Israeli President Isaac Herzog dealt with an unique joint session of Congress on Wednesday, informing lawmakers that despite vigorous debates within Israel, or occasional distinctions with the U.S., “we will constantly be household.”
Herzog connected continuous disputes within Israel about judicial reform to America’s own internal arguments about democracy, and to occasional policy differences between the U.S. administration and Israeli federal governments.
The bonds that unified both sides, he said, both within countries and in between them, were solid. He said:
Dear buddies: It’s obvious that over the past couple of months, the Israeli people have actually participated in a heated and agonizing dispute. We have actually been immersed in voicing our differences, and revisiting and renegotiating the balance of our institutional powers in the lack of a written constitution. In practice, the intense debate going on back house, even as we speak, is the clearest tribute to the fortitude of Israel’s democracy. Israel’s democracy has actually constantly been based on totally free and reasonable elections; on honoring the people’s option; on protecting minority rights; on protection of human and civil liberties; and on a strong and independent judiciary. ‘
Our democracy is likewise 120 members of Knesset, consisted of Jews, Muslims, Christians, Druze, representing every viewpoint under the Israeli sun, working and disputing side-by-side. Our democracy is also late Friday afternoon, when the sound of the muezzin contacting us to prayer blends with the siren revealing the Sabbath in Jerusalem, while one of the biggest and most excellent LGBTQ pride parades in the world is going on in Tel Aviv. Our democracy is also reflected in protesters taking to the streets all across the country to emphatically raise their voices and busily demonstrate their points of view. Our democracy is the blue-and-white Israeli flag, waved and loved by all Israelis, taking part in the debate.
I am well affair of the imperfections of Israeli democracy, and I understand the concerns presented by our greatest of good friends. The memorable debate in Israel is painful and deeply unnerving since it highlights the cracks in the entire, within the entire whole. As president of Israel, I am here to inform the American people, and each of you, that I have fantastic confidence in Israeli democracy. Although we are working through our concerns, similar to you, I understand our democracy is strong and resilient. Israel has democracy in its DNA.
I am deeply conscious of the challenge which this minute provides to Israeli society, and I have made it the top priority of my presidency to play a leading function in this crucial and emotional public conversation. I will state to you, dear friends, in English, what I stated to my people, my siblings and bros, in Hebrew back home. As a nation, we must discover a way to talk to each other, no matter for how long it takes. As head of state, I will continue doing whatever to reach broad public consensus and to preserve, protect and safeguard the state of Israel’s democracy.
Dear friends: For so many Israelis, this really public dispute is likewise extremely personal. It is now a little after 6 p.m. in Israel. They will sit down to dinner together next to friend or family, with whom they might significantly disagree, but they are and they will always remain family. Israel and the United States will inevitably disagree on lots of matters. But we will constantly remain household.
Our revolutionary societies have so much to give to the world, therefore much to learn from each other. Our bond may be challenged at times, however it is definitely solid.
Herzog likewise addressed the concern of antisemitism, in the wake of criticism by Progressive Caucus chair Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), who called Israel a “racist state” over the weekend (prior to asking forgiveness). He stated:
Mr. Speaker, I’m not unconcerned to criticism amongst good friends, consisting of some revealed by respected members of this home. I respect criticism, especially from pals, although one does not always need to accept it.
However criticism of israel must not cross the line into negation of the State of Israel’s right to exist.
Questioning the jewish people’s right to self-determination is not genuine diplomacy. It is antisemitism.
On Tuesday, your house voted 412-9 for a resolution condemning antisemitism and supporting Israel, and stating “the State of Israel is not a racist or apartheid state.” All 9 “no” votes were from Democrats.
Herzog met President Joe Biden at the White Home on Tuesday. The White House, stung by criticism of its unprecedented choice not to welcome Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to check out, despite the truth that he was elected last year, announced Monday that Biden and Netanyahu would fulfill eventually this year.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His current book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.