-S.C.), Congressman David Kustoff (R-Tenn.), Congressman August Pfluger (R-Texas), Congressman Max Miller (R-Ohio), and House Republicans to affirm his support for Israel. As prominent House Democrats slander Israel as “a racist state,” Leader Scalise reaffirmed the importance of America’s relationship with Israel – its strongest democratic ally in the Middle East. Leader Scalise also thanked President Isaac Herzog of Israel for his remarks from the joint session of Congress, condemned anti-Semitism, and highlighted Israel’s right to self-determination and its national defense.
Leader Scalise’s remarks:
“Well thank you [House Republican Conference Chair Stefanik], and it was such a special time to be in the House chamber to hear President Herzog talk about this incredible bond between the United States and Israel. A 75 year bond as he talked about. As soon as Israel established statehood, we signed on as the first ally. You saw resounding applause there. In fact, there were a lot of moments where you saw the entire House chamber stand up and applaud so many of the powerful words that President Herzog spoke about, and I think – if you look at all the different topics he covered – he really hit on some very, very important themes.
“Of course, he talked about the shared bond between our two countries and how important a strong Israel, and a strong America, [are] for both of our countries. This is something that we have always continued to work on, but to make sure that we’re always working together – [the] United States and Israel – fighting common enemies, standing up against bad actors around the world. And [there is] no bigger threat right now to Israel and the United States, than one of – I think – the more powerful parts of President Herzog’s speech, and that’s when he spoke out against Iran’s development of a nuclear weapons program. I think we need to see stronger leadership from this President standing up against Iran’s efforts to get a nuclear weapon. It’s a threat to America. It’s a threat to Israel. It’s a threat to anybody who seeks freedom around the world, and there was no equivocation in the remarks of President Herzog.
“He also talked about the Abraham Accords. Really just three years ago, many of us were there at the White House, when President Trump ushered in historic agreements – peace agreements – between other nations in the Middle East. And to hear President Herzog talk about how important it is [and] how Israel rallies around that. How many people from Israel have gone to those countries that have signed Abraham Accords. And that’s how you continue to establish and promote more peace.
“And he also offered an olive branch to Palestinians. There is an opportunity for peace, but both sides need to want that. Israel has always been willing to come to the table, and this is where I think the President [of Israel] got into some very important, direct words about anti-Semitism. His words against anti-Semitism were incredibly powerful. We can all have discussions internally, we can have disagreements. We sure know how we can have disagreements amongst each other and friends, but he drew a clear line, and said, ‘When you cross that line and threaten Israel’s right for self-governance, that’s when it goes too far. That’s when it becomes anti-Semitism.’ He called it out by name right there from the podium and I thought that was incredibly powerful and necessary at a time where – as our Conference Chair Elise Stefanik said, we’ve got some members in Congress who continue to promote that anti-Semitism [and] who boycotted this speech because of anti-Semitism. To have President Herzog come and deliver those remarks were incredibly powerful, incredibly timely, and incredibly necessary.
“We always need to continue to promote this great [and] strong bond and – as I turn it over to our Whip – I do want to point out that one of the special parts of that speech, and it’s really how President Herzog opened up about how special it was to him personally because his father had spoken from that same podium. And from what we’ve looked at, this may be the first time ever that a father and son, president[s] of a country, have both spoken to a joint session of Congress and no better person to make that history than the President of Israel. So a very, very special day.”