Congressional Israel Victory Caucus' launch by Republicans reinforces support for Israel

By:
Valerie Richardson
June 3, 2018
source:
Washington Times
โ€โ€œWe founded this caucus primarily on one single irrefutable principle, and that is first and foremost, Israel has a fundamental right to exist and defend herself. And that is not negotiable,โ€ said Rep. Bill Johnson, Ohio Republican, (left) who chairs the Congressional Israel Victory Caucus with Rep. Ron DeSantis, Florida Republican, (not pictured.) (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Republicans fortified their growing bond with Israel by launching Thursday the Congressional Israel Victory Caucus, a coalition aimed at promoting widespread recognition of the Jewish stateโ€™s right to exist as a predicate to peace.

โ€œWe founded this caucus primarily on one single irrefutable principle, and that is first and foremost, Israel has a fundamental right to exist and defend herself. And that is not negotiable,โ€ said Rep. Bill Johnson, Ohio Republican, who chairs the caucus with Rep. Ron DeSantis, Florida Republican.

No Democratic lawmaker spoke at the press conference to unveil the caucus, which comes with President Trump championing Israel after eight years of strained relations under the Obama administration.

Mr. DeSantis is the chairman of the House subcommittee on national security, which oversees U.S. embassies. He cited reports that Mr. Trump is in discussions to visit Israel on May 22, and predicted that the president at that time would announce the relocation of the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. (Palestinians have claimed Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.)

Mr. DeSantis, who toured in March possible relocation sites for the U.S. Embassy in Israel, noted that such a trip would coincide with the 50th anniversary of Jerusalem Day, which marks the reunification of the city after the Six-Day War in 1967.

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