US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy at Western Wall on April 30, 2023. McCarthy (Western Wall Heritage Foundation) (Western Wall Heritage Foundation)
McCarthy at Western Wall

The two talked privately before expanding their discussion into a working lunch with other members of the visiting bipartisan U.S. congressional delegation.


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with United States House Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Monday in Jerusalem.

The two talked privately, then expanded their discussion into a working lunch with other members of the  bipartisan U.S. congressional delegation McCarthy is leading.

McCarthy late last month expressed his backing for the Netanyahu government amid an ongoing national debate in Israel over the judicial reform initiative.

“Prime Minister Netanyahu is an Israeli patriot, statesman and most importantly, a great friend of the United States,” McCarthy wrote. “Free societies have vigorous and open debate. Israel is no exception.

“I support Netanyahu, and America’s support for Israel’s strong, vibrant democracy is unwavering,” he added.

McCarthy arrived on Sunday at the head of a 20-member delegation of Republican and Democrat lawmakers, and immediately traveled to the Western Wall in the Israeli capital.

“Israel, you are a blessed nation,” McCarthy wrote in the holy site’s visitor book, adding: “Our shared values unite a bond that will never break.”

The U.S. delegation earlier Monday visited Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust Memorial Center, accompanied by Knesset Speaker Amir Ohana.

McCarthy is scheduled to address the Israeli parliament as it opens its summer session later in the afternoon. The only other U.S. House speaker to address the Knesset was Georgia Republican Newt Gingrich in 1998.

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