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Public Statements

Israel

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Ms. WASSERMAN SCHULTZ. Thank you very much for putting together this important Special Order hour to give us an opportunity to come together in support of our ally and friend, the State of Israel.

I rise today in praise of President Obama's enduring, unequivocal support for our ally Israel and a vision for a peaceful world.

This morning at the United Nations, President Obama shared with an international audience his commitment to Israel's security in the midst of a challenging region and complex times. The administration approached this year's U.N. General Assembly standing strong with our ally in many respects. From once again boycotting the anti-Semitic activities surrounding the Durban Conference, to pledging to veto any Palestinian unilateral declaration of independence in the Security Council, to working all summer with our partners and allies against the unending efforts to criticize and delegitimize Israel at the U.N., President Obama has been a stalwart ally of Israel in this international forum. I'm so pleased that he continued in that vein this morning with his address to the General Assembly.

In his historic speech to this global audience, President Obama once again demonstrated his stalwart support for our friend and ally Israel. Importantly, President Obama used this opportunity at the United Nations to unambiguously state his support for direct, bilateral negotiations as the only way to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and create a Palestinian state.

As the President said, ``a genuine peace can only be realized between the Israelis and the Palestinians themselves. There is no shortcut to the end of a conflict that has endured for decades. Peace will not come through statements and resolutions at the United Nations. It is the Israelis and the Palestinians, not us, who must reach agreement on the issues that divide them: on borders and on security, on refugees and Jerusalem.''

President Obama made it resoundingly clear that unilateral action will never create a state and that we must continue to support a process between two peoples that recognize both security concerns and national aspirations. And that clarity has not gone unnoticed.

Prime Minister Netanyahu, speaking after the President's speech today, said that our President is wearing a ``badge of honor'' for his commitment to direct, bilateral negotiations as the only way to a Palestinian state.

As he has done so many times in the past, President Obama again put forth our country's unshakable commitment to Israel's safety and security as a central tenet to peace. The President reaffirmed our enduring friendship to our ally Israel noting the very real security concerns of being surrounded by hostile neighbors. He made clear to the world that he understands the very real threat Israelis face in constant rockets and suicide bombs and children coming of age knowing that, throughout the region, other children are taught to hate them. Only when Israel feels its security concerns are met will future generations of Israelis and Palestinians live side by side in pride and in peace.

With the international community assembled, President Obama stressed the difficult but vital efforts we must all make in our quest for peace, not only for Israelis and Palestinians, but also across the Middle East and all around the world.

He spoke of the accomplishments of revolutions that have brought burgeoning democracies to the Middle East and North Africa over the past year and the frustrated aspirations of many in the region where democracy is yet to come.

In praising the new free Libya and urging the international communities to join us in sanctioning Iran and Syria, the President affirmed his commitment to supporting those who wish to cast off tyranny. And in a world free from the terror of Osama bin Laden, President Obama emphasized our continued quest to end the religious, gender, and sexual persecution that prevents all people from achieving their true potential.

I am so proud of President Obama's unwavering support for Israel and his overall vision for peace that he laid out at the United Nations this morning.

Hopefully, hearing the strong message from the United States, the Palestinians will once again return to the negotiating table with Israel and work out a just and lasting solution between the two parties. In the meantime, we can stand tall with the exemplary efforts by this pro-Israel President as we continue to engage diplomatically over the coming weeks to ensure that bilateral negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians will resume.

Thank you, Mr. Deutch, for your unwavering support for our ally.

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