Governor Christie: Thank you very much. Ambassador [Aharoni], thank you for being here and Max [Kleinman], thank you for the introduction, and to all of you congratulations. This is a great night, and I'm thrilled to be here to help celebrate with you the bringing together of these two great organizations to make one even stronger, better one over the course of the next number of years. I want to thank all of the elected officials who are here today. It's important that New Jersey elected officials at every level show their respect and support for organizations like this one that mean so much to the culture of our state, to the business world that we have here in New Jersey, and to the raising of our families. It's extraordinarily important. I want to give special thanks to the Speaker for being here tonight. She has been an extraordinary partner with me and the Senate President to attempt to get things done here in New Jersey, to have a productive relationship regardless of party, and so it's always great to share a stage with the Speaker of the Assembly. Speaker Oliver deserves our thanks and our support tonight, so thank you Speaker for being here.
As the Ambassador mentioned earlier today, I signed into law legislation denying state and local public contracts to any person or entity who's engaged in investment activity in the energy or finance sectors of Iran. The federal government's actions to implement sanctions against Iran came in response to Iran's continued pursuit of an illicit nuclear program, unconventional weapons development, a deteriorating human rights situation, support for international terrorism, and a continued threat to the State of Israel. Those of us who care about the future of freedom and democracy in the world understand that despots must be met with unified opposition by those who believe in freedom and liberty and prosperity, and America has no greater friend than the State of Israel and each and every elected official who has a position of responsibility in the United States should be standing up and doing exactly the same thing that the elected officials you see here along with me have now done in New Jersey. We should be standing with Israel and standing against the type of tyranny and the attempted development of nuclear capability by Iran that will destabilize the entire world and lead us to even more conflict, and so we need to stand with Israel and New Jersey will continue to do so.
So I want to thank all of you for inviting me here tonight. It is a great, great opportunity to be the governor of the state where I was born and raised. There is no end to the opportunities that we can have for our children and grandchildren in this state if we work together, and all the folks here in New Jersey are here because they believe in what this state has always stood for and represented: extraordinary opportunity, yes, but also an amazing sense of family and feeling of history here. And so we need to continue to work together to make our state a better place, and organizations like yours are absolutely indispensable to getting that done. Government couldn't and, in my view shouldn't try to stand in substitution for organizations like this. What government needs to do is encourage organizations like this to continue to grow and prosper so that you can continue to work with all the different communities in the state to try to develop greater understandings, greater cooperation, and ultimately greater success for everyone.
And so I'll tell you I'm very, very happy to see these two organizations come together, and I'm also very happy to have had so much interaction with all the leaders of both organizations. The fact of the matter is that New Jersey's culture is its strength. The fact that we have so many people from so many diverse backgrounds, and that no matter where you've come from, where your family has come from, what your ethnic background is, what your religious background is, you can find communities in New jersey that can make you feel like you're back at home, and then the interaction in those communities creates an extraordinary dynamic for all those who live here about a vibrant state where everyone -- everyone -- learns to appreciate and respect the traditions and the cultures that we've all brought to the state.
So we're going to do everything we can to ensure that we support organizations like this one who help to make those interactions possible. So to the elected officials, again, who are here tonight, to the leaders of this organization, to all of you who are supporters and key members, this is a good night. This is about the future of New Jersey, and about this organization being a big part of that future. As long as I'm Governor, you will have a big part to play in the developing culture in this state and in the policies that this administration will pursue. So I want to thank Max, and thank you all very much.