update deskU.S.-Israel Relations

Herzog says he plans to address Congress soon

The Israeli president was invited last October to address the lawmakers.

President Joe Biden welcomes President Isaac Herzog to the Oval Office, Oct. 26, 2022. Source: POTUS/Twitter.
President Joe Biden welcomes President Isaac Herzog to the Oval Office, Oct. 26, 2022. Source: POTUS/Twitter.

Israeli President Isaac Herzog on Tuesday said that he plans to visit the White House and address a joint session of the U.S. Congress “in the near future.”

He spoke during remarks via video to a gathering at the Israeli embassy in Washington celebrating the Jewish state’s 75th anniversary. U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris then addressed the attendees.

U.S. President Joe Biden is planning to invite Herzog to the White House for a second time this summer, with the trip expected in July. Herzog met with Biden there last October under the previous Israeli government.

The U.S. president has yet to extend an invitation to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu since he took office again for the sixth time in December. Biden announced to reporters in North Carolina in March that he has no plans to invite Netanyahu in the “near term,” while also calling on him to “walk away” from judicial reform.

“Israel is a sovereign country which makes its decisions by the will of its people and not based on pressures from abroad, including from the best of friends,” said Netanyahu in response to Biden.

In her address at the embassy on Tuesday, Harris also weighed in on the judicial reform debate, stressing the importance of an “independent judiciary.”

During his visit to Washington in October, Herzog was also invited to address a joint session of Congress in honor of Israel’s 75th anniversary. 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) issued the invitation to Herzog in a joint letter, writing that the two countries share “an unbreakable bond rooted in common security, shared values and friendship.”

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