Israel-US relationship not dependent on political party, Israel’s president tells Nancy Pelosi

WASHINGTON, DC – MARCH 25: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is introduced to speak at the annual American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference on March 26, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli President Reuven Rivlin called House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to stress that Israel’s relationship with the United States is not dependent on one political party.

Rivlin placed the call “Against the backdrop of the recent events,” according to a statement from the President’s Office. He seemingly was referring to the statement by President Donald Trump in which the Republican leader said at a news conference Tuesday in the Oval Office, “I think any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat, I think it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty.”

Rivlin thanked Pelosi, a Democrat, for her “unqualified commitment to U.S.-Israel relations and for being a true friend,” according to the statement.

“The relationship between the State of Israel and the United States is a link between peoples, which relies on historical ties, deep and strong friendships and shared values that are not dependent on the relationship with one particular party,” he said.

Rivlin also quoted John F. Kennedy, also a Democrat, who said that “Friendship with Israel is not a partisan matter. It is a national commitment.”

The Israeli president said his country should remain “above political disputes and make every effort to ensure that support for Israel does not become a political issue,” adding that the “elections we hold give voice to the will of our citizens.”

“We agree with the opinions of some, we speak out against the opinions of others,” he said, “but we respect the wishes of each of our peoples.”