May 19, 2024

By TOI Staff and Agencies


US Rep. Elise Stefanik is set to address the Knesset today and according to The New York Times, is expected to deliver a “forceful rebuke of President Biden and his fellow Democrats while presenting her party as the true allies of the Jewish state.”

Stefanik will be the highest-ranking House Republican to speak at the Knesset since October 7.

“I have been clear at home, and I will be clear here,” Stefanik will say, according to a version of her speech seen by the newspaper. “There is no excuse for an American president to block aid to Israel.”

“We must not let the extremism in elite corners conceal the deep, abiding love for Israel among the American people,” she will reportedly say. “Americans feel a strong connection to your people. They have opened their hearts to you in this dark hour.”

Since US President Joe Biden paused an arms shipment to Israel, the administration has told key lawmakers it is sending a new package of more than $1 billion in arms and ammunition to Israel.

Stefanik, who has been named as a potential running mate for former US president Donald Trump, rose to prominence in December during a congressional hearing in which she asked the presidents of Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Pennsylvania if “calling for the genocide of Jews” is against the universities’ codes of conduct. All three, weighing campus conduct codes against free speech imperatives, said the answer depended on the context.

Stefanik has been accused of promoting antisemitic conspiracy theories in the past. In 2022, after a mass shooting in Buffalo inspired by the “great replacement” theory, the Anti-Defamation League criticized Stefanik as one of its propagators, saying her campaign’s posts “strategically play on extremist rhetoric to stoke growing fears that white Americans are under attack and minorities seek to eject them.”