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Mr. SCHNEIDER. Thank you. It is an honor to speak in celebration of Yom Ha'Atzmaut, the 65th anniversary of the birth of Israel, and of the partnership between our country and the country of Israel for all of those 65 years. I am proud that the United States was one of the first countries to recognize the new state 65 years ago and that our bond has continued to grow.
I had the privilege of being in Israel 15 years ago for the Jubilee celebration--to see the vibrancy of the country and the hopes for prosperity and peace in the region that were shared by so many of the people--and as we come forward 15 years, to see that the partnership between the United States and Israel has continued to grow, as was mentioned earlier, in so many different aspects: on security and defense as well as economically and culturally. We are sharing technologies. We are sharing experiences. We have a special bond built on common values and a common dream of a better world for our children, and we are contributing to the world in so many different ways.
I was in Israel 3 years ago, and I had a chance to see some of the new technologies that were emerging, both with electric cars and some of the medical technologies; and you see the partnership with the United States and Israel in technology is contributing to the entire world. In medical aspects you see where research is being collaboratively done between our country and researchers in Israel, working to find cures for disease to ease the pain and burdens of families and individuals who are afflicted with different diseases, cancers, and other types. This is something that's a beacon to the rest of the world.
My district in Illinois, the 10th Congressional District of Illinois, is home to many people who have family in Israel, who travel to Israel. Our connection to Israel is not strictly political; it is personal. And the relationship we have and will continue to have is a special bond that I'm pleased and honored to be able to represent.
With you, being a member of the Middle East and North Africa Committee, being a life-long advocate for a strong U.S.-Israel relationship, it is a great distinction and honor for me to stand here to celebrate Yom Ha'Atzmaut, the 65th anniversary for Israel. I am honored to be going to Israel again in 2 weeks with members of the Chicago community. We will be going throughout the country. We will have a chance to visit Iron Dome, I will have a chance to visit Sderot, and places where Israel is at the front lines of a battle that is ours together.
So I am proud and honored to represent Illinois here in the United States House of Representatives knowing that the bond, the connection, between the United States and Israel is sound, secure, and permanent.
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