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Public Statements

In Honor of Israel's 65th Independence Day

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Ms. SCHAKOWSKY. Thank you so much for organizing this Special Order. I want to thank my colleague, Representative Frankel from Florida, for bringing us together. I notice we're wearing the colors of the Israeli flag today in celebration of the 65th birthday, the anniversary of the State of Israel.

I, too, when I walked over to the Capitol, our gleaming Capitol today, I saw our flag at half-mast, recognizing the tragedy that happened in Boston today; and I, too, want to acknowledge and give my condolences to those families of the two that we know that have been lost, have been killed, and I wish well the dozens more that have been injured. I do believe in what the President said, that whoever did this will be brought to justice.

So, along with Israelis and their friends around the world, we are also at a moment of celebration, celebrating the renewal of the Jewish state in the land of Israel. For 65 years, our two nations have enjoyed a close friendship as well as a strategic alliance.

Since the United States became the first country to recognize Israel a mere 11 minutes after her founding, President Truman recognized Israel as a state, and that relationship and that bond has continued to grow and strengthen. Rooted in shared ideals and dreams, as well as common global threats, the United States-Israel relationship remains as critical today as it was in 1948.

As a Jew and a Member of Congress, I have a strong personal connection to the State of Israel, and I'm committed to continuously working to grow and strengthen that U.S.-Israel relationship. And even in the face of terrorism and war, Israel has become a leader in technology and energy and scientific innovation.

Those people who haven't gone ought to go and see the spirit of Israel, despite the relentless years of war and attack and terrorist bombings. This is a resilient people looking to find joy in everyday life and looking forward to the future.

I traveled to Israel this past February, and like I had been on previous trips, I was struck for the need for a peaceful future for the Israeli people. It's my wish today, on the celebration of the anniversary, that the years to come will show a time of peace. We need peace.

Israelis paused on Remembrance Day, which ended at sunset in Israel, to commemorate the over 20,000 Israelis who have given their lives in defense of the Jewish state, as well as the thousands more that were killed in terrorist attacks. Even as we celebrate Israel's history, we remember those who gave their lives for their country.

As we continue to stand with the Israeli Government in the face of threats and terrorism, I strongly believe that the United States must also continue to work together with our Israeli partners to ensure a secure and peaceful future for Israel and for the entire Middle East. Israel is our closest friend and ally in the turbulent Middle East region, and the U.S. Congress remains committed to a safe and secure future for the Israeli people.

There aren't a whole lot of things I can say with confidence that represent both sides of the aisle, but I can say that the support for the State of Israel truly is a bipartisan, a nonpartisan issue for Members of Congress. For over six decades, the U.S.-Israel relationship has been fortified by this bipartisan understanding about the critical importance of the relationship to both countries. So today, Congresswoman Frankel, as we celebrate the 65th anniversary of the establishment of the State of Israel, we remain committed to a safe and secure future for Israel.

Thank you so much for allowing me to participate in this wonderful hour of celebration.


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