The speakers of the U.S. House of Representatives and Israel’s Knesset toasted the “strong friendship” between their two nations.
U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Israeli Knesset speaker Dalia Itzik raised their glasses on Wednesday afternoon at a reception hosted by Pelosi in the U.S. Capitol and attended by about 20 members of Congress.
Pelosi held up the dog tags of three Israeli soldiers kidnapped in 2006 – the bodies of two of them, Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, were repatriated to Israel earlier this year – and said she keeps them as a “symbol of the sacrifices made, sacrifices far too great by the people of the state of Israel.”
The third solider, Gilad Shalit, is still believed to be held by Hamas in Gaza.
Itzik said that America’s “continued bipartisan support for the strong State of Israel is very important to us” and emphasized that the Jewish state’s “main challenge is Iran.”
The reception concluded with the blowing of the shofar by American Friends of Lubavitch’s Washington director, Rabbi Levi Shemtov.