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SHEILA NAZARIAN: The War On Israel Comes To Washington

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Sheila Nazarian Contributor
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Israeli President Isaac Herzog’s visit to Washington is remarkable for several reasons. Israel’s head of government is its Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and the Israeli President’s role is mainly ceremonial. It is the equivalent of Biden meeting with King Charles while snubbing British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. Even so, the visit is an essential milestone in the relationship between the two democracies, highlighting our shared values and the continued vitality of the alliance – and the need to protect it against the radicals who would undermine our most important foreign relationship.

The visit comes amid understated tensions that have only been highlighted by the Biden Administration’s 11th-hour decision to host a brief call between Biden and Netanyahu on Monday night and to finally invite him to the United States later this year for the first time in the Biden presidency. President Biden may have seen inviting Herzog as a politically easier approach to marking Israel’s 75th birthday this year, given that Herzog – unlikely Netanyahu – comes, like Biden, from the more Left-wing end of the political spectrum. Furthermore, Herzog’s visit has been targeted by anti-Israel extremists who oppose any recognition of the Jewish State as a normal country. (RELATED: SHEILA NAZARIAN: Biden Turns An Easy Win Into A Major Misstep)

One highlight of Herzog’s visit is his address to a joint session of the U.S. Congress, an honor that has only been accorded to one other Israeli President in history: his father, former President Chaim Herzog, in 1987. Herzog is a popular and conciliatory figure both in Israel, where he has attempted to find common ground between Netanyahu and his opposition on the contentious judicial reform debate that is gripping that nation, and in Washinton, where his way has been paved by one of Israel’s top diplomats – the President’s brother, Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael “Mike” Herzog. While some members of Congress, particularly the four radicals with antisemitic records known as the “Squad,” have chosen to boycott President Herzog’s speech before Congress, it is vital to remember that they represent a small faction within the Democratic Party. The wide majority of lawmakers from both sides of the aisle understand the significance of the U.S.-Israel alliance and have welcomed President Herzog’s visit.

After anti-Israel Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal called Israel “a racist state,” rapid and overwhelming censure from House Democratic leaders prompted her to walk back the comment; by Monday, over 40 Democrats, led by Representative Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey, released a letter in response powerfully emphasizing that “Israel is the legitimate homeland of the Jewish people, and efforts to delegitimize and demonize it are not only dangerous and antisemitic, but they also undermine America’s national security….” Additionally, House Republicans have organized a vote to reiterate Congressional support of Israel; Democratic Speaker Hakeem Jeffries refused to bail out the anti-Israel extremists and is not whipping his caucus either way on the measure. (RELATED: SHOSHANA BRYEN: Biden Admin Hypocrisy Leaves US Ally Hanging Out To Dry)

The U.S.-Israeli relationship has thrived due to our shared values and common goals. Both countries cherish the principles of democracy, individual liberty, and human rights. These values have created an unbreakable bond between the American and Israeli people, which transcends the political landscape. We also share deep roots as civilizations ultimately grounded in the ethics of the Hebrew Bible and a passionate commitment to individual liberty and the dignity and worth of every human being. Regardless of temporary disagreements or challenging moments, the intrinsic ties between our two nations must and will endure. The alliance between the two nations is built upon shared values, mutual interests, and the understanding that the bond is far stronger than any temporary disagreement. American values are Israeli values, and as President Herzog’s visit so visibly demonstrates, no politician can sever the unbreakable ties between these two great nations.

Dr. Sheila Nazarian is an accomplished Beverly Hills plastic surgeon who starred in her popular Emmy-nominated Netflix series “Skin Decision.” She is also the founder of NazarianSkin, a line of medical-grade skincare products. Dr. Nazarian, who escaped from Iran, built her business from the ground up and inspires other entrepreneurs to do the same through The Nazarian Institute, a conference to help entrepreneurs to ThinkBIG!: Branding, Innovation, and Growth.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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