President Joe Biden welcomed Israeli President Isaac Herzog to Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, pledging U.S. support to Israel despite rising violence and human rights abuses against Palestinians and the continued expansion of illegal settlements in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank. Herzog spoke to reporters outside the White House after meeting Biden in the Oval Office.
President Isaac Herzog: “And we discussed, thus, many issues, including the Iranian nuclear threat and the operations by Hezbollah to flare up the region, as well as our ironclad alliance on security, including the ability to build regional cooperation and move forward on the circle of peace.”
Herzog will address a joint meeting of Congress today. Some progressive Democrats are planning to boycott the speech to protest Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. Among those skipping are New York’s Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the first two Muslim women elected to Congress: Minnesota’s Ilhan Omar and Michigan’s Rashida Tlaib, who is Palestinian American.
On Tuesday, members of the House of Representatives voted 412 to 9 in favor of a resolution proclaiming that Israel is “not a racist or apartheid state.” The vote was hastily organized after Congressmember Pramila Jayapal, who heads the Congressional Progressive Caucus, called Israel a “racist state” in public remarks on Saturday. After facing criticism, Congressmember Jayapal later clarified that her comments were directed at the extreme right-wing government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.