Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (L) Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein. (Miriam Alster/Flash90) (Miriam Alster/Flash90)
Edelstein Ryan

In a visit to Israel along with a number of other Congressmen, Speaker of the US House of Representatives Paul Ryan stressed that the US relationship with Israel is more important than ever during a meeting Monday at the Knesset with Speaker Yuli Edelstein.

“We will work shoulder to shoulder with you against all threats. This is the reason I am here, and this is the point I want to emphasize,” Ryan stated.

“Our friendship with Israel is more important to us than it was in the past,” Ryan added at the meeting with his Israeli counterpart.

Following Congressional legislation last June requiring European trade partners to reject boycotts on Israel, members of Congress introduced the Combating BDS Act of 2016 this past February, which gave federal approval to US states to divest from or prohibit investment in entities associated with anti-Israel BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement.

“I and my fellow members of Congress are working and fighting against every appearance of BDS or any boycott on Israel,” Ryan emphasized.

Ryan elaborated upon his display of friendship with Israel as Speaker of the House.

“I entered the position not too long ago and my first work meeting was with President Reuven Rivlin,” noted Ryan. “Also, this trip of mine to Israel is my first [as Speaker of the House].”

“This was not done by accident,” continued Ryan. “I wanted to come to Israel first in order to emphasize just how committed the United States is to Israel and how important is our strong friendship. Especially against the shared security threats of ISIS and Iran, this friendship is even more important than in the past..”

PM Netanyahu and US Congressional delegation

PM Netanyahu and the Congressional delegation. (Kobi Gideon/GPO)

Speaker Edelstein also expressed his appreciation for the friendship between the United States and Israel.

Edelstein told his guest that he acknowledges the true friends in the United States, in the Congress and in the White House. He said he truly appreciated Ryan’s visit tot he Knesset together with the delegation of additional members of Congress. “In our neighborhood, true friendship isn`t only something important; one must say that the commitment of the United States to stand by Israel’s side regarding sensitive matters and against terror, ISIS, and Iran – this is the guarantee for Israel’s existence.”

Ryan and the bipartisan US Congressional delegation he is leading later met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

By: Jonathan Benedek/TPS and United with Israel Staff