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Mitch McConnell
  Israeli PM Netanyahu Sen. Maj. Leader Mc Connell Sen. Foreign Relations...  CSPAN  March 27, 2019 3:17am-4:03am EDT

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>> c-span's newest book, the presidents. >noted historians rank america's best and worst chief executives. true stories gathered by interviews with noted presidential historians. explore the life events that shaped our leaders, challenges they faced, and the legacies they left behind. published by public affairs, the book will be on shelves april 23. but you can preorder your copy as a hardcover or e-book today wherever books are sold. next, israel he prime minister benjamin netanyahu on the final day of the american israel public affairs committee conference. he spoke by video and praised president trump's decision to recognize the golan heights as is really territory. senate majority leader mitch mcconnell and senate foreign relations committee ranking addressed menendez
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the crowd. this is 45 minutes. 45 minutes. >> good morning aipac. able to bely i'm not with you in person because i returned to deal -- [indiscernible] >> we responded with great force. we had a meeting with our chief of staff and senior command. i can tell you we are prepared to do a lot more. we will do what is necessary to defend our people and defend our state.
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in the midst of these events, i wanted to speak to you today. thank you. thank you aipac. together for bringing 18,000 crowd americans and more than 4000 american students to stand with israel. thank you. thank you for working year after on theecade after decade remarkable alliance between our two countries. our alliance has never been so critical. thank you for working with israel on both sides of the aisle, democrats and republicans alike. that is how it has always been, and that is how it should always be. >> [applause] >> yesterday at the white house,
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president trump again made history. israel'sly recognized sovereignty over the golan heights. now that deserves enormous applause. >> [applause] the golan heights is indispensable for our defense. it is part of our history. when you put a shovel in the ground there, what you discover are the ruins of ancient synagogues. jews lived there for thousands of years, and the people of israel have come back to the golan. israel holds the high ground, up.we shall never give it it is part of israel. >> [applause] so on behalf of all the people of israel, thank you president trump, and thank you
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for all of the historic decisions you have made. 015,sure you remember in 2 i went to the american congress. i spoke out against the disasters nuclear deal with iran. in 2018, president trump walked out of that bad deal. he restored american sanctions against the genocidal regime in tehran which vows to destroy the one and only georgia state. -- jewish state. he moved the embassy to jerusalem. he put a great ambassador there. you just heard him. israel and the united states have two of the greatest ambassadors on earth. thank you ambassadors. thank you president trump. >> [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, in
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recent weeks we have heard a lot of the rise of forces who want to pull america and israel apart. i can tell you one thing -- will fail. they will fail. our shared values are too deep, shared interests too strong, our shared destinies too intertwined. i will also tell you we must never take anything for granted. those who seek to defame this great organization, aipac, those who seek to undermine american support for israel, they must be confronted. despite what they claim, they do not merely criticize the policies of israel's government. that happens every five minutes. they do something else. they spew venom that has long been directed at the jewish people.
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again the jews are cast as a force for evil, again the jews are said to have too much influence, too much power, too much money. ladies and gentlemen, you know what the best kind of way to respond to this hatred is? we read it a few days ago when mordecai confronted, the best way to respond this type of hatred is not to bow down to them, it is to stand up to them. >> [applause] >> to all the anti-semites out there, whether they live in modern persia and the palaces of tehran or the bunkers of beirut, whether they march through the streets of charlottesville or
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murder worshipers in a synagogue -- and jewish people -- we st up. we[applause] >> my friends, some people will never get it. they will never understand why the -- and non-jews alike support israel. it is not about the benjamin's. the reason the people of america -- is not because they love our money. it is because they share our values. they just don't get it. it is because america and israel
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share a love of freedom and democracy. it is because we cherish individual rights and the rule of law. we do not judge people by the color of their skin, their religion, or sexual orientation. i am proud of israel's democracy. no one is a second-class citizen. all of israel's citizens are first-class citizens. all of israel citizens, jew or arab, muslim, christian, or jew, have the same individual rights. and right is expressed --
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become a citizen if they choose to do so. that the nationstate -- it's constitutional law. contrary to the attacks and allegations, it did not denigrate -- which remains sacred and equal for all our citizens. israel will always be a democracy. just as israel will always be the jewish state. how they pray or how they -- their lives.
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jewish state of israel. the jewish state is the same jewish state whose future i am working to secure. i hope the people of israel continue to allow me to lead them. i am as confident as ever as israel takes its rightful place among the nations, you will be by our side. you've always been there by our side. thank you all for standing with israel. may god bless you. may god bless america. may god bless -- thank you all.
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[applause] ♪ >> please welcome senate majority leader mitch mcconnell. [applause] mcconnell: >> a tough act to follow. thank you for the opportunity to be here. every time i have the privilege to address this conference, i look forward to the size and enthusiasm of the crowd. you never disappoint.
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[applause] that is anell: testament to dedicated leadership. your entireank outstanding team. since we were last together i have heard a lot of negative talk about people like all of us who attend a conference like this. impliedeard it patriotic americans could not possibly support israel on the merits of the issue. be questionable citizens with hidden agendas. i have heard it suggested our support for israel explained dualby money or by loyalties of our jewish friends here in the congress. slurs heard anti-semitic and i know you have as well.
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, troops weres limited to the fringes. having been repeated and retweeted by sitting member of congress, so right from the get-go, i want to say this. your advocacy is not a conspiracy. [applause] your passion is nothing to apologize for. it is the essence of our democracy. your advocacy gives voice to the love for israel that exists all across america. despite what conspiracy theorists say, advocacy itself is not the cause of the bond between the united states and israel. the shared's causes
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history and common values that draw america and israel together. [applause] the mutualell: adversaries who hate us for the principles and pluralism that theus apart, remember united states and israel are the great satan and the little satan to tehran. our enemies group us together because we are cut from similar cloth, and that should be a point of pride for all of us. [applause] sen. mcconnell: i see a diverse crowd of americans with whom i disagree on a number of policies. many of you are not shy about letting me know about it. differences, we are united in support of america's relationship with the state of israel. [applause]
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none of you came here to hear partisan politics. it is not my intention to engage in them, but i'm going to be honest with you. i am worried if we do not unite and take action against the growing tide of anti-semitism and anti-israel sentiment, we will live to regret what our politics become. [applause] sen. mcconnell: it may be these used are confined to a small fringe today. that small fringe is gaining momentum within the far left and increasingly shaping the left's agenda. left unchallenged, the ancient slanders and slurs will be normalized a new. nobody in american politics, nobody, should need reminding uniquely-semitism is
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disruptive -- destructive. [applause] it is not just another-ism. but a hatred with a specific and horrific history. so i'm troubled leading democrats refuse to call out problems within their own ranks. [applause] i'm troubledl: many of the democratic presidency candidates seem to be avoiding this gathering. apparently because political
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partisans who have leveled scurrilous charges at this organization have warned, they will be keeping watch and taking names. these candidates troubled the country seeking votes in support . i hope you will come to see what i have seen in my decade in public life. support for israel has deep roots throughout our nation, throughout the communities you call home. [applause] sen. mcconnell: i hope they see these small flames of anger and hostility are nothing in comparison to the shining light of america's loving support for the state of israel. [applause] sen. mcconnell: it is fairly easy to come before this audience and denounce anti-semitism.
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but actions speak louder than words. action is what those of us elected to office need to deliver. you, a few weeks ago i am proud to say the united states senate did take action when we passed legislation called s1. [applause] --. mcconnell: the number 1 the first bill i called up in the senate of this congress. it would reaffirm our commitment to israel's security through military assistance, cooperative missile-defense, and loan guarantees. it would deepen our strategic assad'sion and hold butchers accountable for the murders of hundreds of thousands of civilians. it would put the senate on record about the risk of
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withdrawing precipitously from syria or afghanistan, about the enduring steak we have in the middle east, and the need to stand with our allies, israel foremost among them. [applause] a safe and stable middle east is a shared interest we cannot abandon to chaos. we have seen what happened after the previous administration's withdrawal from iraq and hands-off approach to syria, scene anded on the wound up with vast territory. russia intervened in syria, constraining israel and america's options to defend our interests. influence,ed its
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training and equipping terrorists proxies who now threaten israel. think if assad's brutal regime-controlled the orl on that iranian agents hezbollah terrorists would not be threatening israel from its commanding height? a new to two years of strategy, the territorial caliphate of isis has been destroyed and iran is under the threat of crippling sanctions. as israel's prime minister just pointed out, thanks to the new strategy, the u.s. embassy is in jerusalem, where it belongs. [applause] just the other day, the united states asognized that the golan part of israel, period.
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[applause] so, my friends, we are making strides. experience tells us we must not let up. now is the time for the united states to recommit to our partnerships in the troubled, but important region. that is what the senate did when it passed s1 by a huge bipartisan margin. 77 out of 100 senators. so we sent it over to the house. that is where it sits. that is where it sits. the one thing the speaker in the majority have yet to do is decide what we are going to do. i would encourage the speaker to call up the bill. i believe it would -- [applause]
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sen. mcconnell: i believe it would pass by a large bipartisan majority if given a chance for a vote. hill, io up on capitol hope you would encourage her to give it a vote. i think it would pass and the president would sign it. democrats -- their allergy to this legislation is because of one component i have not mentioned that i want to cover now. there is one more element of s1 that seems to be perplexing. the bill also takes aim at the so-called bds movement. [applause] my friends, there is a difference between a resolution and a law. what we passed in the senate is a law. it is not just talk.
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it's the law. it is only one step away from for his the president signature. you should encourage her to let the house about. -- a vote. send s1 to the president and it will include a real tool for governments so they can stop funneling taxpayer dollars to companies that back these anti-israel boycotts. [applause] sen. mcconnell: remember, this is a law. legislation would help americans boycott the bds boy cutters -- boycotters. i did not expect this would be so controversial.
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the underlying bill had plenty of bipartisan support. the outcry from the anti-israel crowd has paralyzed the house and scare them away from even considering our legislation. hope leading democrats who have appeared at this congress to assure all of you they stand with israel will find the courage to finally give this legislation about. -- a votes. give it a vote in the house. [applause] sen. mcconnell: talk is cheap. talk is cheap. given a vote in the house. -- hate in all its forms deserves swift and thorough condemnation.
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anti-muslim terrorist attacks in new zealand are only the most recent examples of religious and ethnic violence intended to tear apart our society. we are still reeling from these horrors. i'm struck by the reaction to these attacks by the american jewish communities and other communities of faith in our country. heartfelt sympathy for the victims. immediate support of families. in the facenation of such horrors, from gunfire in new zealand mosques to the massacre at the tree of life congregation in pittsburgh and the tide of anti-semitic incidents across europe. we are faced with the choice. we can give in to anger, fear, and division, or double down on the best moral traditions of our
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nations and unite against violence, prejudice, and hate. [applause] israel and the united states are founded on these moral traditions. it is why our friendship is so strong. it is why our partnership is so vital. the darknesspite we feel today, our future today is so bright. our hearts today are with the people of israel suffering under rocket attacks launched by hamas. these attacks like so many in the past are designed to murder innocent people and terrorized an entire society. we must reject the hate that fuels this terror. [applause] to your moral clarity,
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israel and the united states are poised to keep standing strong together. standing together to confront regional challenges. standing for the peace and security we all deserve. standing up for the american values we hold dear. standing together to weed out anti-semitism and violence, roots, stem, and branch. [applause] sen. mcconnell: thank you for your work. thank you for all you do. it has been an honor to be with you tonight. god bless america and god bless israel. [applause] ♪
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>> please welcome senate foreign relations committee ranking member robert menendez. ♪ sen. menendez: good morning, and thank you, aipac. i am thrilled to address this conference, especially the hundreds of new jerseyans who are here today. friend, amy dear tenacious leader and a real mensch, the aipac president. when he called to ask if i would once again close out this conference, i did not hesitate. for 17 years, the new york yankees counted on mariano
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rivera to be there closer. likewise aipac, at least for the next six years, i'm happy to do the same. [applause] sen. menendez: when i look out into this room and feel the enthusiasm, the motivation, and indeed the urgency, i know in my heart the u.s.-israel relationship is strong because the people here today make it strong. you are the empowered citizens who educate our communities and congress about the importance of this relationship. about the history of our nations. about the values that bind our futures together. america and israel were founded by people who sought freedom from oppression.
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people who built democracies rooted in justice, equal rights, religious freedom, respect for the rule of law, and freedom of the press. people who believed the pursuit of truth and knowledge could unleash innovation, turn desert screen, and create untold greenrity -- turn deserts , and create untold prosperity. our bond is unbreakable. .ur commitment, ironclad the alliance between our nations grounded in three fundamental truths. one, the security of the united states is strong when our bond with israel is strong. two, the jewish people have a right to live in peace, security, and prosperity in the indisputable homeland of their ancestors.
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three, israel has a right to defend herself and the united states will always ensure she has the capabilities necessary to protect her people and her borders against any threat. the events of the last 48 hours have reminded us yet again that since its founding and to this day, israel has never had the luxury of taking security for granted. thethoughts are with community in the wake of hamas' latest attack that injured seven people, including an infant. said a grandfather in one of the reports, if we had not gotten to the bomb shelter in time, i would be burying my family. his words speak to the renewed fear felt by all of israel's
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citizens in the wake of this act of terror. how can any people be expected to live with the threat of rocket attacks against their own -- their homes, their schools, their neighborhoods, and their very existence each and every day? it is unthinkable. no nation can be expected to simply sit back as rockets are launched, homes are flattened, and lives are threatened. israel has every right to defend herself, to hold her perpetrators accountable, and to defend the safety and security of her people. [applause] who menendez: and to those say otherwise, i would ask you to consider, what would you do if rockets were raining down on american towns and cities? you would expect the united
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states to respond and we should expect nothing less for the state of israel on behalf of its people. [applause] sen. menendez: these latest hamas' leadersus have failed to show the world they are anything more than a terrorist organization singularly focused on the destruction of the state of israel. hamas has hoodwinked the people of gaza, who remain oppressed by terrible economic hardship and increasing political -- not only does hamas funnel scarce resources into building rockets to launch at civilians in israel, it uses people, children, schools, and hospitals, as human shields, risking their lives by launching these weapons from densely populated civilian centers, fully aware israel will justifiably take defensive action. .his is israel's reality
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she remains surrounded by political leaders who spend their precious dollars on weapons to terrorize israel, even as their own people suffer , food,-- without water and basic dignity. in syria, iran's support for bashar al-assad has brought them access to israel's northern border, advancing the regime's efforts to build a land bridge from tehran to the mediterranean. while russia may be trying to befriend everyone in the region, let us be clear about the facts. russia's hand in this conflict has given iran the space to grow its military footprint. make no mistake. iran's eyes remain fixated on israel. after the fighting in syria ends, that is where it will direct its proxy forces and its rockets.
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likewise, hezbollah's efforts to tunnel into israeli territory are just the latest evidence of their single mind and focus. these are the various actors whose malicious ideologies directly threaten israel and u.s. interests in the region, demand our constant vigilance, and as the ranking democrat on the senate foreign relations committee, i'm here to say congress will never ever waiver in our efforts to ensure israel has the means to defend herself. that support is bipartisan and that is ironclad. [applause] , i. menendez: just this week am proud to tell you chairman angle and raking member of the house foreign affairs committee and senate foreign relations committee chairman and i are circulating a bipartisan bicameral letter to the president regarding the complex
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interconnected threats faced by israel along her northern border. together, we urge the president to consistently underscore israel's right to self-defense. likewise, we encourage the administration to increase pressure on iran and russia regarding their activities in syria and to ramp up pressure on hezbollah.y -- on when it seems like bipartisanship is in short supply, the fact remains that we have always stood united behind israel's right to self defend. always. that has not changed today. some mayt pretend disagree about how to confront these challenges from time to time. but make no mistake. there is no disagreement that the united states must stand
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by our ally israel in the face of terror. i have spent a quarter of the century working on foreign policy in congress, and one thing i have learned is that alliance is with countries -- alliances with countries who share our greatest values are critical to national security. when grounded in a shared commitment to democracy, justice, and freedom, those alliances are more endearing, and so too our bond with israel is everlasting. of course, some of the greatest threats we face and are facing the physicalend and can only be described as 21st century manifestations of anti-semitic hatred as old as time itself. in the voices of those who seek to isolate israel politically. ofhear it from the voices
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those who use international institutions to unfairly target israel that cannot muster the courage to confront governments that poisoned children with sarin gas force minorities into labor camps. we also hear these voices at home. let me be the first to say that you can, and sometimes you must, be critical of the policies of governments around the world. i have never shied away from criticizing u.s. policies i disagree with, even when they came from the president of i own party, but criticizing -- [applause] sen. menendez: but criticizing the very essence of the jewish identity of the state of israel is simply on acceptable, that simply unacceptable -- is simply unacceptable, the matter from which point it comes. [applause] this kind of:
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language, this kind of philosophy, is indeed the modern form of anti-semitism. there is no excuse for it, and together we must reject it, renounce it, and fight back against it. as a lifelong advocate of a strong u.s.-israel relationship and a friend of the jewish people, you will never see me hesitant to call out anti-semitism in my own community, and certainly not in my own party. but, having spent more than a quarter of a century advocating for a strong relationship between the united states and the jewish state, i cannot stay silent when the entire democratic party is castigated jew-haters when what we really need is leadership that unites the nation and the world against the rise of enticement semitism, hatred, and white supremacy across the globe.
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[cheers and applause] sen. menendez: this is not about playing politics with anti-semitism war blaming any politician for its rise. this is about how anti-semitism lurks beneath the surface of history and in the present. history has taught us that irresponsible rhetoric has the ability to fan those ancient flames into a full-blown fire. thats, when you imply money is the only driving factor of a strong u.s.-israel relationship, you are fanning those flames. and just the same, when you ofused to use -- accuse jews funding asylum-seekers at our southern border, you are fanning those flames. there is simply no excuse for dangerous vitriol from any politician that threatens both
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the safety of jewish americans and israel's core existence. [applause] sen. menendez: so let me be clear. proud tocrat, i am belong to the party of truman, the first american president to recognize the state of israel. i am proud to belong to a party core, embraces jewish values like social justice, equal rights, and tolerance, which have always strengthened american values. two, my jewish constituents and friends who caucus to the right, you too are my friends. i have nothing but respect for you. all i say is that history warns us against letting anyone use the jewish community as a pawn in a political game.
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[applause] sen. menendez: for what is politically expedient today may not be tomorrow, when you are dealing with a leader who lacks any genuine understanding of the history of anti-semitism, racial hatred, and white supremacy, because in the history of this nation, we have learned the only ones on the side of justice are those who fight for it every day, not those who find politically convenient moments to criticize anti-semitism. so across the political landscape, across college campuses, and across the vast expanse of social media, there are forces who seek to sow misinformation, exploit divisions, and capitalize on deeply rooted false narratives. i know many of you in this room are on the front lines of fighting misguided and misaligned attacks on israel.
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so let's give a round of applause to all the college students and youth activists of israel today. they are the torchbearers of the future. [applause] sen. menendez: that bipartisanship has delivered a great deal but bipartisan sanctions passed last congress to iran's s to counter
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maligned activities. i could go on and on. are livingvements proof that a bipartisan commitment to israel has been the sustaining force behind a partnership between two democracies that has spanned multiple presidents, congressional majorities, and coalitions. if we want to sustain the bipartisan support of the 21st century, we must let no one used anti-semitis or the u.s.-israel relationship as partisan condos. let no one divide us while refusing to confront the powerful forces that always have and always will continue to threaten us. tell youere today to that are resolved for the u.s.-israel relationship is strong. with the jewish community against any and all threats is strong. and our resolve to uphold the legacy of bipartisan support for
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israel is strong, and it is made stronger thanks to all of you. i can tell you -- [applause] sen. menendez: i can tell you firsthand as a senior senator from a state known for its active, informed, and engaged constituency that your voices matter. your phone calls matter. your letters matter. your presence in our nation's capital matters. kept the that have shared values, hopes, and dreams of the american israeli people forever aligned. not let partisan politics poison a relationship that has stood the test of time. we will not let divisive rhetoric distract us from real and persistent threats. we will stand together united, and together with the power of truth and the weight of our fortify thewill
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united states and israel into an everlasting bond. that is the message you carry when you head into the united states capitol. that is the message you will make heard throughout the halls of congress. and just as ukrainian americans hope to see sovereignty in ukraine, and venezuelan americans hope to see democracy and advocate for it in venezuela, let no one tell you that jewish americans do not have the right to stand up for a safe and secure israel living in peace with her neighbors. that's what you go on to the capitol to let the nation know. , and you, and god bless god bless these united states of america. [applause]