Herzog to become second ever Israeli president to address Congress

The first was his father, more than 35 years ago.

By JNS

Israeli President Isaac Herzog will address a joint session of Congress on July 19, U.S. lawmakers announced on Thursday.

The speech is meant to “commemorate the 75th anniversary of the statehood of Israel and reaffirm the special relationship between our two nations,” said a statement issued by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, House Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell.

The only other Israeli president to address both chambers of Congress was Herzog’s father, Chaim, in November 1987.

“The world is better off when America and Israel work together,” McCarthy said in the statement, noting that the United States was the first nation to recognize Israel, 11 minutes after it declared independence in 1948.

“Today, we continue to strengthen the unbreakable bond between our two democracies,” he added.

McCarthy traveled to Israel in May and addressed the Knesset, becoming only the second-ever person in his post to address the legislature in Jerusalem.

Schumer said in the statement: “I am pleased Congress will have the opportunity to hear from President Herzog, who has always been a great leader and is particularly influential at this time, to commemorate 75 years of the success of the State of Israel and the strong, enduring U.S.-Israel alliance.”

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During his trip, Herzog will meet with U.S. President Joe Biden in Washington and visit with Jewish community leaders in New York City.

Herzog met with the U.S. president at the White House last October under the previous Israeli government.

Biden has yet to extend an invitation to Washington to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu since he took office again for the sixth time in December. The U.S. president said in March that he has no plans to invite Netanyahu in the “near term.”