newsU.S.-Israel Relations

Netanyahu stresses ‘joint stand against Iran’ in meet with US lawmakers

The Israeli premier thanked Reps. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.) and David Kustoff (R-Tenn.) for their support since Hamas's Oct. 7 massacre.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets in his office in Jerusalem with U.S. Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), July 3, 2023. Photo by Haim Zach/GPO.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets in his office in Jerusalem with U.S. Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), July 3, 2023. Photo by Haim Zach/GPO.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Reps. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.) and David Kustoff (R-Tenn.) on Wednesday at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem.

Netanyahu thanked Gottheimer for the congressman’s consistent support for Israel, as well as American backing since Hamas’s Oct. 7 massacre and the ensuing war.

The prime minister emphasized “the importance of a joint stand against Iran and its axis of proxies,” according to a statement from his office. Netanyahu also stated that he is looking forward to his upcoming speech to a joint session of Congress.

In the meeting with Kustoff, Netanyahu likewise raised “regional developments, with an emphasis on the Iranian threat,” his office said.

“Prime Minister Netanyahu thanked Rep. Kustoff for his consistent and unconditional support for the State of Israel since the beginning of the war,” added the statement.

Earlier on Wednesday, Kustoff attended the inauguration of the House-Knesset Parliamentary Friendship Group, the newest body aimed at deepening ties between the two allies.

“My message for you is that the United States strongly supports you. Prays for you, and will never abandon Israel,” the Jewish congressman, who chairs the U.S. team, said in his address.

Israel and the United States are “united by an unbreakable bond” originating in common values such as democracy and freedom, he added. Kustoff also discussed the resilience he had witnessed while visiting the sites of the Oct. 7 massacres, such as at Kfar Aza, where Hamas terrorists murdered over 50 innocent civilians.

U.S. President Joe Biden is expected to meet with Netanyahu when the prime minister travels to Washington later this month, according to CNN.

The report, citing a source familiar with the logistics of the visit, said the meeting will likely take place at the White House.

Netanyahu will address Congress on July 24 at the invitation of House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.), House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

In a statement, the four men said the invitation “symbolizes the U.S. and Israel’s enduring relationship and will offer Prime Minister Netanyahu the opportunity to share the Israeli government’s vision for defending their democracy, combating terror and establishing just and lasting peace in the region.”

The speech will mark the fourth time the Israeli premier has addressed Congress, the highest number of any foreign leader.

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