update deskU.S.-Israel Relations

Israel one of most cherished US allies, says visiting Montana senator

The senator thanked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for his "steadfast leadership" and heard firsthand about the challenges Israel faces, per a spokeswoman.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with Sen. Steve Daines in Jerusalem Aug. 30, 2023. Photo by Amos Ben-Gershom/GPO.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with Sen. Steve Daines in Jerusalem Aug. 30, 2023. Photo by Amos Ben-Gershom/GPO.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) discussed the fight against Iran and its terrorist proxies across the Middle East, particularly the threat posed by Lebanon-based Hezbollah, during a meeting on Wednesday in Jerusalem.

“Israel is one of the United States’ most important and cherished allies,” Rachel Dumke, the senator’s deputy communications director, told JNS after the meeting.

Daines thanked Netanyahu for his “steadfast leadership” and heard firsthand about the challenges Israel faces, according to Dumke.

The senator also reaffirmed “our commitment to stand in solidarity with Israel” and discussed “how our nations can further strengthen their partnership in countering the world’s leading sponsor of terror in Iran and achieving energy security,” Dumke said.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant called on Monday for the United Nations to step in to stop the growing threat from Hezbollah.

The minister made the request during a meeting at the organization’s headquarters in New York with U.N. Secretary General António Guterres. He also met with Biden administration officials in the city.

In Jerusalem, Netanyahu and Daines also spoke about artificial intelligence, including the opportunities in the field and the need for bilateral cooperation to maximize their effectiveness, per a readout from the prime minister’s office.

Finally, Netanyahu expressed his solidarity over the wildfires in Montana and noted that Israel faces a similar issue.

On Sunday, Netanyahu met visiting Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.). The two discussing major challenges and opportunities facing both countries, and Netanyahu thanked Hassan for her “consistent support for Israel.”

Laura Epstein, a spokeswoman for Hassan, told JNS that the senator met with Netanyahu as part of an official congressional trip to Israel this week. The trip included meeting with Israeli President Isaac Herzog, opposition and Yesh Atid Party leader Yair Lapid, leaders of other political parties, civil society organizations, and technology and security experts.

Netanyahu is expected to fly to New York for the U.N. General Assembly general debate next month, during which he may meet with U.S. President Joe Biden, although neither side has confirmed details.

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