Today, Congresswoman Ann Marie Buerkle (NY-25), member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and Congressional Representative to the United Nations, released the following statement in recognition of Israel's 64th anniversary of independence, which falls on April 26 this year.
"Today marks Israel's 64th anniversary of independence. I want to extend my best wishes to the Israelis as they celebrate their independence. Each year presents new challenges to the State of Israel, and each passing year of independence marks an achievement. All of those years represent a hard-fought struggle to assert the cultural and political sovereignty of the State of Israel.
"Israel must remain a free and prosperous nation and the United States should provide all support necessary to guarantee her existence. Nurturing a clear and strong relationship with Israel is essential for promoting peace and democracy in the Middle East. Israel is the first line of defense against regimes and groups in the Middle East which oppose America and democratic values."
"On May 14, 1948, the State of Israel declared its independence. 11 minutes after that declaration, the United States recognized the new nation. The United States has continued to support Israel over the past six and a half decades, each of which has been marked by armed conflict.
"With the escalating instability in the Middle East and the threat of a nuclear Iran, it is as important as ever that the United States stand firm with its most important ally in the region. The Obama Administration, Congress, and the American people must reject any weakening of our ties with the Jewish state."
Congresswoman Buerkle introduced House Concurrent Resolution 115 to honor the 64th anniversary of Israel's independence and proclaim the support of the United States for Israel. The legislation has the backing of over 120 Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle.