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April 30, 2023 1:59 pm

US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy Arrives in Israel Ahead of Knesset Speech

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avatar by i24 News

i24 NewsUnited States House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy landed in Israel on Sunday, one day before his scheduled speech to the Israeli Knesset.

The California Republican leader is heading a bipartisan group of 20 US congressmen to the Jewish state.

After his arrival at Ben Gurion Airport, where he was greeted by his Israeli counterpart Amir Ohana of the Likud party, McCarthy paid a visit to the Western Wall in Jerusalem, where the congressman called Israel “a blessed nation.”

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“Israel you are a blessed nation,” McCarthy wrote in the Western Wall visitors’ book. “Our shared values unite a bond that will never break,” the Republican added.

McCarthy on Monday will become only the second ever US House Speaker to speak in front of Israel’s parliament, following in the footsteps of fellow Republican Newt Gingrich, who was the first to do so in 1998.

The Republican Speaker has been a staunch supporter of the Jewish state and has publicly supported Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Amid a diplomatic spat between US President Joe Biden and Netanyahu last month over the latter’s proposed judicial reform legislation, McCarthy called Netanyahu a “great friend of the United States.”

McCarthy is one of many high-profile American politicians and officials visiting the Jewish state this month.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries have visited Israel over the past few weeks, both holding meetings with Netanyahu in Jerusalem.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who is considered the main challenger to former American President Donald Trump for the Republican residential nomination in 2024, visited Jerusalem last Thursday and also held a meeting with the Israeli prime minister.

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