House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) told the Knesset on May 1 that he would establish “a House-Knesset Parliamentary Friendship Group” to “strengthen our bonds, build mutual understanding as elected representatives and work better together, democracy to democracy.”
On July 28, he named 12 members of the group, which he called “an exciting new chapter” in the “growing partnership and enduring friendship between Israel and America.”
“For the first time in history, the 435 members of the House and the 120 members of the Knesset have a forum to engage directly with one another, seek solutions that benefit our nations, and faithfully represent our peoples’ hopes and dreams together,” McCarthy stated.
Rep. David Kustoff (R-Tenn.), who is chairing the group, stated that “now more than ever, it is imperative we show the rest of the world that the United States stands firmly with our greatest friend and ally in the Middle East, Israel.”
The other 11 members of the group are Reps. Ann Wagner (R-Mo.), Nicole Malliotakis (R-N.Y.), Anthony D’Esposito (R-N.Y.), John James (R-Mich.), Mike Lawler (R-N.Y.), Max Miller (R-Ohio), Dean Phillips (D-Minn.), Brad Sherman (D-Calif.), Kathy Manning (D-N.C.), Ritchie Torres (D-N.Y.) and Nikema Williams (D-Ga.).
“The special relationship between our two nations is anchored in our shared democratic values and strategic interests,” stated House Minority Leader Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.). “It is this relationship that the members of the House-Knesset Parliamentary Friendship Group will strengthen as they come together with our Israeli counterparts.”