update deskU.S.-Israel Relations

Gallant to Congress members: We’re fighting for Western civilization

U.S. support is critical to Israel's victory and to deter our common enemies across the world, the defense minister told the visiting delegation.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant meets with a bipartisan congressional delegation in Tel Aviv, June 17, 2024. Photo by Ariel Hermoni/Ministry of Defense.
Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant meets with a bipartisan congressional delegation in Tel Aviv, June 17, 2024. Photo by Ariel Hermoni/Ministry of Defense.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant met on Monday with a bipartisan U.S. congressional delegation visiting the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv on a trip organized by AIPAC’s American Israel Education Foundation.

The nine-member group consisted of Reps. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), Jake Ellzey (R-Texas), Randy Feenstra (R-Iowa), Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), Glenn Ivey (D-Md.), Greg Landsman (D-Ohio), Lucy McBath (D-Ga.), Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.) and Joe Wilson (R-S.C.), Gallant’s office said.

According to a readout of the meeting, Gallant briefed the lawmakers on developments on Israel’s southern and northern borders as Jerusalem “continues to pursue its goals in the war against the Hamas terrorist organization and defends its citizens from daily attacks by Hezbollah.”

Gallant told the delegation, “Israel is engaged in a war against Iranian proxies—a war on Western civilization. U.S. support in all its forms is critical not only to Israel’s victory, but also to the deterrence of our common enemies across the world.”

The Israel Defense Forces has been fighting a ground war in the Gaza Strip since October, when Hamas-led terrorists murdered some 1,200 people, mainly Jewish civilians, in southern Israel in the deadliest antisemitic attack since the Holocaust.

Meanwhile, Iran-backed Hezbollah has attacked northern Israel nearly every day since joining the war in support of Hamas on Oct. 8, killing more than 20 people and causing widespread damage. Tens of thousands of Israelis remain internally displaced due to the violence.

Senior White House envoy Amos Hochstein, who has been mediating a potential deal to end the conflict in Israel’s north, held meetings with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on Monday in a bid to stave off full-blown war, the Prime Minister’s Office said.

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