After Congressional Leadership Changes, Supporting Israel Remains the Message

In July of last year, I wrote about how among top Republican and Democratic leaders of the United States House of Representatives and Senate “the support for the government of Israel appears unanimous and over the top” even though polling indicates Americans are pretty evenly divided between having favorable and negative views of the Israel government.

Here we are a year later, and the situation seems the same as before.

We still have Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) as Senate majority leader and Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) as the Republican leader in the Senate expressing unwavering support for the Israel government.

Meanwhile, over in the House, after a change in party majority and in the top leader for the Democrats, the Republican and Democratic top leaders are expressing the Israel all the way message just as did the prior House speaker and minority leader before the 2022 election altered the House’s membership.

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) likes to repeat his own variation on a line Alabama Governor George Wallace had declared decades earlier in regard to segregation. “Israel today, Israel tomorrow, Israel forever,” proclaimed Jeffries in at least two speeches over the last ten years he has been a House member. After becoming House minority leader in January, Jeffries chose to make a trip to Israel his first overseas trip while holding that leadership position. It was far from his first trip to Israel as a member of the House. Jeffries made the trip to Israel four times previously — in 2013, 2018, 2019, and 2022.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), the new House speaker who had been House minority leader for the four years before taking on the new position in January, traveled to Israel a week after Jeffries. Like Jeffries, McCarthy had also previously taken several trips to Israel while a House member.

Maybe these two frequent visitors should buy a timeshare in Israel together. Then again, they are not paying their own hotel bills for their trips.

Next week, Israel President Isaac Herzog will present a speech before a joint session of the House and Senate. Such an opportunity is provided to few individuals.

In his June 29 press release announcing Herzog’s upcoming speech, McCarthy made clear the invitation came jointly from Schumer, McConnell, McCarthy, and Jeffries. In the short press release, McCarthy found room for multiple expressions of his and the United States government’s devotion to the Israel government, including claiming a “special relationship between our two nations” and stating that “we continue to strengthen the unbreakable bond between our two democracies.”

Reprinted with permission from the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.

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