This past week marked the 64th anniversary of the founding of the State of Israel. From day one, the United States and Israel have enjoyed a strategic partnership based on shared democratic values, friendship, and respect. With the escalating instability in the Middle East and the threat of a nuclear Iran, it is as important as ever we stand firmly with our most important ally in the region.
Violence against Israel, led by extremist groups, is relentless and it illustrates the need for the U.S. to continue providing strong and unequivocal support for our key ally. Just last month, the worst violence in more than a year erupted when radical militants fired hundreds of rockets into Israeli territory, one of which hit a school. Sadly, these indiscriminate attacks are just part of daily life in the land many faiths call home.
Just like every other nation, Israel always must have the ability to defend herself and has the obligation to protect her citizens. Still, the United Nations has frequently and disproportionately singled out Israel for exercising her basic right of self-defense. Even more concerning, the same extremists who seek Israel's destruction also seek the destruction of the United States. Strengthening Israel's security against our common enemies ultimately strengthens our own security.
Keeping our commitment to Israel is one of my top foreign policy priorities, which includes preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. Such an event would represent an existential threat to not only the Jewish people, but also the United States and the West. Meanwhile, Iran continues to manipulate the negotiation process over its suspect nuclear program, and I remain concerned about the current Administration's approach in the face of this grave threat.
Iran is the world's leading state sponsor of terror and is racing toward a nuclear weapons capability. Through its proxy armies of Hezbollah in Southern Lebanon, Hamas in the Gaza Strip and insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Iranian regime has for years been actively supporting terrorists carrying out sustained attacks on U.S. military personnel and Israeli civilians. When Iran's Holocaust-denying President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says he wishes to "wipe Israel off the map," we must take him at his word.
Despite the partisan rancor in Washington, America's unwavering commitment to Israel remains a strong bridge of bipartisanship between political parties in Congress. As a member of the GOP Israel Caucus and having visited Israel, I will continue to work with my colleagues to help bring peace and stability to the Middle East.
Our strategic relationship with Israel dates back to when President Harry Truman became the first world leader to officially recognize the Jewish State -- just 11 minutes after her people declared their independence. Now, we must continue to work together to strengthen this crucial alliance, built upon shared concerns and values, as threats continue to materialize in the region.