On Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed a group of 24 American Democrats. to his office in Jerusalem from the House of Representatives.
The journey to Israel this week will be led by House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries of New York and former House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland to talk about the Iranian threat and judicial reform, among other things.
For the members of Congress, Netanyahu outlined Israel’s position regarding a potential nuclear deal with Iran. “The most important thing is to create a credible military threat to Iran, and the second thing is to exploit it if all else fails,” stated the prime minister.
“We don’t want a future in which Iran may use nuclear weapons to attack New York, Washington, Los Angeles, or any other location in between. We categorically do not want a world in which it is possible for them to destroy Israel, which they refer to as a “one-bomb state”—a monstrous claim in and of itself—but which explains where Iran is.
With or without an agreement, we will take every precaution to safeguard ourselves, added Netanyahu.
Michael Tuchin, the president of AIPAC, also attended the conference. The American Israel Education Foundation, a charity linked to AIPAC, is in charge of planning this week’s excursion.
According to a news statement from Hoyer’s office, it is the second visit to the Jewish state by a Democratic delegation during the 118th Congress. The delegation will meet with representatives and activists from Israel and Palestine and discuss the chances for a two-state solution, the fight against terrorism, and the progress of the Abraham Accords.
In addition, Netanyahu talked about the possibility of including Saudi Arabia in the Abraham Accords, stating once more that “economic peace” with Riyadh would represent a “quantum leap.”
The prime minister stated that there is physical infrastructure in place for Saudi-Israeli peace, but politics is preventing it. He thanked the Democrats for supporting Israel’s security and against the false claims that Israel is an “apartheid state” and antisemitism.
Netanyahu also praised America directly. President Joe Biden for the initiatives taken by his administration “to widen the circle of peace.” In a statement prior to the trip, Jeffries stated that House Democrats will be able to “reaffirm our commitment to the special relationship between the United States and Israel, one that is anchored in our shared democratic values and mutual geopolitical interests.”