Mr. ISRAEL. Mr. Speaker, this week Israel celebrated its 64th Independence Day. Since its founding on May 14, 1948, Israel has become America's greatest ally in the Middle East and our commitment to the U.S.-Israel relationship remains, today, stronger than ever.
Despite years of intermittent war and overwhelming odds, Israel has developed into a thriving democracy representing many of the same democratic principles that we enjoy in the United States today. Israel's vibrant democracy includes a very active free press representing a diverse set of opinions throughout society and a robust and fair legal system guaranteeing citizens' civil rights. Israel respects the freedom of religion for all of those who worship within her state and is a leader in the protection and promotion of gay rights in the Middle East region.
Israel has also become a leader in the fields of agriculture technology and high-tech, developing a drip irrigation system used all over the world and tech devices used in many households and businesses with the same reach. Israel's medical technologies and military advancements have also protected U.S. soldiers on the battlefield and saved many lives.
Israel's many accomplishments are truly inspiring and I am honored to recognize our greatest ally's 64th Independence Day.