Congressman Gary Palmer issued the following statement in regards to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech before Congress:
"The diplomatic relationship between the United States and Israel is one of America's most important. This is based not just on common interests, but common values. Like America, Israel is democratic, guarantees religious freedom, and is governed by the rule of law. Like America, not only was Israel born out of adversity, but is based not only on geography, but on an idea.
Unlike America, Israel is not bordered by two large oceans and two friendly neighbors. Instead, Israel has many hostile neighbors who wish to do it harm. Our friend and ally Israel faces a grave threat from the Islamic Republic of Iran, which has explicitly threatened to wipe Israel off the map and is aggressively pursuing the capability to carry out that threat. Threats to Israel's very existence are a daily reality.
There is little hope for diplomacy with Iran succeeding, and any agreement that does not include Iran dismantling its nuclear program is futile. Negotiations are being used as tools by the militant Mullahs of Iran to hide their intentions and buy time. It is unfortunate that the Prime Minister's speech has become politicized, and some Democrats are boycotting the speech. Support for Israel is historically bipartisan, and it should remain as such. Even senior Democratic leaders, such as Sen. Bob Menendez, the ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, have had profound differences with this Administration's approach to Iran. I urge those Democrats who are boycotting the speech to reconsider and show support for our ally Israel.
I look forward to hearing Prime Minister Netanyahu address colleagues on both sides of the isle concerning this grave threat. The friendship between Israel and America runs deep, and we must ensure it always will."