In an address to foreign reporters, Israeli President Isaac Herzog, who did not take questions, lauded a “wonderful meeting” with U.S. President Joe Biden, whom he called a “huge friend of Israel,” per the pool report.
Herzog told reporters that he and the president discussed “many issues” during the meeting, including the “Iranian nuclear threat.”
“Naturally we also discussed the internal issues in Israel,” Herzog said. “We should see the current debate in Israel with all its facets as a tribute to the strength of the Israeli democracy.”
Herzog arrived at the White House on Tuesday for a meeting with Biden, the first stop in the Israeli head of state’s official trip to Washington and New York.
During public comments in the Oval Office, Biden pledged that Iran would never be allowed to acquire a nuclear weapon. “America’s commitment to Israel is firm and ironclad,” he declared.
“As I often have often said, ‘If there wasn’t an Israel, we’d have to make one.’ Seventy-five years, it’s hard to believe,” Biden told Herzog.
“There are some enemies who think we have some differences shaking our ironclad bond,” Herzog responded. “If they knew how our security cooperation has grown in recent years and reached new heights, they wouldn’t think that way.”
He added that his “heart is in Israel,” as protests over the judicial reform effort of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government rock the country.
“This shows something about Israeli democracy, that it is strong. I believe that there is always a need to find consensus,” Herzog said.
As part of Herzog’s visit, which wraps up after he spends Shabbat in New York, the Israeli president is set to visit the White House twice, as well as address a joint session of Congress on Wednesday.
Herzog’s trip to Washington and New York is meant to strengthen the ties between the two countries, “which are placed above all controversy,” his office stated ahead of the trip.