Representative Paul Ryan, the U.S. Speaker of the House, is in Israel this week, and visited the Knesset (Israel's parliament) today. There, The Jerusalem Post reports that Ryan talked of the need for an even closer alliance between the U.S. and Israel:
“It’s not by coincidence; it was by design,” Ryan said of his choice of official visit. “We made a very strong decision. I wanted to come to Israel first as Speaker of the House, because, and I can speak her on behalf of our delegation, our alliance is so important, our friendship is so important.”
Ryan said the alliance between Israel and the US is “more important now than ever before” in light of “very difficult times, the rise of ISIS, terrorism, Syrian civil war, Iran.”
“We see you as our friends, our allies, our partners. You’re an island of freedom in a very difficult, chaotic region, and that is why our partnership is all the more important,” he added.
Ryan said it is important for Israel and the US to renew and extend its bilateral security agreement, mentioning missile defense programs like David’s Sling and the Arrow.
The Speaker of the House also said Congress would combat any boycott efforts against Israel.
“That’s something we take pride in, advancing the kind of [anti-boycott] legislation we’ve already advanced this year in the House, and we pledge to stand shoulder to shoulder with you. That’s why we’re here,” Ryan stated.