Photo Credit: Knesset
Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein and US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Jan. 22, 2020

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein met at the Knesset on Wednesday with US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who Israel’s ties with the US and declared that “it’s hard to even imagine two countries that have stronger ties together.”

Pelosi is among the dozens of leaders who arrived in Jerusalem to take part in the Fifth World Holocaust Forum at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial on Thursday and mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau.

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Pelosi was accompanied by six members of Congress from both sides of the political aisle.

Edelstein stated that the relations between Congress and the Knesset “reflect the friendship between our peoples, our nations, our countries. I’m not sure Israel would be Israel the way we all know it without these relations with our friends in the United States.”

“The Knesset will be more than happy to host you here again and again as our true friends on the Hill,” Edelstein added, mentioning that Pelosi took part in protests for his release when he was a Prisoner of Zion in a Soviet prison.

Picking up on the story, Pelosi said “we were standing outside of that Soviet consulate chanting away for you. And to be here with you, as Speaker to Speaker, is just an unimaginable thrill to me. I asked the Speaker earlier, ‘How is it?’ After all you have been through to now be in – to just be in Israel, but to be in Israel as the Speaker.”

“It is something that is a joy to all of us: our love of Israel. The fact that we have the shared values with Israel and that is one reason for our joy in the creation of Israel as a historical miracle, the greatest political accomplishment of the [20th] century,” she said.

In practical matters, it is the US’ “national security interest to be supportive of Israel. So Israel is – we are in this together as a collaboration. We’re not doing you a favor; we are doing each other a collaboration,” she added.

“Whether it’s political, whether it’s economic, whether it’s security-wise, whether it’s friendships and the rest, it’s hard to even imagine two countries that have stronger ties together,” Pelosi declared.

Edelstein also met on Wednesday at the Knesset with Armenian President Armen Sarkissian, and on Thursday he is scheduled to meet with Albanian President Ilir Meta and President of the European Parliament David Sassoli, and on Friday he will meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

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