tv Lawmakers at AIPAC Conference CSPAN March 7, 2018 1:43am-3:28am EST
♪ several members also spoke at the conference and talk about the security threat facing israel with support from the u.s.. this part of the event is one hour and 40 minutes. >> please welcome activist and pastor junior. ♪ as the executive pastor of a congregation of approximately 1200 families in santa ana california, i have the honor of serving under the leadership.
my father said something i never thought i would hear him say. the sun, we are going to see my rabbi. i met for the first time my lifelong friend, senior rabbi from israel's central city. [applause] meeting with danny and his father began a friendship between the two families but it was also a call to action connecting with religious leaders of all faith that sharee a passion for the state of israel is very important. he not only shared this vision
he lives it. the senior pastor never hesitated to speak up in the defensdefenseof the state of is. [applause] he always understood the importance of the bipartisan support. as i continue to grow i continuy ministry my father shared with me guiding principles to help me along the way. he had shown the importance of standing and speaking up and being a leader when it comes to critical issues that affect our hispanic community. and he had shown me with a strong advocate of books like. the miracle of the existence and its very survival and its importance to the world
resignations of americans of all faiths. it is my historic homeland. and i call israel the holy land where jesus was and his disciples preached. >> at the policy conference we understand the importance of building relationships not just between individuals but among generations and communities. i amm proud to tell you that ths is my 17th conference. [applause] he's been thehe honored guest of my delegation in our relationship reflects the fact that friendships that are built are as diverse as america
itself. >> i am honored to be a strong voice for the u.s. israel bond. since my first introduction, my father and i have had the opportunity to introduce literally hundreds of evangelical leaders for the united states and latin america to our work. [applause] we hope each of you will register for next year's conference and before you leave today, take advantage of the on-site discount and please, please encourage your friends, family, neighbors of every faith to join you as well. ladies and gentlemen, and you never know what's going to happen at a policy conference. 2012 right here at the policy conference my son-in-law proposed to my daughter.
[applause] miracles really can happen at a policy conference. with god's grace i plan on attending many many more conferences for many years to come with you all, with my dad in with my rabbi. may god bless you. thank you. [applause] please welcome from the united states house of representatives john culberson and carlos cabello. ♪ in the alliance is a partnership
between two nations who share strategic interests and goals. for 17 years coming america and israel have been steppe steadfat allies in the military, the economy and people that rely on this cooperation. today we are here to celebrate something much moree important just the u.s. israel alliance. today we separate friendship. a friend offers more than partnership and cooperation. it shares more of an interest and values. there is a special bond of friendship and love we are two nations founded by people that share t the same core principles that we were to purchase to do that. israel today ha as an alamo in texas has their own. how could you not love israel as
a texan? [applause] you know a friend has your back and gives you comfort and strength and offers you a hand and picks you up. after the hurricane wreaked havoc across florida, from outside of jacksonville they were devastated to find the entire first floor of the home flooded with no insurance and unable to afford repairs they were forced to live in a friend's trailer as they watched their host crumble black mold spreading room by room before their eyes. when all hope seemed lost, there was a knock at the door. with a team of volunteers who flew halfway around the world they spent two days helping lilly and her family clean out the house. [applause] f
these volunteers were all over my state from key west to jacksonville, but they were not just in florida when northern california faced the worst fires in a century, the rabbi at santa rosa opened up her synagogues doors to serve as a refuge from the fire. it was quickly overwhelmed with people seeking shelter and supplies there wasn't enough staff or resources to tackle everything that needed to be done, but a group of friends stepped in and said we needed to us. volunteers helped organize those whose schools were closed for weeks after the fire. other volunteers helped hand out supplies and provided counseli counseling. when the hurricane made landfall in texas, the storm left of theo
the station in its way. a father of five from houston whose wife passed away just a month before the storm lost everything but just the home he built with his own hands for years before but also his only source of income, his landscaping equipment and on a 68th birthda60th birthday he fof alone. his home flooded from his life destroyed. but he founded prince from israel that they who helped clear out the wreckage of his home and repair his equipment that was essential to the landscaping business. [applause] at the end of the day they brought him a gift basket and sing happy birthday to him and lifted up his spirit. we are so grateful for the help and not just in texas.
words cannot describe the damage. for weeks after the storm there was no power and little access to clean water. a retired polic police man advae infrastructure was overwhelmed in a power outage down to the system and with no source of clean water familiesfa started drinking straight from the street. they were lucky to find a water engineer volunteering with the relief efforts in puerto rico and together a team of israeli volunteers set up water filters around town and are now building a new filtration system for the people that will serve the community even when the power is lost. [applause] the israeli relief workers were
some of the first to arrive today and almost six months after the worst natural disaster in puerto rico history, our hearts overflow with gratitude for the israeli volunteers still there helping rebuild the island's critical infrastructure. [applause] stories like this remind us of the powerful bond between the nations. we celebrate a nation that even as it faces down the threat of war and terrorismri every day produces amazing people that run towards the disaster and offer up everything to help. they stay long after the storm to rebuild. that is more thanhe an alliance. that is friendship. [applause]
to our friends in israel who donated a million dollars to w help rebuild, to all of the organizations who sent volunteers to the shores of the end-all oand all of the other ag volunteers we would say thank you from the bottom of our hearts and god ar bless you. [applause] ♪ please welcome the united states ambassador to israel david friedman. [applause] ♪
good morning. thank you so much. first things first, my thanks and my love to my bride of 37 years. [applause] thank you so much for being here and showing your support for israel. you run an incredible conference and i'm so honored to be here, jews and non- jews, religious and secular democrats andnd republicans who all hold
heartfelt views and all unite in their steadfast commitment for israel and the essential role of the united states in giving effect to the support. what an honor it is to address you this morning and share the podium with such distinguished friends of israel, senators bob menendez, marco rubio and chris can g. such an honor and of course the prime minister of the state of israel, benjamin netanyahu. [applause] this is my first opportunity to speak to you as the united states ambassador. it was a little less than a year
ago i took the oath of office administered by vice president mike pence and i'm so proud of what the administration has accomplished with regardshi to israel. [applause] it was to put it mildly a year of firsts. we begin at the white house for the first time posted itsos celebration of israel independence day on the 69th anniversary of israel's birth. [applause] a few weeks later i became the first united states ambassador to israel to attend theae celebration, the 50th anniversary of the day that israel recaptured.
rs sworn declaration in announcing that the new united states embassy would be open in may of this year just a couple of months from now and coinciding with israel's 70th anniversary. [applause] and beautiful are known a jurors alum 70 years from truman to trump. how blessed we are to be here today. [applause] now the offense that i just noted are not just symbolic. they represent a fundamental shift, and a sea change if you
will into play america relates to its closest allies in the middle east, the state of israel israel. we all must acknowledge that the relationship between the united states and israel have always been special and it has always transcended politics and it must continue to always transcended politics. [applause] but i know you will forgive my pride if i do say that i think things are better than ever. [applause] i am asked all the time what have i learned from my position. the full answer lies in an oak, not in a speech. permit me to share with you one of the many takeaways i believe for my first year in office. as they say it's one of my first but i hope that resonates with you. relates to a phrase that i hear occasionally from some american
visitors and some politicians. i asked them to sum up their feelings for the land and they respond to me that they are quote pro-israel and pro peace closed quote. pro-israel and pro peace sounds like a completely reasonable position. my friends, it is not. using that phrase plainly implies that there are people who are pro-israel and anti-peace or even god forbid pro-israel and pro war. having served in the country of israel now from a figure i can contest that such people in anything but the smallest most minute of numbers simply did not exist. [applause] pro-israel and pro peace is nothing more than a redundancy. if you support israel --
[applause] if you support israel then you must by definition support living in peace with its neighbors. peace is a core israeli valley. the core american value. it's the ultimate line of the priestly addiction of which i'm one as does upon their congregations each and every day in the land of israel. may the lord left unto you and grant you peace that's not just a matter of religious belief. >> the day at the cemetery on
the mountain the equivalent of arlington national cemetery here in virginia. ask a mother grieving for her son bush is praying for her and she will tell you peace. ask an israeli hotel owner or a tour operator what they wish for for. they will tell you peace. ask a member of the knesset whether they would prefer to spend more money on education or hospitals rather than a disproportionate amount on national defense. they will tell you of course they would if they only had peace. ask a family living on the cosso periphery if they would rather have their government create a high-speed rail service to tel aviv rather than buying more ion batteries and they said we would love that if we only have peace. ask each and every parent of a son and a daughter with a pray for and even those who do not believe in god will tell you
they pray for peace. everyone living in israel wants peace. they yearn for peace and pray for peace and it's dangerously misleading to use phrases that suggest otherwise. [applause] [applause] if there is no peace in the middle east as we speak and regrettably there is none, i strongly suggest that we blame someone other than israel. [applause] not everyone agrees on the best way to promote peace.
as you know they are good differences of opinion. what should israel's policy be in the west bank? enemies to the north and west threatened by iran with no margin of error? what risks can israel afford to take with these negotiations? should more money be spent on coexistence rather than separation? should economic empowerment precede political autonomy? these are all the questions about which reasonable minds can differ and reasonable minds could differ. boy, do they differ. but no minds differ on that neither the desire for peace or indeed the blessings that peace will bring nor do any minds on the sanctity and the preciousness of every human life of every race or religion. [applause] ..
working on a plan, not the plan that's been described as 20 different ways by 20 different sources, pardon the expression, fake news. [applause] got a plan for peace, and we are not giving up. [applause] those of us who served the president, we all come but with different beliefs and backgrounds and views. the greatest is our ability to
draw from the diversity of those views and recast the differenc differences. the phrase that you are all familiar with for many comes one. as an american that has supported israel his entire li life. when we support israel that is simply vast. we can only start with the self-interest. there are those innovations at the conference. israel is the world leader in sight of the defense, the
ever-increasing threats of our generation and it shares the discovery and approaches with us in a manner unlike its relationships with many other nations. to justify a foreign policy that our relationship with israel is deeper and far more profound. they stood about the massachusetts faith and charged his flock with the wish to god of israel would be with them. since that date in the 17th century many american leaders
solve themselves as building of a new israel which explains how they bear the name of the biblical communities from the holy land. before the state of israel was born, the united states opened up a consulate in the city of jerusalem. [applause] now in the united states we established our religion it is a core constitutional principle ingrained in the amendment and the bedrock of democracy, and yet we are most certainly a nation of god and in god we trust. our support for israel derives
from the shared values instilled in us from ancient text of freedom, democracy and independence and the sanctity of life and of course from the covenants the father of all great monotheistic religions that he will bless those who bless israel. [applause] millions of people in our great country as we sit and ponder the wonders of our republic in the magical transformations that we update over the 242 years of our history as one indivisible nation under god we can't help but be convinced that america's steadfast support for israel has had a profound effect.
i am convinced that america is at its best when it supports. [applause] i stand before you today the evidence that demonstrates now more than ever that support for israel is the quintessential american value. i know my views are shared about it as the members o is the membe administration to proceed in the conference last night the amazing vice president mike pence and the incredible ambassador. [applause] but as great as they are, and indeed they are great, and i think you with all my heart for the kindness you showed last night, as great as they are we take the direction from the greatest strength israel has ever had in the white house,
president trump. [applause] we owe him a tremendous debt of gratitude. [applause] is the highest honor and privilege of my life to serve as the united states ambassador to israel. when i'm referred to as ambassador, they us use the a. t all obutall of few that are ambs as well perhaps with a lowercase if you will. as ambassadors, all of you share with me the responsibility for making the case for israel as many of you will today on
capitol hill and with your homes, communities and on college campuses every day of the week for which i am eternally grateful. [applause] when as i know all of you will come to you proclaim yourselves to be pro- israel, please understand that the one and a half without suffix and without apology you are proclaiming ourselves pro-democracy, pro- religious freedom and promote perhaps most importantly pro- american. [applause] later today, i'm heading back to israel. we have work to do. [applause]
we are working hard to get that done. until we meet again please join me in continuing to strengthen the unbreakable bond between israel and the united states. with the last song written by king david some 3,000 years ago. my father and the blessed memory, the pulpit rabbi for some 50 years ended every one of his morning services for this passage in i often wondered what king david meant. if he was asking for peace, why
today is the highlight of the policy conference and one of the most important days of this year fothe yearfor the u.s. israel relationship. before you leave for capitol hill please check your schedule on the application to confirm your appointment time and location. updated information is all availablalsoavailable on monitot the convention center. buses will leave immediately following the session and will drop you off at garfield circle. circle. this is returning to the center will pick up from peace circle and run until 3:45. house offices are located on the south side of the hill. senate offices were located on the north side of capitol hill in the russell, dirksen and ha f buildings. each building on capitol hill has multiple entrances with plenty of staff. look for people wearing blue
caps and jackets to guide you through security. before you start your meeting you should review the talking points and lobbying materials and be sure to follow the group leader who will guide the meeting. remember to have fun and stay on point you to be sure t to thank your elected officials and their staff for their time and support. ♪ please welcome award-winning journalist and best-selling author, claire shipman. we have heard from officials from both parties on the importance of the strong u.s. israel relationship.
today we are going to have to back-to-back interviews with members of the senate foreign relations committee, one from each side of the aisle. please join me in welcoming the first guest from the state of delaware, senator christopher coons. ♪ thanks for coming today. >> thanks for th >> thanks for the great confidence in the chance to join you again. [applause] we returned from a trip to israel we were talking about sounds as if it were fascinating and you had an opportunity to meet with the prime minister to visit the border. what is your sense of security situation coming away from the trip? >> it was bipartisan and there was senator lindsey graham and i don't lead this tri plan this td
a chance to visit jordan and israel and in israel we spent four days looking at the security situation and i was purely struck in 98 years as a senator i haven'senator i havenn immediate security situation is threatening as today. think about it, isis is still affecting. we have hamas digging tunnels and preparing to fire rockets. in lebanon we have has the lot and adding tens of thousands of advanced munitions and rockets threatening israel and we took a helicopter tour of all of this and then got a briefing with the general deputy chief of staff in the failed state where you've got isis both active and hezbollah, the shia militias, the irg c. under russian air cover, iran increasingly and aggressively challenging israel
and directly sending a grown into the airspace. it is important that we make clear when iran and russia challenge israel directly, they are also challenging the united states. we need to be solved and we need to stand together. [applause] >> you mentioned the trip was part of a bipartisan congressional delegation led by u.s. senator graham with several of your colleagues. in this incredibly partisan time, how important is it that israel remain a bipartisan issue and how possible do you think that is? >> that's where you come in because frankly keeping u.s. support for israel, american engagement not just on security issues but also on innovation technology and our shared values, it is absolutely essential because there are so few things that bring us together in congress these days we need to show the world we can sustain a bipartisan commitment
to security and to the thriving as the only democracy in the middle east and our most vital ally. [applause] >> we were talking about the fact the delegation also travels to jordan which of course has a critical relationship with israel. what were your takeaways from that? >> we had a remarkable dinner and heard security concerns, with more economic concerns than i'd heard before. 650,000 syrian refugees in jordan and the downward pressure on the economy is remarkable, the imf pushing them to make difficult reform and i think we need to do more to invest in jordan's economic stability. king abdullah represents the version of islam that is moderate, they are a counterterrorism partner to israel in the united states and an island of stability in an otherwise chaotic region and i think we should do more to support jordan. [applause]
last night we heard from the ambassador about the efforts to combat and i know that this is an issue you care deeply about. you and senator rubio and a letter to the un secretary-general calling for efforts to root out this bias. what impact do you think that letter had? >> one of the great things about the partnership as we are on the foreign relations committee together but we are also on the appropriations committee that fund the united nations into so our communications with the secretary-general that pressed for more transparency, efficiency and efforts to combat produced some early results. the ambassador has been a strong and capable and good leader but we should be doing more to push back. frankly on the anti-semitism in the united nations.
[applause] >> you mentioned you worked well together and you introduced legislation can you tell us a little bit more about that initiative and whtheinitiative d to leave the effort? >> having just come back where we got to meet with the ambassador friedman and the prime minister and we got the security briefing i thought that it was important to act. the theme of the conference is to choose to bleed and i think it's important that we pulled together in a bipartisan way and to demonstrate that congress has their back every bit as much as the president does so it would legislatively authorized the 3.3500 million a year in the missile system support.
i use that as a floor not a ceiling. [applause] it will also have access to the precision guided ammunition and others to show if conflict comes. it's also coordinating on critical areas like cybersecurity and making sure we sustain the edge and it contains partnerships between the united states and israel to teach about the values and other initiatives that show the world how we promote peace and development together. so between the security package and support from the precision guided munition loan guarantees and the value partnership i just happen to think that the bill is a great idea. but this is where you come in. because if you are going to
choose to lead, it is my hope and expectation that in your time today coming to the hill you will help us secure more cosponsors. as of right now it has to with them. my hunch is after you get back to work on capitol hill today we will hav have not 20, not 30, n0 to 70 or 80 cosponsors. once everybody gets their what do yothere whatdo you think the? >> i think it is dire and the values are important and i think the prospect of our working together through the range of members of congress to demonstrate to the world but when iran has israel like it never had before when russia provides air cover foprovide aie
testing, when hezbollah and hamas threatened from north and south that people continue to be the most reliable ally that they could possibly have and we will show in a democracy we can come together to support this through the citizen advocacy. [applause] thank you for your time. [applause] ♪ next guest is also a member of the senate foreign relations committee from across the aisle, ladies and gentlemen please welcome the florida senator, marco rubio. [applause]
♪ thank you for being here. >> thanks for having me. i've never spoken to a whole group before. >> seven years. you have a strong track record of support for israel and utah u can't uproot your political career. where does tha this passion come from? >> first america should be a friend and certainly standing with our allies we have one of the strongest in the world. second, it stands for everything we hope the middle east will become a free enterprise, democracy that is pro- american and we have countries that got in the middle east our lives
would be simpler and thursda thd tuesday of the unique purpose unlike any other nation on earth created for a very specific purpose and in the ability to defend themselves with anti-semitism. [applause] the two of you offered up that letter to the secretary-general calling for the efforts to root out it was signed by every single one of your colleagues, all 100 senators with such partisan politics what do you think made that agreement possible? >> we couldn't get 100 senators but we got 100 people on board on israel and it's a testament to the work of this organization and so many others. but i would caution you today'ss
conference is a reflection of 20 to 30 years and you have to project 15 years from now the congressional delegation is going to be made up of the men and women tha of that today or n colleges or graduating from universities. so if you want to see the future of the cause you have to look there and i am deeply concerned about what is happening on many of the college campuses and the disorders and anti-feminism. [applause] we need to tackle that. [applause] the secretary of defense said last month everywhere we find trouble in the middle east you always find iran engaged and i had a conversation yesterday with the admiral said at the same thing this should be the top focus in the middle east. from your perspective, it's america doing enough to push back? >> they are trying to drive us out of the region and doing that through a combination of
partnering with different countries. you see them reaching out and obviously supporting the work they do at hezbollah. you see them everywhere they are taking advantage of so it's a strategic effort on their part to kind of create and drive the united states out of the region and become the dominant power. we can't be pushed out of the solution and whatever ultimately happens with stability and we have to make clear it doesn't end with the move to an embassy that we all supported it includes the notion that the united states will support israel financially, economically to ensure that they can withstand anything that comes their way as you see these developing capabilities in lebanon.
[applause] do you think on capitol hill and in the administration there is an understanding of what you've just articulated? are you optimistic about that focus? >> we want to be supportive of israel. we have more to do to put together the sort of comprehensive approach that understands all these issues are interlinked, but the effort than iraq are ultimately tied to their ability in a circle to threaten israel and the proxies were directly and we need to do more work on that. we have to understand the ultimate goal that includes going after israel even if it is using hezbollah were increasingly serious so we need to kind of typist things together. >> to some extent, this takes me to the next question we were just talking about in the legislation that is introduced to support not only the security to israel, but expanded u.s. israel cooperation in a number
of fields. is this why you think it is such a critical effort? >> it's not importan important e therthat it bethere because the administrations come and go but that means the next administration is going to inherit a law that has codified the memorandum of understanding and makes clear the u.s. has a legal commitment, a moral obligation. [applause] he said everybody should head to capitol hill to show support. what is your view of the prospect, do you feel good? >> they are good but the work will make it better. there's thousands of bills and sometimes the problem is just showing up and saying please
sign on because if we can get 60, 70, 80 cosponsors in terms of getting bills passed this is one of those things we might be able to do without a vote on it. the more cosponsors we have and more of a priority we make it, the higher the prospects are so hopefully we can get that done. when we see a finish line in that direction, we need your help so please go do that today. [applause] speaking of other legislation to ratchet up the sanctions of that legislation of the chambers it sounds as though the negotiations are underway. >> we did the one about three years ago and now we are adjusting. i want to leave you with a thought that risk that is posed out of lebanon. there are capabilities today with the supply on how to manufacture their own rockets
and potentially try to overwhelm the defense at some point so it's important that we do everything we can to cut off any financial screenings to use this activity and that's why it's so important so after we talk about this one although it is past we just try to reconcile the differences and we can get that done. [applause] while the administration has included full funding for the assistance to israel and its budget request, we continue to see big cuts in the international spending. you have been a vocal supporter of robust international standing. why do you think this is so important and how do you make the case for the constituents? >> first, no congress has ever taken the president's budget on this or anything in the past itself number two, on international assistance i'm all
for accountability. i don't want american dollars flowing to countries to turn around and use it against us or our values. by the same token, it is an international system less than 1% of the overall budget. it isn't charity is a direct investment in national security and strengthening the part or nations and frankly saves us money in the long term if we invest it correctly. [applause] >> do you feel they understand that? >> a lot of people think it is 30 or 40% of the budget when you explain it is less than 1% and hold up examples outside of the middle east south korea gets to be a foreign aid recipient and today one of the largest in the world into pro- american democracy. columbia was a failed state that is today the strongest ally. all the direct result of the investment and i think we need to continue to look for opportunities to do that around the world in addition to continuing to invest in the
existing alliance. >> this is a chance for you to offer some more insight into the room. we've seen a lot of turnover in congress in recent years and yesterday a great friend of the relationship senator cochran, chairman of the senate appropriations committee announced his retirement. what impact does that have on your work and what advice do you have on how to build support with new members of congress? >> a lot of members of congress if they come from the state level they do not have a deep level of expertise in foreign policy. then i came from the state level i knew a little bit more about it because they lived i i livede foreign policy, domestic policy in miami but in general, people are chuckling. [laughter] but in general it's not that they don't care about foreign policy, it's trust someone's been a governor or state senator, it's not an issue they are aware of so one of the things most effective it is and
someone from halfway across the country talking to you, you are all assigned someone working with you but also in the community and its relationships are critical and important so i'd encourage you to continue to do that especially with the members who are going to be inclined to be supportive but may not be fully aware of all of the things that are out there and that are set but are not accurate for the state of affairs in the region are about the differences between the different parties involved in the region, so it really is important early on in the career that should get in front of them and state the facts and figures and historical data will on the alliance. >> i hope you all have been taking notes. >> thank you for your time. let's have another round of applause. [applause]
♪ please welcome the house majority whip steve scalise. [applause] ♪ thank you all so much. [applause] welcome to dc. it is an honor to be here with you and i want to welcome you to washington from all over the country. i know in just a few hours thousands of you will be making your way to the hill to meet with members from congress and
from the members of congress from our senators i know i look forward to the meetings i'm going to be having later today with my friends from louisiana and it's so important this work that you're doing. not only are you exercising your constitutional rights, but also in ensuring that the u.s. relationship remains a strong and bipartisan priority in congress. it's always been that way. [applause] and it continues to be that way. the continued activism and involvement today to strengthen the relationship truly does take a difference. i know how important it is meeting with every member of congress with a unified message that's what it takes for us to put the votes together to pass legislation and especially the legislation w we work on togethr that is so incredibly bipartisan. your message resonates with us on capitol hill and it will be heard all around the country and around the world. your leadership has helped
advance the bipartisan achievement that strengthens our alliance with israel. these efforts have shown american leadership at home and on the international stage to stand by israel and crack down on those seeking to delegitimize and destroy israel. [applause] unfortunately it remains on the frontlines of terror. challenge to the sovereignty cannot be tolerated, and we must continue to stand together and support the right to defend from all threats. [applause] we are going to do our part and provided the crucial security assistance through fully funding the $3.1 million in the memorandum of understanding. [applause] and the $705 million for the
israeli missile defense. [applause] we provide the critical security and assistance we cannot overlook the economic and political fight, whether on campuses or at the united nations. i'm glad we have such strong leadership with our ambassador nick e. hailey and what she is doing to stand up to the movement is a stand by israel and continued to work to counter the growing challenges that we face around the world. we must continue to use all of the tools available to cut off support for its ballistic missile program. [applause] in the house, we passed legislation to impose sanctions to cut off the resources and on
the ballistic missile program these are key steps to counter the destructive action that undermines regional peace and security. president trump also outlined a comprehensive strategy to curtail the dangerous nuclear ambition and i fully support his administration's work to fix the broken nuclear deal as we can end the nuclear program once and for all. [applause] president trump has also followed through on what most politicians have simply talked about for years by fulfilling his promise to move the u.s. embassy future of islam -- to jerusalem. i applaud president trump for demonstrating strong leadership on the world stage in support of our strongest ally in the middle east. [applause]
what you did a number of times and when you go to jerusalem and walk the streets as a catholic i feel so warm and embraced by the people of jerusalem to be able to share and experience such an important part of my faith in a jewish state and that needs to continue. [applause] i'm glad that when it comes to israel and maintaining our strong alliance that we have broad bipartisan support. the united front is the result of your hard work and constant advocacy to make sure that not only do you deliver the message, but he works with both sides of the isle so when we bring legislation to the floor it is truly bipartisan and that sends a message to the rest of the world that america is united. maybe there's areas we are divided, but when it comes to
the strong support for israel, we come together as a united congress republican and democrat to express our support for the policies that are so important. [applause] sometimes we face the challenges that seem worse than before. i know that our faith in america's greatness in the commitment to stand by israel will endure and prevail over the threats that we may face. i want to share a personal story as any of you know on june 14 i was shocked last year and it was a perfect day in many ways but also it was a day in a period of time where i saw the greatness of people in so many people prayed for me. pray for me. i want to thank you all for the prayers. they truly lifted me up through incredibly tough times. [applause]
thank you for the prayers and heartfelt wishes. [applause] will i should probably just leave when i get a standing ovation but i want to share something else with you, a personal story about the great leader of israel, the prime minister benjamin netanyahu is going to be addressing you later on today. we will meet with minister meets witthe ministermeets with the lp republican and democrat but i've also met a number of times every time i go to jerusalem is amazing when you go to israel and you go as a congressional delegation with members of congress with 93 members of congress, it might be 25 members oof congressman eric cantor firt brought me when i was a first freshman member of congress just
nine years ago but the prime minister always makes it a priority to sit down with members of congress of both parties and share the issues and experiences. when i got to go out and see it personally it does make a difference. but after i was shocked, on the day that i was shocked, we got a call from the prime minister. i was out of it for three days. i didn't come to after my surgery is fighting for my life, infections and finally by the number three i woke up. my wife was fair, my family was there and they started sharing some of the stories of people praying around the world and one of the things that stood out as the prime minister netanyahu called for me. he's busy there are so many threats and problems and they said he wants you to call him when you are able to.
i said okay i would love to talk with him and okay we raised the call and spend a wonderful conversation on the phone. he shared with me some of his personal experiences. as you know his brother died in a shooting in the service to the military, but he also shared some of their personal stories with me and it was just such a warm expression of the kind of person he is. the fact that he called and told me a number of things about him but also said something about our relationship. why would he call a member of the united states congress who'd been shot an shot when he's ther of israel? because our country is love each other. our countries care about each other. [applause] this is a relationship built on love and respect for what we do. what you do this so important to maintaining it. let's continue this great work and stand up for the jewish
good morning and thank you for the warm welcome. i'm honored to be here once again at the conference. [applause] let me take a moment of personal privilege to say sometimes god puts a goliath in your path to fight the david within you and d that david within me. [applause] but we all know that even david had a slingshot and many of you here today are part of my slingshot so i am grateful. [applause] it's no secret i've taken a lot of heat for standing up for what i believe in. but when my children ask me if i knew what was going to happen,
what would i have taken the same stand, and my answer is a resolute yes, absolutely. [applause] i am inspired by all of you, the thousands of members who dedicate your time and energy to support america and a lasting bond with israel and i'm proud to see that once again we have hundreds of members here from the great state of new jersey. [applause] and that includes my dear friend friedman. [applause] as i'm sure many of you kno knod if not you will get to understand key is a stalwart advocate for israel and a tenacious leader who will continue to serve.
congratulations. [applause] as we celebrate his success i also want to take a moment to celebrate the life and legacy of a new jersey and who is no longer with us. he was h. with friend and a champion for this community and a fierce advocate for truth and justice. to all of us here that feel his actions may our presence here be a blessing. as i walk out into the ocean of people gathered here today, people of all ages, all faiths and political persuasions, your commitment to the common cause, your presence and voice is send a message across washington to jerusalem and throughout the world that the united states and israel share an alliance that is
unbreakable and is ironclad. [applause] i want to recognize the 3600 students who made their way to washington this year. [applause] it's important that you are here. [applause] in recent days we have been reminded of the power that rests in the hands of america's youth. when young people stand up and speak out for what they believe in, the world cannot help but listen. [applause] so those that came to participate in democracy, i salute you and thank you and ask everyone to join me in applauding you for participati participating. [applause]
with the hatred on th their riso the capital of europe we have seen ever increasing volatility in the middle east and the refugee crisis unseen since world war ii for the terrorist proxies ever closer to israel's borders. we come from these challenges together and as we do so i continue to be guided by my belief that it had been the national security of the united states to have a strong and unwavering alliance with the state of israel. [applause] a steadfast ally of the united states and nation of incredible innovation and the country most likely to be voting with us and common cause and international
force. most of you know i've resumed my role as the ranking member of the foreign relations committee. [applause] i want to commend my friend for his steadfast leadership and in my renewed capacity, i will be a continuing champion much like the bond between the united states and israel, i do not back away from my commitments were leave her in my beliefs even when the political winds change and when it may be tougher for others to stand up for israel, i will always stand up for the fundamental truths. one, the security of the united states is strong when our bond for israel is strong. [applause]
the people have a right to live in peace, security and prosperity in the indisputable homeland of their ancestors. [applause] and the right to defend and the united states will always ensure that she has the capability to protect herself. [applause] we know that israel has always been sounded but today the stakes are higher and the risks are greater, the threats are more accentual. for years we've been talking about the threats posed to israel. we have heard that the trail echoing out of tehran and we have seen its proxies pushing closer and closer to the borders
and we know exactly why it continues to expand and invest so much into the brutal dictatorship. they are transferring weapons to seek to build the land bridge from tehran to baghdad. they viewed the battlefiel views the laboratory for training. for the expansion by prolonging the grip on power and the criminal terrorists they paved a path for ththe path for the rego expand its military footprint. make no mistake iran is building an advanced presence and willfully disregarding this reality if we cling onto the field policy of negotiating with russia that is precisely what we are doing i as we continue to sk
out the agreement. these agreements are dangerous and paving the way for iran to stay in this area. [applause] dropping bombs on hospitals and humanitarian aid working to care for people under siege. the links between moscow and tehran are crystal clear without american leadership i fear there will be no international
response to the entrenchment. we saw last month when they sent a drawn into the airspace and the regime turned the air defense system on the fighter jet escorts israel responded with necessary and appropriate force in defending herself and her red line family of -- we applaud the defense forces. [applause] we must be unequivocal in their support for our allies and we must assert the global leadership driven by the principles and values and security.
as iran grows its footprint and battles the fighters we know that lebanese hezbollah continues to build their missile production facilities and advanced weapon plans to direct at israel. in the face of this growing threat it is no wonder why there's increasing talk of the next war. there is absolutely no moral equivalent between peaceloving and vibrant democracy with so much to offer the world and hezbollah a terrorist organization that views hate and receive support and direction. [applause]
we know that they prefer to keep that if she's forced to take on this fight, we know where the united states will stand in on the side of our one true democratic ally. [applause] [cheering] these threats demand that we do everything we can mount pushback against iran and the continued aggression. i spent the better part of my two and a half decades in congress working to support the strategic multilateral efforts to confront iran. that's why last year i worked with a bipartisan group of colleagues to pass that countering american adversary through sanctions act. at the time when the bipartisanship division is too often the norm in washington, democrats and republicans of the senate voted by a margin of
98-to to give more tools to send for the behavior. [applause] and i know in large part it is because of the members in this room. yet despite the call to action the administration has yet to use the tools that we provided nor have they developed or implement a comprehensive strategy as called for in the wall for confronting the aggression. i hope together we can send a loud, clear, unified message to the white house to impose the sanctions, use the tools congress gave you and do it without delay. [applause] speaking of iran and the sanctions, let's turn to the nuclear accord. everyone here knows how i stood on the agreement.
[applause] i had -- [applause] i had serious doubts about the sanctions relief in exchange for shorshort-term limits on its nur program, and those concerns are ever more true to me today than they were then and now it's come playing with limited terms of the deal but no one should be surprised that it didn't suddenly transformed iran into a responsible member of the international community.
the recent protests have reminded us that this regime continues to put funding for the terrorist proxies ahead of the well-being of its own people. that's why i believe at this moment it is essential that the united states immediately develop a comprehensive strategy to address the destabilizing behavior including its asymmetrical activities. while simultaneously working to address the long-term concerns about its nuclear program. if used correctly, this administration has potentially created leverage to address the concerns that we all share about iran. the lack of a comprehensive strategy ultimately lead to the united states with less leverage to work productively with our allies. we spent decades pursuing tough diplomacy and sanctions to bring the international partners together to address the threats and we must continue engaging the international community and a meaningful conversation about
the long-term nuclear capacity in the years ahead after many limitations expired. in congress, we must push the administration to pursue effective diplomacy to col calld iran accountable each time it violates un security resolutions and test some of their missile or delivers another with them into the hand of the fighters in yemen. that's why along with senator corker, i'm leaving a letter to the secretary in support of the diplomatic efforts. the united states has leverage right now, and i want the administration to use it. iran must understand that the united states and our partners will not tolerate a nuclear armed iran, not now, not ever. [applause] we haven't forgotten the nuclear history. the regime has lied about its nuclear ambitions before. that is why we must remain vigilant and be prepared and
must make our expectations abundantly clear. i know you share my concerns about what comes after. our partners into the parties in the deal said that they agreed there needs to be a successor agreement and i welcome the administration initiating peace. thithese. this reminds us that fighting for israel starts long before the battlefield and it means fighting in the halls of the united nations and the capital of europe and sometimes within one's own party to do what's right if we want them to hold them accountable each time it violates the un security resolutions by testing the missiles are developing weapons, we need a fully funded skilled and experienced diplomatic support to get the job done. that's why i reject the efforts to/funding for the state department in the u.s. agency for international development.
the aipac policy conference you are the frontline standing up for israel on those college campuses. [applause] we know that you face a rising tide of misguided voices on your campuses and among your peers. i've never shied away from calling the bts movement forgotten what it is that dimly veiled anti-semitic politically motivated discriminatory reminiscent of the history we spent over half a century working to assure is never repeated again. mark my words at every forum i have a voice and a vote i will ensure that they are told exactly for what they are directly at one country by those who should know better. it's up to all of us.
[applause] it's up to all of us to stand up stand together and speak out against anti-semitic hatred in bigotry in all of its forms and that includes right here at home home. last year the united states the number of anti-semitic incidents increased by 57%. even in my home state of new jersey lisa anti-semitic sentiments rise by nearly one third in 2017. even in new jersey. the anti-defamation league reported there were more than 200 anti-semitic including bomb threats against jewish -- this is 2018. this is horrifying. to see anti-semitism creep into political discourse displayed in the streets we could never imagine we would find it again. last month we watch with horror
as poland passed a law criminalizing the act that polls collaborated with the german third reich. this is a gross attempt to rewrite history that denies the suffering of millions stoking anti-semitic hatred. on holocaust remembrance and my republicans colleagues senator mark ruby and i sent a letter to the president asking to memorialize the 6 million jews killed in the holocaust and to nominate a qualified person to serve at the state department special assembly to carve out anti-semitism across the world. [applause] with hatred and bigotry on the rise worldwide with refugees
numbers we have not seen since world war ii with nazis running for congress in illinois it is hard not to hearken back to the dark is period of the last century. indeed the holocaust is the last reminder of the perils faced by the jewish people in exile, a reminder of the miracle of the reestablishment of the marxist state of israel that it is a political reality backed by thousands of years dating to the time of abraham and sarah. so it is written history by the courage of pioneers who turned to the debtors -- desert sands the war worry and oppressed returned to their ancestral homes with nothing but a dream and their collective historical memories. the dreams of the people of israel have realized with a vibrant democracy and the rise of israeli institutions that continue to win nobel prizes, save lives, shape the world of
game-changing innovations in health care agriculture technology and so much more. both the united states and israel are built by the dreamers innovators and inventors by peaceloving people who seek to build a brighter world. that is why we are not bound together just by mutual security interests but also by sharing values that transcend partisan divides and outlast the daily grime of american powers. [applause] too often as i travel the country i hear concerns that israel is no longer a bipartisan bipartisan -- i hear people citing but i encourage you to dig deeper. surveys have presented a binary question of whether or not -- and while political opinion sway over time is continuing overwhelming bipartisan support for israel and the united states
congress. you saw that overwhelming bipartisan support. we don't often get 98-2 votes in the united states congress. you saw that bipartisan support in the introduction that the answer he israel acts legislation that will fund the misguided pbs movement he saw been a bipartisan letter into the old winter program signed by all 100 members of the united states senate. you saw that the house of representatives passing the act which says no to funding palestinian authority's continue citing violence and financial support for convicted terrorists and effort are urged the senate to take up in short order and you saw that bipartisan support in the historic 38 billion-dollar memorandum of understanding we fought to secure and 2016 in agreement that ensures israel's defenses remained unmatched and that the
united states and israel continue developing defense technologies of outstanding education by the missile defense systems. these technologies have not only save the lives of israeli civilians by hamas rockets they have enhanced the security of america's own forces and above all three remain united in our support for a two-state solution with israel's capitol injures lum which will ultimately be the best guarantor for a secure peaceful and democratic jewish state. [applause] and won't deny in times like these with anti-semitism on the rise and iran emboldened with instability surrounding israel at every turn the path to a jewish democratic state in israel and here at home but peace with its neighbors at times maybe even impossible. we must in these trying times
clinging to the values and hopes that have always driven our two countries that justice will prevail over evil, the truth over bigotry that we can unite the common cause in the advance of democracy and human dignity. as theater herself said if you will let it is -- it nearly 70 years later his words ring true. the will that drove those pioneers to the desert to turn sand into thriving -- he translated their dreams into a modern-day israel ever call the past while embracing the future. these are the values we claim to today. as we prepare to celebrate israel's 70th anniversary it is you who have kept the shared values hopes and dreams of the american and israeli people forever i live and i'm proud to stand with you knowing full well that no matter what challenges
we have we will stand strong. we will not shrink in the face of growing threats against our cherished ally. we will not be silenced in the face of rising tides of anti-semitism here at home or abroad and we will not be deterred by those who try to drive a partisan wedge between us. we will stand united against or in adversaries who seek the destruction of israel and together we will show the world the united states stands by the right of the israeli people to live peacefully and securely in their homeland. [applause] david ben gurion the first prime minister of israel once said that in israel in order to be a realist you must believe in miracles. well my friends i believe in miracles and i believe in the state of israel.
thank you. [applause] ♪ please welcome senator majority leader mitch mcconnell. [applause] ♪ >> good morning. it's good to be back again. being at aipac is a real honor. i've had the privilege of addressing his audience and my fellow friends of israel on multiple occasions and i must say it's great to be back one more time. [applause] i want to add my congratulations as he begins what i'm sure will
be a distinguished tenure as president of this extraordinary organization. i also want to thank lillian for her years of service along with our core bob colin and all those friends that made aipac important work possible. [applause] when i was here last march the u.s. israel relationship had reached an important turning point. for eight years under a had run down our forces altered our purpose and the consequences have become quite clear. our foreign presence was diminished and complex and lethal threats emerged. the civil war within syria evolved into an epicenter of regional conflict. a split within al qaeda in iraq's bond the terrorist army we know as isil. the intervention by iran in
support of bashar al-assad and hezbollah and shia militias righted israel's doorstep. iran's regional ambitions were all stood by a fatally flawed nuclear deal which gave international legitimacy to iran's uranium enrichment program. iran gained sanctions relief and worked aggressively to spread its influence their malign behavior and expansionism. supreme leader regime had become an even more menacing shadow behind destabilizing forces in lebanon iraq, saudi arabia and yemen. the obama administration's nuclear deals follow their reluctance to address iran's regional ambitions. the notion that powers the middle east needed to learn to share the neighborhood with iran
created a void. iran was happy to exploit the avoid menacing our ships and plans to go to the persian gulf. all those failures stem from a central misunderstanding. for eight years the previous administration failed to lead as an ally. [applause] it failed to recognize the u.s. and israel is stronger together and that we share a commonality of interest. it's more than just national friendship and shared history. yes, america was probably the first country to recognize israel as a jewish government of 1948. yes, 1985 america's first-ever free trade agreement was signed with none other than israel but it's also just the reality of our world. israel is safer because of america's presence in the middle
east and america's interests benefit when israel stance is a partner in pursuit of common interest in this troubled region region. fortunately in the last year the new administration and the united front in congress have charted a new course. [applause] america's rebuilding our capabilities are partnerships and their will to do with the circumstances would require. many of our regional partners are august on iran's aggressive policy and seeking america's support but make no mistake israel will have the firm support of the united states diplomatically and militarily as this historic partnership. [applause] though the campaign to defeat isil -- this administration
accelerated it. it began to rebuild america's armed forces and the call by ending the spending caps that a four-star servicemembers to do more with less. secretary madison or military leaders will once again have more resources to meet the myriad missions our nation puts before them. our counterterrorism cooperation has been exemplary and of course the united states has finally taken a long overdue step and recognize that israel's true capitol is jerusalem. [applause] jerusalem as israel's capitol plain and simple. jerusalem is where the united states embassy belongs and where it will stay. [applause] and in just a few months for the first time ever that's exactly where it will be.
the challenge is that israel and america face today are the challenges we must face together with deep friendship and shared resolve. israel is in a neighborhood which includes a profoundly broken syria a dangerous around the threat of isil in the sinai and it emboldened hezbollah. but today tomorrow and always israel's beacon of democracy will continue to shudder through the darkness and america will be fair standing proudly alongside our friends. thank you for your passion. thank you for your but you see. thank you for not letting anyone forget the necessity of this time tested partnership. thank you very much everyone. [applause] ♪