OFFERING CONGRATULATIONS TO THE STATE OF ISRAEL ON ITS 57TH ANNIVERSARY OF INDEPENDENCE-HON. TIM HOLDEN (Extensions of Remarks - May 13, 2005)
HON. TIM HOLDEN
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Thursday, May 12, 2005
Mr. HOLDEN. Mr. Speaker, I rise to congratulate the people of the State of Israel on the celebration of the 57th anniversary of Ðits founding. Known in Hebrew as Yom ÐHa'atzmaut, this special day marks the historic date in 1948 on which the British Mandate over Palestine expired and the State of Israel was proclaimed.
Each year, this celebration comes on the heels of Yom Ha'zikaron, Israel's Memorial Day, when the nation expresses its eternal debt and gratitude to the more than 20,000 soldiers who gave their lives to secure the country's independence and defend its continued existence.
Israel and the United States have shared a special bond since the founding of the modern Jewish State in 1948. The United States was the first country to recognize Israel, only 11 minutes after it was officially created. Since then, our two countries have developed a rock-solid friendship that does not depend on the parties in power either in Washington or Jerusalem. Over the past half-century, bipartisan support for Israel has been a staple of every Congress regardless of which party is in the majority and which in the minority.
Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East, a region dominated by authoritarian and military regimes. Our two nations share the fundamental principles of freedom and equality. Both were established by immigrants, who sought freedom from oppression. Both stand as symbols of liberty and pluralism in a world still marked by authoritarianism and intolerance. Both have provided safe havens for oppressed people from all parts of the globe and both are rooted in the unshakable tenets of democracy, human dignity, individual rights, and religious freedom.
Once again Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to offer my sincere congratulations to the people of Israel on this joyous occasion.