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Kevin McCarthy, ‘true friend of Israel’ ousted from House Speakership

Eight Republican legislators, in partnership with all of the House’s Democrats, voted for new leadership.

U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (center) and Knesset Speaker Amir Ohana (right) visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem on May 1, 2023. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.
U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (center) and Knesset Speaker Amir Ohana (right) visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem on May 1, 2023. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.

The end of the 269-day tenure of Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) as Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives has provoked responses ranging from friendly, warm regards to spiteful snark.

“Kevin McCarthy is a true friend of Israel in every role he has served,” said McCarthy’s former counterpart, Amir Ohana, who serves as speaker of Israel’s Knesset. “As speaker of the House, he did more than any other to strengthen the bond between our legislatures and chose the Knesset to be the first parliament he visited outside of America.”

On Tuesday, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.,) released a statement defending her decision to remove McCarthy in which she called the former speaker, “a weak politician who routinely put his self-interest over his constituents, the American people and the Constitution.”

The Republican Jewish Coalition said on Tuesday on the social-media platform X that “we stand with” McCarthy.

Contenders to the Speakership now include Reps. Steve Scalise (R-La.) and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio.)

Bill Kristol, a former leading Republican operative and now editor-at-large for the neoconservative blog “The Bulwark,” shared Winston Churchill’s adage: “Each one hopes that if he feeds the crocodile enough, the crocodile will eat him last. All of them hope that the storm will pass before their turn comes to be devoured.” 

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