U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, made the following statement recognizing the 64th anniversary of the independence of the State of Israel. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
"Israel has flourished despite the uphill battle for survival it has faced since declaring independence in 1948. Even in the face of existential threats, Israel has been a model of freedom, democracy, and human rights in the Middle East, as well as a leader in science, technology, agriculture, and the arts.
"The United States must always remain ironclad in its support for Israel, and Israel's right to defend itself. The deep friendship between our countries is built on common interests and common values. Today, the United States and Israel stand shoulder-to-shoulder in the face of the Iranian nuclear program and threats posed by other dangerous regimes in the region and their violent extremist proxies. As such, I have led efforts in Congress to impose the strongest possible sanctions on the Iranian and Syrian regimes, and to provide robust military assistance for Israel, including for its "Iron Dome' missile defense system.
"The U.S. must also continue to stand with Israel in opposition to the Palestinian leadership's statehood scheme at the United Nations, which undermines any prospects for a true, lasting peace. We must continue to hold the Palestinian leadership accountable for failing to uphold its commitments. We know that Israel, more than anything, wants peace. What it needs is a partner for peace.
"The U.S. and Israel share a staunch commitment to freedom, justice, and peace, and we depend on each other for our security. I am honored to congratulate Israel on its 64th Independence Day, and I will continue to work to keep the United States and Israel safe, prosperous, and free for generations to come."