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tv   AIPAC Policy Conference Senators Harris and Menendez  CSPAN  March 29, 2017 9:19am-9:59am EDT

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those fpurchases add up. israeli purchases contribute to a major portion of the $2.1 billion economic impact ratheon brings each year. [ applause ] if israel is a modern day david i'm glad to know my district and my state bla a crucial role in in ensuring comes to the fight better equipped than ever before. david's sling boosts our economy and keep all of citizens safe and secure. that's israel in my state. thank you all. god bless you. ♪
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good morning aipac. good morning. hill yan, congratulations. it's great to be with you again this year. i want to thank howard core and i'm thrilled to see all of the students in the audience. in you i see our future. i want to recognize the nearly 1,000 californians who are here today. [ applause ] >> and of course including my dear friends and aipac board
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members. and i'm proud to be among the many voices here. it is the largest and hopefully the loudest. [ applause ] >> there you go. >> so having grown up in the bay area i fondly remember those jewish national fund boxes we would use to plant trees for israel. years later when i visited israel i saw the fruits of that and the israeli engenerthat mad desert bloom. i soaked in the sights and sounds. we must always remember the solemn promise, never again.
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[ applause ] and i did what i often do when visiting a new country. i visited the highest court in the land. and as i toured israel's supreme court i was struck by the iconic architecture are embodies the founding principals of democracy and rule of law. the design of that building left a lasting impression on me. it is straight lines while the curved walls and glass represent the fluid nature of justice. and this is a concept that is personal for me because it's that same commitment to justice for the voiceless and vulnerable that lead my parents to march for civil rights in the 1960s
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while pushing me in a stroller. [ applause ] >> and it's why i became a prosecutor and personally prosecuted everything from low level offenses to homicides. it's why i became district attorney and later elected attorney general of california where i took on -- thank you. where i took on transnational gangs, sieb cyber criminals and mortgage fraud. that commitment to justice is why i ran to become a senator from the great state of california [ applause ] and critical piece of my agenda is to strengthen our national security. as a member of both the senate intelligence committee and homeland security committee i
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have a front row seat and i'm proud to stand strongly with america's allies including israel. so let me be clear. i stand with israel because of our shared values, which are so fwund mental to the founding of both our nations. i believe the bonds between the united states and israel are unbreakable. we can never let anyone drive a wedge between us. our bonds are rooted in our shared history and are strengthened by the ties between our peoples. in the words of perez, we need the friendship of the united states of america. and of course he knew that feeling goes both ways.
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and there's no question that friendship and our partnership must be unwaivering. and i believe that israel must be -- the teleprompter has stopped and i will catch it back up. i believe israel shall never be a partisan issue. as long as i'm the united states senator i will do everything in my power to ensure broad and bipartisan support for israel's security and right to self-defense. >> i believe that the only viable resolution is two states and two people living side by side with peace and security.
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i believe this conflict cannot be imposed. it must be agreed upon by the parties themselves. peace can only come through reconciliation of difference differences and it can only happen at the negotiating table. i believe that when any organization delegitimizes israel we must stand up and speak out for israel to be treated equally. and that is why the first resolution i cosponsored as the united states senator was to combat anti israel bias at the united nations and reaffirm that the united states seeks a just secure and sustainable two-state solution. [ applause ]
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and as someone who personally prosecuted hate crime i believe we cannot standby while anti semiti semitism, hate crime are on the rise whether it's a -- i am pleased to anoubs for the first time here at aipac that i'm introducing a senate resolution that condemns targeting of jews as well as other hateful acts targeting minorities across the united states. [ applause ] >> and let's be candid. many, including those in this
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hall, have been directly impacted by the outrageous incidents targeting the jewish community. this violence and hate is alarming and simply unacceptable. [ applause ] no one should have to worry about their children's safety when they drop them off at the jcc. [ applause ] no one should have to be afraid to put a menorah on their front lawn or in their window. and no one should ever have to fear that the grave of a loved one might be desecrated because of their faith. [ applause ] >> so my resolution calls on law enforcement to expedite investigations and hold
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perpetrators accountable. it calls on law enforcement to fully report hate crime statistics and to support victims and fund security at places of worship and other institutions that have been targeted of any faith. [ applause ] >> and as i fight to promote human rights and security israel and the jewish community will always be a priority for me. and that is why as senator i'm particularly focused on three areas where i believe the united states and israel can expand cooperation and where california plays an important and central role. the three are defense, cyber security and water security. so, let's think about it.
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first defense, in the midst of uncertainty and turmoil security must be rock solid. as iran continues to launch ballistic missiles while it arms and funds hezbollah, we must stand with israel. [ applause ] as hamas maintains control of gaza and fires rockets across the southern border we must stand with israel. [ applause ] and as isis and civil war in syria destabilized the region displacing millions and threatening shared security interests we must support all those effected by ongoing violence and terror and we must stand with israel.
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[ applause ] >> our defense relationship is critical to both nations, which is why i support the united states commitment to provide israel with $38 billion in military assistance over the next decade. it is why i support full funding for israel including for the arrow, david's sling and the iron dome missile defense systems which save lives. and that's why i am fully committing to maintaining israel's qualitative military edge. [ applause ] at the same time, the united states must never permit iran to develop a nuclear weapon. [ applause ]
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the iran nuclear deal must be vigorously enforced through robust monitoring, inspection and verification. [ applause ] and if iran cheats, there's no question, iran must be held accountable. [ applause [ applause ] as iran inserts itself through equipment and missiles that threaten israel we must not tolerate iran fanning the flames of instability and violence in the region. in addition, russia's explicit support for these actions is a direct threat to american interest and it makes israel less secure. so i say the trump
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administration must be crystal clear with putin. russia must stop its support of iran. this is a threat to the united states and it is a threat to israel. [ applause ] a seconda area where i believe we can expand cooperation is cyber security and technology. as cyber attacks expose the vulnerabilities of our essential systems and infrastructure the united states must strengthen invasion and technological capacities together. israel has more scientists and start ups per capita than any other country in the world, and i'm proud that california,
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building on the 2014 from time to times made by governor brown has facilitated many of these technological partnerships and investments. [ applause ] >> today silicon valley are inexplicably linked ensuring our two countries remain on the cutting edge. when i met with netthim last moi discussed the ways we can expand joint efforts. the third area is water security so as anyone in this hall can tell you, water is the life blood of our committees and oec communities. we know we cannot take water for
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granted. in this regard we could not have a better example than israel. [ applause ] >> yes. israel is a nation that is 60% desert, yet so water secure that it exports water to its neighbors. israel has been a great partner to california. an israeli company built a plant which provides 50 million gallons of water to 400,000 californians every day. [ applause ] so while the united states and israel are geographically receive rated by water we can also be bound by water. and i'm leaguer to champion
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these three partnerships in the senate now and in the future and to ensure that california plays a key role in the relationship between the united states and israel. so in conclusion we all know these are difficult times. i stand here clear eyed about the dangers of division in our country and in our world, understanding why a state for the jewish people is so essential. and i also stand here as someone with a lifelong commitment to justice, a lifelong faith in the power of democratic values and the inate oneness and goodness of human beings. and i believe that it's the common ground that unites so many of us, values like faith,
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family, respect and empathy that will see you through. look at the response when jewish cemeteries were so horribly vandalized. muslim activists raised money to restore the headstones with one organizer posting i want to ask all muslims to reach out to your jewish brothers and sisters and stand together against this bigotry. [ applause ] common ground the opposite of of love is indifference, common ground. look at israel's supreme court,
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that beautiful place i visited upon which sits a judge alongside a brooklyn-born israeli all presided over by a female chief justice. common ground. [ applause ] so that's who we are. if we embrace the values that have always made the united states and israel great then i believe our two nations will continue to move forward together for years and years to
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come. i thank you, aipac. thank you. please welcome from the state of the new jersey, senator robert menendez. [ applause ] >> good morning.
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thank you for that warm welcome. what a pleasure it is to be back at the aipac policy conference. i feel like rivera always called in to be the successful closer. that's not easy but we'll try. every year when i stand at this podium and look out into this convention hall i see a room full of leaders and advocates i'm proud to call my friends, people like howard core, your president, mad dam presideand o jersey's own and your president-elect. hundreds of aipac members here representing the great state of new jersey who have come down to be with all of you.
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it is always an honor to speak with you but to join hands with you, to be among people of all ages and all faiths and all political persuasions who stand together and stand tall for strong u.s./israel relationship. first you know it is in the national interest and security to have a strong unwaivering, unbreakable bond with the state of israel. second, you know i believe i believe in the right of the jew irk people to lif in peace and security in the indisputable homeland of their ancestors.
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when it comes to standing up for israel you will never ever find me spinning like a weather vain but rather a strong moral kr compass. [ applause ] i will never shy away from standing up to any president of any party. and while i have paid a price for my believes, i would do it all over again. [ cheers and applause ]
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now, recent events have reminded us that we live in challenging times, times that demand free people around the world remain a resolute and united in humanity's long struggle against fear and terror and hate. just this past week we were saddened by a terrorist attack in the heart of london that killed five people and injured 50 others. all it took was 82 seconds. of course the israeli people need no reminder of how quickly an act of terror can unfold. they have lived under the siege for decades enduring rocket attacks and street status, always praying for peace and yet always painfully aware of the reality. a reality that prime minister
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captured so well ben he sawhen f arabs put down their weapons today there would be no more violence. if the jews put down their weapons there would be no more israel. those words carry a powerful truth, a recognition that israel can never let its guard down. last year i was proud to help secure our record breaking $38 billion memorandum of understanding you all advocated for it, an agreement that ensures israel's defenses will remain unmatched in the region and that together the united states and israel will continue developing defense technologies of astounding sophistication like iron dome, david sling and the missile defense systems. that's also why i will continue to stand against budgets that
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propose that we defund u.s. foreign aid entirely. in addition to the security assistance we provide allies like israel we know that when america promotes human rights and womens rights globally, when we bring economic opportunity to where there is poverty, when we promote education over extremism both the united states and israel reap the benefits of greater stability and security. so as you work to ensure, continued military assistance for israel i want to thank you and commend you foralso advoc e advocating that the united states fund foreign aid and diplomatic outreach as well. now, as aipac members you understand the gravity that
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confront us. today we see extremism and hate casting dark shadows around the world. we see a cynical intentional effort to in the global economy. finally we see an iranian regime that has been by sanctions relief and more committed to ever to destabilizing the middle east. each of these threats are serious in and of themselves. but to have them converging all at once should make one thing clear. in times like these we cannot afford a shred of daylight between the united states and israel. and that's why earlier this year i refuse to stand silent when the united states abstained from a vote that was biassed against
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israel and ultimately -- to cause of peace. [ cheers and applause ] the u.n. security council can't pass a resolution condemning iran's violation of ballistic missile testing. it can't pass to stop the humanitarian strike. and yet it endorses a bias resolution that pins every wrong in the middle east on the one nation that stands up for what is right, and that is wrong. [ applause ] >> a resolution that allows terrorist organizations like
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hamas to shrink any responsibility in palestinian violence, a resolution that em boldens hard liners who will seize to advance their own agendas. precisely because it is our one reliable and steadfast ally in the middle east. it was wrong to condone a bias resolution that treats israel as the source of all things broken in the region, and it was wrong to abstain at a moment when the world needs the united states of america to stand up for our values. [ cheers and applause ] >> to speak up for our allies and to lead by the power of our example. [ cheers and applause ] >> unfortunately the united nations is not the only place
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where israel confronts this double standard. a double standard that increasingly seems a little more than anti semitism in disguise. it leads me to address directly for a moment the young people who are among us. i hear there are about 4,000 of you here today. [ cheers and applause ] >> the colleague students and high school students here perhaps for your very first policy conference. i want to thank you for being here and thank you for standing tall for israel not just today but every day. i know that it isn't always easy. many of you are facing firsthand a movement to discredit and disparage israel on campuses in america and around the world. i'm not talking about the kind of fruitful exchange of different perspectives that we welcome at our universities. college is a time to meet people with believes that differ from
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your kwloown. i'm talking about a movement increasingly forcing you to stay silent if you want to take an active role in campus politics or in cases to check your love of israel outside the doors of the classroom. i'm referring, of course, to the growing boycott devestment and sanctions movement. a campaign to boycott israeli goods and israeli scholars that treats the only democratic free market economy in the middle east as the cause of all of the region's challenges. israel stands alone in a region full of despots that have no love of the rule of law. i reject the bgs movement whether it be in france or london or right here in the united states of america. [ applause ]
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activis activists turn the other way as basher al assad and vladmir putin bomb civilians without hesitation. they ignore the cries of people being persecuted in venezuela and cuba. they claim the mantle of free speech to defend the smear campaign against israel. they demand that israeli academics in every field of study be silenced. that students who are jewish, pro israel and who believe in a lasting and secure home for the jewish people are silenced. but we must not be silent. we must stand together to insure that the letters bds are seen for what they are, bias, directed solely at one people and one country by those who should know better. and as a senior member of the senate foreign relations committee, i will use every avenue at my disposal to call out a movement that is stained
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by anti-semitism. [ applause ] whether it is the delegitimization of israel by the united nations, the intimidation and isolation promoted by bds or the white nationalist dog whistles blown by steve bannon from the west wing. it's up to all of us to stand up to stand together and speak out against anti-semitism in all of its forms. that includes raising our voices together. in rejecting anti-semitism's close friends, racism and xenophobia. we see these forces of fear and division in the administration's support for policies that profile immigrants based on their chosen religion, the color of their complexion, the nation of their origin. we hear it in the rhetoric designed to stoke fear of syrian refugees, rhetoric that
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demonizes innocent families calling out from refuge from the terrorist and isis, refuge from the bombs dropped by vladmir putin and refuge from basher al assad. it reminds us beliefs are increasingly under siege. for israel, the threats posed by further instability are obvious. the increasing volatility we see intensifies the deep concern felt by u.s. ally and partners, especially throughout the gulf that iran will emerge as a nuclear armed power. now, as you all know, i have spent the better part of my 25 years in the house and senate helping craft an extensive network of sanctions. sanctions that ultimately weakened the iranian economy and drove the regime to the negotiating table. those sanctions were working
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exactly as intended. and i believe we should have pressed for more meaningful concessions and put more stringent constraints on iran's nu nuclear capability in place. wlt y whether you supported the iran nuclear agreement or opposed like i did, surely we can agree a nuclear armed iran would pose a threat to israel and an unacceptable threat to america's national security. surely we can all agree that the time limits imposed on the regime are only a blink of an eye when we consider iran's long history. we cannot deny that in a decade, we may be facing an iran equipped with an unacceptable nuclear breakout time. look, i know i don't need to tell this audience where the iran nuclear agreement fell
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short, as i said when i voted against the deal, if iran is to acquire a nuclear bomb, it will not have my name on it. now, many of us rightly predicted that an iranian regime that prioritized funding terrorism over the well being of its citizens will see sanctions relief as a cash windfall for their terrorist proxies across the region. on terrorism we feared that much of iran's new economic capacity would be used to propagate violence against jews. it's no surprise then that iran has not suddenly transformed into a responsible member of the international community. rather, it remains an agent of instability throughout the middle east. a nefarious actor that continues to undermine american national security interests and our efforts to partner with countries throughout the region. working to protect civilians and
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build democratic government structures. consider syria. even as the united states and our partners make progress at beating back isis and work together to deliver desperately needed humanitarian relief to besieged civilians. basher al assad presses on with his brutal campaign. let's be honest, we all know that assad's continued grip on power is in thanks in large part to his allies in moscow and his friends in tehran. russia is prolonging this conflict. all for the purposes of trying to maintain one friendly government in the middle east who will stand by its own brutal leader. meanwhile, as russian bombs rain down on syria and hospitals, as russian bombs rain down on syrian homes and on humanitarian aid convoys, putin is content to sit back and watch western europe struggle with the displacement of millions of people.
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all while spreading white nationalist and anti-semitic propaganda aimed at swaying elections and undermining the post world war ii international order. simultaneously, the iranian regime is emboldened by sanctions relief and invested in assad's grip on power. iran continues to funnel cash and weapons to its pro assad terrorist proxy hezbollah weapons that could be turned on israel. israel has every right to be concerned and every right to defend itself against any and all threats. throughout this harrowing conflict in syria, israel has shown extraordinary restraint and a laser-like focus on defending the security of its people. but as this conflict literally at times spills over its borders, no country can endure this kind of provocation for long. and we may be facing a change in
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calculus. in recent days we saw syria launch missiles at israeli convoys. those missiles triggered israel's missile defense system for the first time since the conflict began. so my friends, this is not a time to be naive. iran's motives are no mystery. its goal to extend the influence of its government throughout the region remains unchanged. iran continues to support terrorist proxies like hezbollah, it continues its provocative testing of ballistic missiles and continues to disrega disregard its requirements. the united states can't let this aggressive behavior go unchecked. which is why i have worked with my


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