The GOP Must Stop Politicizing Israel

May 3, 2023

This week, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy visited Israel to address the Knesset. During this visit, McCarthy offered to host Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu regardless of whether he is invited to Washington by President Joe Biden.

Speaker McCarthy clearly needs to be reminded that U.S. foreign policy is set by the President of the United States and invitations for state visits are extended by the White House, not Congress. Jewish Americans have no interest in reliving the extremely divisive period surrounding the Israeli Prime Minister’s last invitation to Washington at the behest of a Republican-controlled Congress in 2015. We’re confident that Israel’s Prime Minister will be invited to visit Washington by President Biden at the right time, and we don’t want to see Israel used once again by Republicans as a political wedge issue to score cheap political points.

In his speech, Speaker McCarthy told the Knesset that “if we remain united, then the forces of freedom and democracy will always prevail.” This statement could not ring more hollow from a leader who refused to recognize the results of the last U.S. presidential election and supports efforts to deny Americans their freedoms and reproductive rights.

It’s time for extremist Republicans to stop attempting to mislead Jewish voters — we’ve seen the GOP try this political game in advance of every election, and it fails every single time.

We are confident that the overwhelming majority of Jewish voters will continue to find their political home in the Democratic Party because Democrats align with the Jewish community on every key issue, including Israel, as well as the defense of our democracy, community, and rights against the threats posed by the right-wing extremism that now defines the GOP.

Read our full press release on McCarthy’s visit to Israel.

Thank you for your continued partnership.


Halie Soifer
CEO, Jewish Democratic Council of America