Mr. PITTS. Mr. Speaker, as a Nation, one of our strongest allies in the Middle East is Israel. For decades we have stood with this free and democratic state as it has been assaulted. We have always respected the right of Israel to defend itself and to build for itself a stronger nation.
But now our President is causing problems for our ally. The President takes offense at the bureaucratic approval of settlements. But these are not settlements deep in the heart of the West Bank. They are in their capital, Jerusalem. East Jerusalem is an area where half the Jewish population of the capital city currently resides. Prime Minister Netanyahu has made clear: This is an area that will be part of Israel in any peace settlement considered.
In just a few weeks, Israel will celebrate its 62nd year as an independent nation. The United States was the first to stand and recognize Israel on the day of their independence, and since that time we have remained close allies. Let's not let this close relationship move apart. The President should stop giving the cold shoulder to our friends in Israel.