President Isaac Herzog has been invited to address a joint session of the US Congress on July 19 that will mark the 75th anniversary of Israeli statehood, Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy said Thursday.
“In May, I became the second speaker of the US House of Representatives in history to address the Israeli Knesset, and now, it is my privilege to host Israeli President Isaac Herzog for a similar honor,” he said in a statement. “The only other president of Israel to share this distinction was his father – [former] president Chaim Herzog – more than 35 years ago.”
“The world is better off when America and Israel work together,” McCarthy said. “Eleven minutes after declaring independence in 1948, the United States was the first to recognize the State of Israel, and today we continue to strengthen the unbreakable bond between our two democracies.”
Herzog is also expected to meet with US President Joe Biden at the White House.
Biden has not yet invited Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the White House and earlier this year said he had no plans to do. Biden has criticized the Israeli government’s proposed judicial reform. His administration is also critical of Israel’s construction plans in Judea and Samaria.
At the same time, US-Israel security and intelligence cooperation has continued apace, and the US has sought to help Israel and Saudi Arabia establish diplomatic relations.
Netanyahu has addressed a joint session of Congress three times, tying him with former British prime minister Winston Churchill as the foreign leader who has done so the most times. The last time was in 2015, when he expressed opposition to the impending nuclear deal with Iran.