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Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Thank you so much, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Speaker, Congressman Ted Deutch and I introduced the United States-Israel Strategic Partnership Act because we are committed to the security of our friend and ally in an increasingly volatile Middle East.
Chairman Royce and Ranking Member Engel have been instrumental in getting this important bill to the House floor today. Today is, indeed, a very significant day in the history of the relationship between the United States and Israel.
This bill takes the already strong bonds between our two countries and makes it even stronger. With over 350 Members of Congress having lent their support to this bill as cosponsors, it is truly a bipartisan measure.
This bill designates Israel as a major strategic partner of the United States and extends U.S.-Israeli cooperation in a variety of areas, including intelligence, homeland security, energy, science, trade, and so forth. It supports U.S. efforts to help Israel maintain its qualitative military edge over its neighbors and its foes.
As Israel faces even more dangerous threats than ever before, particularly now with so much uncertainty and so much violence spreading throughout the region, and as Iran continues to announce advancements on its nuclear program due to this weak interim agreement, Israel needs our support now more than ever.
Passing this bill, Mr. Speaker, will send a strong message to those that continue to seek to harm Israel and to harm the United States. It will show the rest of the world just how seriously we value our friendship with the democratic Jewish state of Israel, not only because Israel has been a true ally, but because we share the same ideals and the same values.
In a time, Mr. Speaker, when there is a worrisome movement to delegitimize Israel, a campaign by some to boycott and divest from Israel, now is the time to lend our unequivocal support to the democratic Jewish state of Israel.
With anti-Semitism on an alarming rise throughout the world, Israel and the worldwide Jewish community need to know that the United States will do everything we can to ensure Israel's continued safety and security.
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