Jerusalem, Israel – Today, House Republican Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik delivered an address to members of the Israeli Knesset in Jerusalem following an invitation from Speaker Amir Ohana highlighting how America stands with Israel and House Republicans’ fight to protect Jewish students on American college campuses. 

Rep. Stefanik is the highest ranking member of the House of Representatives to visit Israel since the October 7th terrorist attacks. 





Watch her full address here.

Read her full address below.

“Thank you, Speaker Ohana, for your kind introduction and for inviting me here today. Mr. Speaker, MK Moshe Tur-Paz, MK Dan Illouz, distinguished guests, and dear friends: I am profoundly honored to speak in the hallowed halls of your Knesset, in your eternal capital, the holy city of Jerusalem, at this time of historic consequence for Israel and the Jewish people. 

Today, I stand before you not just as a leader in the United States Congress, but as a lifelong admirer, supporter, and true friend of Israel and the Jewish people.  You see I am lucky enough to have had the privilege of traveling here many times before, but I must confess that this time feels different. 

The stakes are higher. Our sense of moral, patriotic duty feels heightened, renewed. 

226 days ago, we witnessed the most vicious, brutal attack on Israel and the Jewish people since the Holocaust, a barbaric terrorist attack that claimed more than 1,200 innocent lives. Civilian women, children, and the elderly were ripped from their homes and massacred. Raped — Beheaded — Jewish families were bound together and burned. Babies burned alive. Atrocities of humanity. 

We must never forget, and we must never relent. 

Israelis, Americans, and others were savagely kidnapped from their homes, beaten, tortured, and taken hostage to the terror tunnels beneath Gaza. And we must remind the world every day that there are still over 120 souls held hostage – 226 days of captivity– including Americans, held by Hamas terrorist thugs.

Let me be very clear: We will not rest until the hostages are back home. 

This period calls to mind the many times forces of evil have tried to destroy Israel and the Jewish people. Since Israel’s first days of existence there have been those who have sought out its destruction. You see, we saw the same eliminationist goal in 1948, during the Fedayeen raids of the 1950s and 60s, in the ‘67 war, the ‘73 war, the successive wars against Hamas in Gaza, and again, on that dark day, October 7th, 2023.

What we are witnessing today is a story of the forces of good versus evil. The forces of civilization against the forces of barbarism, of humanity versus depravity. 

I want to share something I heard the writer Douglas Murray say a couple weeks ago, which I’ve witnessed for myself here this week: Israel chooses life. Murray is right, but let me go further. In choosing life, Israel fulfills Isaiah’s prophecy, to be a light unto nations, fighting for its survival and future in one very tough neighborhood. And I get the sense and I know that the people of Israel know this. 

In the week after October 7th, 360,000 Israelis reported for military duty, flying home from around the world. That's the equivalent of 20 million Americans—more Americans than served in World War II. Many of these courageous fighters are but of college age in America. What a striking comparison: Young Israelis heeding the call of duty, fighting for their families, their people, and their homeland while the pro-Hamas apologists on so-called elite campuses across America are, in a paroxysm of blood lust, cosplaying Hamas, calling for ‘intifada’ and genocide with signs saying ‘Final Solution.’ Chanting ‘Death to Israel.’ And chanting ‘Death to America.’

We know what it must look like, but I want you to know something. Those views, though given airtime by some radical Democrat Members of Congress, those views do not reflect the views of the American people. The American people stand firmly behind you. And we’re already seeing the majority in the body in which I serve, the United States Congress, fight back and turn the tide. 

Let me repeat: America is firmly behind Israel and the Jewish people. 

And this goes back to our nation’s founding. In 1790, America’s Founding Father George Washington wrote a letter to the Jews of Newport, Rhode Island, expressing America’s founding impulse, a devotion to religious pluralism. He wrote that the United States would ‘give to bigotry no sanction’ and ‘persecution no assistance.’ He further wrote: ‘May the Children of the Stock of Abraham, who dwell in this land, continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other Inhabitants; while everyone shall sit in safety under his own vine and figtree, and there shall be none to make him afraid. May the father of all mercies scatter light and not darkness in our paths, and make us all in our several vocations useful here, and in his own due time and way everlastingly happy.’ As long as I serve the American people, I will defend George Washington’s vision of religious pluralism and freedom. Today, this means crushing antisemitism at home, and supplying the State of Israel with what it needs, when it needs it, without conditions, to achieve total victory in the face of evil.  

For all of you, total victory needs no explanation. But total victory is something too many others throughout the free world fail to understand. Total victory starts—but only starts—with wiping those responsible for October 7th off the face of the earth. There can be no retrievable dignity for Hamas and its backers. 

When they chose rape, the torture of civilians, and the mutilation of infants as weapons of terrorism, they left no alternative to this just war. When the genocidal zealots running Iran lobbed missiles at this very city, they removed any doubt as to their hideous intentions. Chants of ‘Death to America’ are not hollow slogans. They are a promise that what happened here on October 7th could happen in the United States—unless Hamas and its Jihadist accomplices are eliminated.

My country, and all countries, must stare truth in the face: This is not Israel’s fight alone. It is also our fight, the West’s fight. In truth, total victory is about more than responding to one attack, it’s about restoring a way of life. It is about securing the Jewish State so that it no longer faces threats of annihilation from any actor, whether from Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas, or any other. And it is the United States’ high honor, and high responsibility, to support Israel’s effort. 

I have been clear at home and I will be clear here: There is no excuse for an American president to block aid to Israel – aid that was duly passed by the Congress. There is no excuse to ease sanctions on Iran, paying a $6 billion ransom to the world’s leading state sponsor of terror, or to dither and hide while our friends fight for their lives. No excuse. Full stop.

That’s why I’m proud to have sponsored, or backed, every measure to aid Israel that has come before the United States Congress. Every single one. It’s why I, as a senior Member on the House  Armed Services Committee and Intelligence Committee, we have helped secure billions of dollars for the Iron Dome, David’s Sling, the Iron Beam, anti-tunneling technology, counter-UAS systems, and further development of emerging technologies—most recently in the supplemental aid package passed just last month. It’s why I led the calls for the White House to speak out against the corrupt ICC. 

And it’s why, for years, I have been a leading proponent and partner to President Trump in his historic support for Israeli independence and security including: moving the U.S. Embassy to its rightful place in Jerusalem, the negotiation of the historic Abraham Accords, the greatest stride toward peace normalization in more than a quarter century, adopting the strategy to align the U.S. Central Command with Israel, a change that fostered daily communications with the IDF, joint exercises, and crucial coordination with British and Arab partners that helped defend against the Iranian attack, and finally, President Trump’s wise decision to call out UNRWA for what it is—a hive of antisemitism—and to eliminate every dollar of its U.S. funding. 

When the enemy is inside the gates of the United Nations, America must be the one to call it by its name and destroy it. President Trump understood that, and B’ezrat hashem, we will return to that strategy soon.

But you know as well as I that the enemy is inside more than just the gates of the United Nations. It is also in powerful western institutions in my country and beyond, where the virus, the vile virus of antisemitism is spreading. This is why total victory means not just physical self-defense but ideological self-defense. 

As chair of the House Republican Conference, I’m proud that House Republicans have passed bipartisan resolutions in support of Israel, called out antisemitism in the halls of Congress, and brought transparency to the antisemitic propaganda pushed on American students and paid for by foreign adversaries. We have passed bills like the DETERRENT Act to ensure our foreign enemies cannot poison the minds of American students.

I also serve as a senior member of the Education and Workforce Committee, where I led the charge to expose this moral rot of antisemitism infecting our supposed most ‘elite’ higher education institutions.  When we heard from Jewish students, faculty members, and staff about antisemitic attacks taking place on their campuses, I demanded Congress host a public hearing to hold colleges and universities accountable for their failure to combat antisemitism and their failure to protect Jewish members of their community.


And I know you all saw that hearing because the world saw that hearing.


And I want to take you into that moment. My question was the last question of the hearing. The most junior member of the committee yielded me her remaining three minutes. And I had asked questions earlier in the hearing, going back and forth with the president of Harvard, now former president, and I wasn’t getting direct answers. So when thinking through the last question, which was not pre-written, I wrote down in pencil right ahead of time and thought to myself, ‘how can I ask this in a straightforward, moral way to force them to answer correctly?’ And that question was: “Does calling for the genocide of Jews violate your university’s code of conduct on bullying and harassment?” 

And one after the other, after the other answered ‘It depends on the context.’ And the world heard. Let me tell you: it does not depend on the context.

And over the years, I’ve been in a lot of high profile committee hearings over the years, and I’ve never witnessed the moral bankruptcy and depravity of witnesses like I did in that hearing. In one week, there were over one billion views worldwide. It is now well into the multiple billions.  And there is a reason that it is the most viewed testimony in the history of the United States Congress. And that is because it exposed the moral rot at the highest levels of these so-called ‘elite’ universities. And as I said after the resignations: two down, so many to go.

That hearing set off an earthquake. Their disgraceful attempt to contextualize genocide of Jews is a symptom of decades of moral decay, intellectual laziness, and dangerous radical groupthink at these so-called ‘elite’ institutions across society. We have put colleges and universities on notice and expanded this investigation to ensure every Jewish and Israeli student, faculty member, and staff member is protected on campus. We’re looking at foreign donations to universities, the failure to protect Jewish students, the federal accreditation system, the assault on viewpoint diversity and free speech, the antisemitism inherent in woke DEI, the erosion in academic integrity, and the extent to which U.S. taxpayers have been forced to bankroll the political indoctrination of young Americans at these institutions.

The days of unchecked antisemitism, of anti-Jewish racism, must be over. We will hold the purveyors of the oldest hatred accountable.

Ladies and gentlemen, this visit has renewed my sense of the stakes of the battle we are in. I want to leave you with one message today, it’s this:  The majority of Americans support you and we always will. Since President Truman’s recognition of Israel 11 minutes after David Ben-Gurion declared Israel’s independence 76 years and 5 days ago, America stands with Israel. 

We must not let the extremism in so-called ‘elite’ corners conceal the deep, abiding love for Israel among the American people. Most Americans feel a strong connection to your people. They have opened their hearts to you in this dark hour.

And I have seen it everywhere: in conversations with my constituents - hardworking families, small businesspeople, farmers, veterans, seniors, and students alike.

And the reason for this love is no mystery to me. 

I was raised in Upstate New York, I attended an all-girls day school right next door to a synagogue. I grew up attending b'nai mitzvot of childhood and family friends and have been welcomed into many homes for Shabbat dinner. I’ve celebrated with my friends the birth of their children, attending baby namings and bri-tote, and signing a ketubah at a friend’s wedding. 

My love and respect for the Jewish people and the people of Israel is lifelong and deep. 

And I have been to Israel many times – even before I was a Member of Congress.  As a Harvard undergraduate, I made my first trip to Israel to study national security policy on a fellowship with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. And I am pleased to say that I have been many times since–most recently, returning as a Member of Congress in May of last year to help lead an Intelligence Committee delegation meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu. During each and every visit to Israel, I am reminded of the fundamental fact that our peoples share an enduring bond, forged over centuries. 

Both Jefferson and Lincoln called America, in one way or another, ‘the last best hope on earth.’ When I come here, to Jerusalem, I sense a shared destiny, one embedded in your national anthem, “Hatikvah” – ‘the hope.’ Israel is indeed a miracle, an outpost of freedom, of Western values, of civilization, a striking example of human potential, the physical embodiment of Herzl’s maxim: ‘If you will it, it is no dream.’ It’s this same founding ethos that we prize in America – The American Dream, which says that with hard work, the right values, you can build a life for yourself, your family, and your community. Herzl’s Dream and the American Dream. These dreams are precious and we must cherish, protect, and fight for them. 

We know we have some difficult days ahead to ensure this always remains true. Prime Minister Netanyahu recently said that if Israel must stand alone, it will. I am here to tell you that it is our duty as Americans that Israel does not stand alone. 

We must never let Israel stand alone. 

I am confident, in the end, that our relationship will not just endure but emerge stronger than ever before. Israel, keep fighting. We are with you. God Bless Israel and God Bless the United States of America. Thank you for this tremendous honor.”