Mr. AL GREEN of Texas. Mr. Speaker, the State of Israel is the premiere functioning democracy in the Middle East and has been a steadfast ally of our great nation since its inception. I would like to congratulate the state of Israel on the 64th anniversary of its independence. The citizens of Israel have persevered in the face of great adversity to establish and maintain a free and democratic nation in their homeland.
Israel was founded on the principles of a shared destiny of the Jewish people and their cultural heritage. Despite the acts of violence and wars that have ensued, Israel has persisted in its pursuit of its right to exist in the Middle East. Israel has also played the important role of a refuge for the Jewish people, as well as African peoples, who have suffered great atrocities.
I speak from my heart, having personally witnessed the beauty and majesty of Israel and its people. I have prayed before the Wailing Wall and gazed at the skyline of Jerusalem. Let us today reaffirm our unwavering commitment to our great friend and ally, Israel.