tv AIPAC Hosts Annual Policy Conference CSPAN March 27, 2017 4:33pm-6:30pm EDT
also a junior at bowie state university. my message is for donald trump, i know a lot of presidents -- i know a lot of candidates make a lot of promises. but i would like him to lower the rate of unemployment. >> voices from the road on c-span. >> and here on c-span3sh, live coverage of apac. the group meeting in washington, d.c., for three days. today hearing from house speaker paul ryan and u.s. ambassador to the u.n. nikki haley as well as others. you're watching live coverage here on c-span3. >> from california state university, sam lewis paul
biggest shoutout of student group can receive. the support we get from aipac staff and all of you 24/7 allows us to do our work and be successful. >> for all of us and the rest of the nearly 4,000 student activityists here this week, this conference gives us a huge dose of inspiration to tackle tough challenges back on campus and carry out our work all year long. and i know it is the same for all of you. >> policy conference is like no other experience. >> that is why each year our campus along with our friends over at university of florida have sent some of the larger student delegations to the conference. next year, we plan to bring even more student leaders representing the seminole
>> kay and i have worked for eight years to strengthen the u.s.-israel relationship as partners and friends. >> we work together most closely as members of the appropriation subcommittee on state and foreign operations. she was chairwoman at the time and i was ranking member. our relationship is based on mutual respect. we agree on many issues like the united states unequivocal support for israel. and there are some issues we don't agree on. but we always listen to each other and we recognize in order to get things done, we have to work together. >> and we share a common belief
that keeping america safe requires a network of strong partnerships around the world. in our committee roles, we help ensure congress supports our friends and allies through foreign aid. >> foreign assistance plays a crucial role in advancing our national security interests and makes up just a small fraction of the federal government's budget less than 1%. >> and for that minor investment, the united states gets a major payoff. stronger alliances, a safer, more stable world, and a boost to our economy.
>> security assistance to israel is one of the corner stones of the u.s.-israel relationship. there is no shortage of dangers facing the jewish state, whethers the destabilizing actions of iran, the syrian civil war, the spread of isis, or the constant threat of violence from terrorist groups like hamas and hezbollah. >> our investment helps israel. our most steadfast partner gain access to the latest technology and resources to defend itself no matter the threat. and because israel buys mostly american technology and supplies with foreign aid our investment
nets us more exports, more growth, and more jobs right here in america. >> most importantly, a modest investment in foreign assistance is the most cost effective way to prevent threats from arising in the first place. that's why we are staunch advocates of security assistance to israel and why we're grateful to the people in this audience who work tirelessly to engage all of us in congress on this vital issue, both republicans and democrats. >> the relationship we built on the appropriations committee helped us work together on other fronts to advance a strong u.s.-israel relationship.
last year kay and i co-authored a bipartisan letter co-signed by 394 other house members reiterating our support for a two-state solution supporting direct negotiations between the israelis and the palestinans and denouncing one-sided anti-israel resolutions in the united nations. >> and earlier this month, thanks to bipartisan support, the house approved more than $600 million for israeli missile defense programs like iron dome and an additional $42 million
>> please welcome co-author of startup nation. >> it's no secret that there are few places in the world where israel is more constantly and unfairly attacked than at the united nations. the woman we are about to hear from is determined to change that. in january she gave up her position as governor of south carolina to represent the united states at the united nations because she knew she could make a difference. although she's only been at the u.n. for two months, she's already making her mark. speaking out against attacks on israel and standing in the proud tradition of past ambassadors like daniel patrick and gene
ki kirkpatrick. less than two weeks the ambassador once again responded to an attack on israel demanding the u.n. attack a report that attacked israel as an apartheid state and her action had impact. soon after the secretary general required retransactiction of th report. following a recent u.n. security council meeting on the middle east, the ambassador came out to the press and articulated some plain truths. here's what she said. quote, the discussion today on the middle east was not about illegal build up or rockets. it was not about the money and weapons that iran provides to terrorists. it was not about how we defeat
isis. it was not about how we hold bashar assad accountable. instead the meeting focused on criticizing israel, the one true democracy in the middle east. and she closed her statement by saying, i'm here to say the united states will not turn a blind eye to this any more. i think you'd all agree this has been a pretty refreshing change. so please join me in welcoming the agent of that change, the united states ambassador to the united states, the honorable
>> ambassador, i think they're a little luke warm. i'm not sure what the reception is going to be like. let's pick up on where i left in the introduction. that statement you made following that security council meeting on the middle east. were you surprised what you saw about the attitudes and discussions on the middle east at the u.n. and what can be done to change it? >> i was confused. it was totally bizarre because in my first month talking about the middle east there's a lot talk about. whether you're talking about isis, all the issues in syria, which is a problem, that's what i expected us to talk about. i didn't expect an israel bashing session. and literally listening to each member say the same thing over and over again i knew they said it was bad, but until you hear
it and you see it, you just can't comprehend how ridiculous it is. >> so a lot of people here are just getting to know you for the first time. the theme of our conference this year is many voices, one mission. celebrating the diversity of the pro-israel cause. can you talk a little bit about how you started to learn about israel. >> i am the daughter of indian parents who reminded my brothers my sisters and me every day how blessed we were to live in this country. . the truth is i have seen so many similarities between the israeli culture and the indian culture. we're very close knit. we love our families. we have a strong work ethic. we believe in professionalism and giving back.
that's very true. so that's all the good things. we're aggressive. we're stubborn and we don't back down from a fight. >> so i want to talk about some policy issues you're dealing wi with. you said any resolution of syrian war should not leave iran in any control of territory or influence in territory where it could pose a threat to america's allies, including israel. from your perspective at the u.n., what is the attitude about the enforcement of the iran deal and how to hold iran account accountable. how do we hold iran accountable for the deal and for the threats it's posing? >> it's concerning. the reason it's concerning is because when the iran deal took
place, all it did was empower iran and it empowered russia. and it emboldened iran to feel like they could get away with more. you can put sanctions on a country. to take sanctions away, it's very hard to go back and put sanctions back on. what we have said is we're going to watch them like a hawk and make sure that every single thing they do is watched, processed and dealt with, but my concern is you are seeing a lot of love for the iran deal in the security council and that's unfortunate and why that was ever passed is beyond me. it is terrible. [ applause ] >> i want to quote from your first remarks, your first public remarks as ambassador. you said regarding those countries, those nations that don't have america's back at the
u.n., i think everyone was sort of stunned when you said this because you said, quote, we're taking names. you said we're taking names and we will make points to respond to that accordingly. so specifically what can the united states do, what can the ambassador for the united states do to hold countries accountable to, as you said, to address the fact that many of them don't have america's back at the u.n.? >> you want to see my list, don't you? >> we have a little bit of time. >> basically what it comes down to is i'm not there to play. and what i wanted to make sure of was that the united states started leading again. leading isn't saying and doing things when it's comfortable.
leading is saying and doing things when it's not comfortable. so the goal was have the backs of our allies. never again do what we saw happen with resolution 2334 and make anyone question our support. [ applause ] when resolution 2334 happened and the u.s. abstained, the entire country felt a kick in the gut. we had just done something that showed the united states at its weakest point ever. never do we not have the backs
of our friends. we don't have a greater friend than israel. [ applause ] and to see that happen was not only embarrassing, it was hurtful. and so what i can tell you is everyone at the united nations is scared to talk to me about resolution 2334. and i wanted them to know that, look, that happened, but it will never happen again. so to answer the question on what can we do at the u.n., we do a lot. the power of your voice is an amazing thing. so one changing the culture of the u.n. is very important and the way you change the culture of the u.n. is the united states tells them what we're not going to put up with. we start to change the culture to what we should be talking
about and then we actually act on what we say. i wear heels. it's not for a fashion statement. it's because if i see something wrong, we're gonna kick them every single time. [ applause ] so how are we kicking? we're kicking by putting everyone on notice saying if you have our back, we're going to have the backs of our friends, but our friends need to have our back too. if you're challenging us be prepared because we will respond. the next thing we did is we said the days of israel bashing are over. [ applause ]
we have a lot of things to talk about. there are a lot of threats to peace and security, but you're not going to take our number one democratic friend in the middle east and beat up on them. and i think what you're seeing is they're all backing up a little bit. the israel bashing is not as loud. they didn't know exactly what i meant outside of giving the speech so we showed them. so when they decided to try and put a palestinian in one of the highest positions at the u.n., we said no and we had him booted out. that doesn't mean he wasn't a nice man. that doesn't mean he wasn't good to america. what it means is until the
palestinian authority comes to the table and until the u.n. responds the way they're supposed to, there are no freebies for the palestinian authorities anymore. [ applause ] so then they tested us again and this ridiculous report came out. i don't know who the guy is or what he's about, but he has serious problems. goes and compares israel to an apartheid state so we say this is ridiculous, you have to pull. the secretary general immediately pulled the report and then the director has now resigned. [ applause ]
so for anyone that says you can't get anything done at the u.n., they need to know there's a new sheriff in town. [ applause ] >> last question. i think this crowd would be thrilled to hear you for hours, but we are going to -- days, weeks, months. when you were governor of south carolina you signed into law the first anti-bds legislation signed in any state capital in south carolina, any state capital in america. this is an that is close to your heart. now with your new position what do you think could be done to
continue and escalate the fight against those that want to delegitimatize israel through the movement. >> we have to show how absurd it is and show in common sense terms if you want to boycott north korea, i get it. if you want to have divestments and pull something away from syria, do it. if you want to talk about other issues that we're dealing with, i can understand that, but israel? number one, i appreciate all the support and kindness and everything that you've given to me. but all i did was tell the truth. [ applause ] and if you want to continue to support me, which i greatly appreciate, understand that by
telling the truth and showing the power of your voice and putting action behind it, there's nothing we can't change. so with the bds movement that we were able to stop in south carolina, we're going to continue to take that to the u.n. and make sure that they understand that is not what we need to be focused on. [ applause ] >> i think you would agree, folks -- i think you would agree a refreshing voice for america to have at the united nations,
halfway involved, you are going to have conversations around issues of civil rights and issues of not just local, but certainly regional and national and international significance. >> being in the home of the reverend and dr. martin luther king, the list goes on and on and we've had examples of people here in atlanta to follow. >> in order to really impact lasting change, you can't do it by yourself. >> when we talk about why as african-americans many of us are involved in apac, the success of the civil rights wasn't just african-americans standing up and saying civil rights are important, when you tell the story you have to talk about the relationship between the african-american community and the jewish community and the strong support that came from the jewish community. >> my mother and my aunt were very active in the civil rights
community. so i grew up hearing stories about how taking an active role could help change the injustice around us. >> some 26 odd years ago i was a soldier in the u.s. army and in basic training we were told we would defend israel at all costs. fast forward 20 years later, i get to go on a doctor trip. >> in 2012 i was invited to israel. >> the foundation education, i thank good for them. >> the parts of the country we were able to see put a lot of things in context, but it also challenged some of the notions that we may have had about the israeli community and the palestinian community. >> families that i spoke with and talked about their fear of sending their children to school
some days not knowing if they would come back safe, i just couldn't shake the thought of what will i do to make an impact. >> i feel totally immersed there in the culture and there in israel. when you hear the phrase i am israel, that hits home with me because i felt that when i was there with. i said i have to be a part of this and i've sought ways to do it ever since. i committed right away to spend time and money in support of the coalition. i joined a washington club and i guess that wasn't enough for me so i needed some more and i joined the capital club. then i was told about this wonderful group called the congressional club. that's very important. >> because of our shared interests in a safe and secure israel, because of our commitment to improving
u.s./israel relationships, i literally can see the impact of the work that we do. >> when two groups that are very different, have very different issues come together around one issue that they agree upon, that sends a message and that's been the power of what i see as this connection between the african-american community and the jewish community. >> those of us who are currently involved, we know that we need to continue to grow. we know that we need to continue to advocate on behalf of the relationship. we know what it means not just to that region, not just to america, but to the entire world. >> ladies and gentlemen, please welcome our panel.
i want to thank lily pinkish and howard core and my buddy howard freedman. thank you for having me here again this year. it is so great to be back at aipac, but i was thinking what happened to that turn table thing from last year. i liked it. sometimes it feels like politicians are just talking in circles. last year we actually did. so maybe you can bring it back next year. first of all, how many people do we have here from wisconsin? awesome. good to see you guys. i've been coming to this conference nearly every year since i arrived in congress. each time i ask myself how could they possibly get more people than the last year and here you are, you have done it again. this is really, really
incredible. >> as i look around here, you know what inspires me the most? to see so many young people here, so many people from all walks of life, but especially i am especially encouraged to see so many young people. i'm especially encouraged to see so many young people that i want everybody else to give you a round of applause. thank you so much for taking the time. you are the next generation of leaders and i can't thank you enough for getting involved. let's give yourself a big round of applause. [ applause ] in has been quite a year. when i spoke on this stage last march, it was just a few months into this job. it was spring break. i brought my kids with me.
i aren't even decked out my office of packards gear before my team asked me where do you want to go on your first overseas trip as speaker of house? the answer was obvious. i would return to the jewish democratic state of israel. [ applause ] my first trip as speaker. it was an incredible visit. from the unparalleled security cooperation to the miracle of iron dome, i saw firsthand the difference our support to israel makes. any american who has ever traveled there has heard the same thing from political leaders to every day citizens you meet on the street and it is this, thank you, america. thank you. [ applause ]
you see, israel does not take our support for granted and neither should we. the u.s./israel relationship is not a one-way street. it is a strategic partnership rooted in shared values and interests. i want to speak candidly for a second. these past eight years, they've been tough. our friendship has been tested. no single political spat or public disagreement can severe our historic alliance with israel, but it can erode trust and i think the actions of this past administration damaged this trust. it's just how i see it.
but now it is time to turn the page. we have a new president. we have a president who i've gotten to know quite well and let me assure you right here and right now, president donald trump's commitment to israel is sacrosanct. we don't take israel for granted. we know that relationship is central to our national security and believe me those words will always be backed up with real concrete actions. that's what i want to say here to you today. let's start with iran. look, my views, your views on the nuclear agreement struck by president obama are pretty well known, but we must not forget the failures the past if we want to do better. simply put, this deal has been an unmitigated disaster.
[ applause ] i don't say that lightly. we provided billions of dollars in sanctions relief. sent more than $1 billion in cold hard cash and opened up tehran to the global markets and meanwhile iran has stepped up its support for terrorism and increased its human rights abuses and ramped up its ballistic missile program while keeping its sights on a nuclear weapon. republicans and congress repudiated this deal because it's dangerous. where does this leave us. for starters it's past time to
enforce this deal and hold the iranians accountable when they violate it. that's just not enough though. a fatal flaw in this agreement is that even if iran corporates it provides them with a pathway to nuclear capability. in about seven years key restrictions on ballistic missile development begun to sunset. in nine to 14 years restrictions on yuranium disappear. we must continue to have sanctions for illicit activities. very clear. the trump administration already did this in february by swiftly
imposing fresh sanctions in response to more illegal missile tests. just in the last week with the help of aipac we developed new sanctions targeting iran's missile program. at the same time, we can't embrace this deal. the sunset provisions, insufficient inspections, acceptance of iran's sen tri fuj development. when it comes to preventing a nuclear iran, all options can and must remain on the table. the problem here extends well
beyond a bad nuclear deal and ballistic missile tests. this is a revolutionary and expansionist regime bent on destruction of israel and the west. they continue to prop up a de dictator and they arm yemen and they bank roll terrorist organizations. it is compounding instability and blood shed across the globe. to combat these threats, we must harness every instrument of american power. we must work with our allies and with israel in particular to counter this aggression. we should expand sanctions on the iranian terror. i think we need to consider designating them as a foreign terrorist organization, if you
ask me. we should take stops to stop iranian airlines from delivering arms and fighters to terrorists across the middle east. next, we must fulfill our security commitment to israel. you know it wasn't too long ago that suicide bombings felt like a near daily occurrence in the streets and rockets rained down on city centers and schools. despite all the turmoil and violence in the middle east, israel has largely been able to calm its boarders and prevent major terrorist attacks. hats off to israel. i tell you, there's a lot we can
learn. but threats still remain. at this very moment, tens of thousands of rockets are pointed directly at israel from gaza, lebanon and iran. and that is why the united states, with support from congress, has worked with israel to deploy iron dome, david sling and arrow three and we must continue to develop not only new missile defense technologies, but also those cutting edge tools to destroy these terror tunnels that are sneaking into israel from ghaza and potentially lebanon. we cannot be come mplicit and l down our guard. i want to promise you we will meet our military commitments to
israel and provide additional funding in times of crisis when she needs us. we will be there. we are there and we will be there for israel. [ applause ] we count on each other. you know, israel faces a new threat. i just mentioned their success. well, their success in fighting terrorism has led enemies to resort to a campaign of political and economic warfare designed to undermine israel. you know what i'm talking about. many of the college students here have seen this on your campuses. but all of us have seen this on the international stage. you know what it's called. it's called the boycott
divestment and sanctions or bds movement. we know the goal is to delegitimatize israel and isolate her under the thin veil of social justice. we saw this in the united nations. i want to say to the u.n., we will not tolerate your anti-israel bias. we will not tolerate it one bit. the trump administration will not tolerate your anti-israel bias and the lady you just heard from, our strong ambassador to the united nations, nikki haley, she will not tolerate your bias towards israel. you know this and you just heard it. let's just make no mistake about
this. let's just be really clear what this is and what this isn't. the bds movement is nothing short of another incarnation of ant anti-semitism. that's what this is. let's not be fooled by those who tell us this is about peace. this has never been about peace. in fact, it only makes a lasting agreement between israels and palestinians more unlikely. no, this is about one thing and one thing only. israel's right to exist as a jewish democratic state. that's what this is all about. let me just say a few words about peace. i still believe peace is possible.
i do. but it requires leadership. how can we ask israel to make peace with the palestinian authority that forms a united government with hammas? . how can we ask israel to make peace with a government that insights anti-semitism and violence and then goes and names public squares after terrorists? how can we ask israel to offer painful concessions in the name of peace when the other side still refuses to acknowledge her right to exist? this to me is the crux of the issue. we've heard the case this is about settlements. that if israel just stopped building, we would have peace
tomorrow. let's just look at the facts for a second. when israel offered the palestinians 95% of the west bank and 100% of ghaza at camp david in 2000 and greater concessions in 2008, they were rebuffed. when israel completely withdrew from ghaza in 2005, i was there witnessing it then, they didn't get peace. they got rockets, terror tunnels and three wars. and when the prime minister instituted an unprecedented ten month settlement moratorium in 2010, the palestinians only agreed to direct negotiations in the final month and then blamed israel for the talks collapsing. all of this is to say that israel is not perfect. they are not. and neither are we. but you know what?
israel is a free and vibrant democracy. they share our interests. they train alongside our military. they provide critical count counterterrorism assistance and they remain our strongest ally in the middle east. finally i'd like to address something that hits close to home for all of us. in recent months we have seen an update in vandalism, bomb threats against jewish communities. i've seen it in my backyard in a community on the northside of milwaukee, there have been two threats on the local jcc. i was there in february.
just think with the parents getting those calls in the middle of the day. it turns your stomach. these threats and attacks on jewish americans are vial and they are disgusting. they're rooted in a poisonous ideology of hate and they must be wholeheartedly rejected. what i want to say to you is you're not alone. we stand with you. i stand with you. my colleagues in congress stand with you and the american people stand with you. together we will root out this evil wherever it may surface. we are all in this thing together. friends, we are living in very dangerous times. isis still threatens our troops abroad and inspires terrorism here at home. north korea continues to spew
anti-american rhetoric while testing nuclear devices. iran is marching towards a nuclear weapons capability and russia remains a threat to the post cold war order. in the coming years, dictators will rise and deictators will fall. threats to our nation will evolve. but as i look out over this vast horizon of uncertainty, i remain optimistic and so should you. that is because for all of the challenges we face here and around the globe, one thing, one vital thing remains constant. our unbreakable alliance with israel. so i want to say a final thank
you. thank you for being here and thank you for using your voice for good and on behalf of congress thank you for sending a clear message to the world that the united states stands with israel now, tomorrow and always. god bless you. god bless the united states of america. god bless israel. good night. thank you. thank you. please welcome the managing director for policy and politics.
>> good evening. our next guests are two leaders in congress who show how democrats and republicans can corporate to strengthen u.s./israel relationship. they work closely on pro-israel legislation in the house of representatives and just last week they co-sponsored new legislation to impose sanctions against iran for its ballistic missile program. they also make time to travel to israel every two years with new members of congress to see firsthand the challenges israel faces and they continue to join us on this stage for which we are very grateful. please join me in welcoming kevin mccarthy and stea steny h.
>> welcome. >> thank you. good to be here as always. >> yeah, with everything you have to manage it must be a relief to be in front of an audience that just wants you to bring pieeace to the middle eas >> it's a good thing to be with this audience, whatever they want. >> absolutely. two years ago the three of us were in israel together and we had -- we had lunch together. i remember it clearly with over 40 members of congress, most of them freshman, and with a bunch of young israel soldiers, many of whom had come from america, come to israel to defend israel and they had lunch with their
members of congress. >> i had my phone with me and i have a picture of a young idf woman who was with us and they were really excited and i want to thank kevin mckartcarthy. we've done these trips a lot and that was the first time we had done one together. it was important to show as paul ryan said it's the congress. it's not republicans, it's not democrats. it's the congress. kevin and i worked together very closely to make sure that happened. >> it was. when i first became leader, the first thing i did was go down and see steny. we may debate a lot, but we're still friends when the debate is over. is there one issue that actually strengthens our friendship, it's israel. we make sure that issue is a bipartisan issue. so many times on these trips
where we bring freshman to israel, democrats would go one weak, republicans would go the other. i said why don't we overlap a few days. we started that last year and i will tell you what, it's refreshing because they see the exact same thing, but they bond together just as we bond together in our votes and we're going to do it again this summer as well with all the freshman going. >> tell us a little bit about what it means to have freshman there in israel both for them to understand the issue and for building the bipartisan support for israel? >> you could hear all about -- and they understand the challenges of israel, but you do not know it until you see it. until you look over and you're sitting with the iron dome and looking into gaza or the narrowness within nine miles. it is a life changing event. when we sit there the night before the departing, there's not a dry eye in the place.
they were passionate before, but as we have all these fiscal challenges, i will guarantee you, i will take my most conservative member and they'll want to cut anything in the budget except the aid to israel because they know the importance of it. >> very true. >> when they come back to congress as a chance to work together in a bipartisan way, the two of you are lead co-sponsors now on legislation to push back on iran, to sanction it for its ballistic missile program. tell us about the outlook for that legislation? >> you heard that's kevin and i co-sponsor it and we have mr. royce who is the republican chair of the committee and mr. rankin. i think one of the very very positive things for all of you must be that on the foreign affairs committee you see a lot of controversy, a lot of confrontation and a lot of disagreement, philosophical and political disagreement in almost
every committee, but you do not see that with mr. elliot and mr. royce. they are working together and kevin and i are glad to work with them. i've had the opportunity of working with a number of leaders through the years. that seems to me i sort of stay there and the others seem to come and go, but roy and i worked closely together. tom and i work closely together as i think some you know and i'm glad to be working -- and of course eric and i work closely together. i'm glad kevin is keeping that tradition up and that we are working together on behalf of issues that clearly we have an agreement on. clearly we believe are critical to the national security of the united states of america as well as to israel. the partnership that has maintained now since 1948 is one that's going to continue. i know if kevin and i have anything to say about it, it will continue as long as we're in the congress and working together. >> well, there's a good point
too. i kind of miss not being in the roun round. iran has tested 14 times ballistic missiles. no other country has spent that much money without trying to the pursuit of a nuclear weapon. that's why this bill is so critical at this juncture. i missed it. i didn't come in, but how refreshing is it to have nikki haley? [ applause ] i love it when she tells the u.n. human rights council they need to change. they need to focus on human rights and stop punishing israel for being a democracy. this is so refreshing to so many people inside congress. >> that's absolutely right. >> one of the messages that we need to send and why this legislation is so important, the
jcpoa obviously has been controversial. it's in place and it's being followed now as the speaker pointed out it is relatively temporary. what we need to do is send a clear message and this sanctions legislation will do that that not withstanding the agreement on all that you do of a nonnuclear basis, we are going to step in quickly. the administration is going to do it. the congress is going to do it to send a message that that activity is unacceptable and we will respond and respond appropriately and vigorously and toughly. >> all these activists will be showing up at your offices tuesday morning to make that case as well. >> good. >> we're talking about the reset with iran, but there's also other ways that the relationship with israel continues to develop. water is so important to your state. sometimes too little and lately
maybe a little too much, but tell us about the possibility of israel and the u.s. working closely together on water. >> this is key. there are so many places we can bond with israel. yes, when it comes to security, but when it comes to technology and innovation, but especially water. i'm from california. >> a little larger than maryland, but we have a good crowd -- so when we're there especially from the ag community and others from the drip
irrigation and others, we bond together and it only makes our two countries stronger. when we're able to have that innovation and be able to find the preciousness of water, but what does water do? water grows so much. it's going to grow our crops and grow our relationship stronger. >> absolutely. >> california obviously and the world has an extraordinary need for drinkable, healthy water. that's important. in maryland one of the things we do is cyber security. and we work a lot on cyber security. we have a cyber security in maryland. we hope that fbi is coming to our state. we have seen how important cyber security is. we've seen it in this past election, but we've known about it for a long period of time. the partnership we have with israel, which is of course one
of the leading cyber security technology proponents in the world is we think very important. there's so many areas as kevin points out where not only are we from a security standpoint partners, but we have so much in common from technology, from business, from culture that we cooperate in as well. that strengthens that relationship every day. >> absolutely. let me close by asking something we bring up almost every year which is the assistance to israel and this year it's important not only the 3.1 billion and the missile defense and it's a year where there's talk about budget constraints and competing demands. ask each of you within your own caucus what's the temperature on aid to israel and more broadly on the american role in the world? >> i agree with kevin pointed out earlier that the most conservative member, but i think
the overwhelming majority of the members of the house of representatives, and the united states senate, agree that investing in israel is an investment in america's security and america's values and america's future. now, i want to caution, though, everybody here. there has been a proposal. i do not know whether that will be followed through of cutting very severely our foreign aid. i do not believe that that will adversely effect israel, but what i do believe to the extent that it is further and further cut and israel becomes a larger and larger percentage, it will then be a focus and may well raise controversy not that we don't need to support israel, but that we have so little going to other places where we need to maintain security.
general mattis has pointed that out. we have to make sure that not only do we meet our obligations, which we have agreed to under the obama administration, agree with the congressmen of the united states with the 3.3 and the half billion for the missiles. i think paul said about iron dome being spectacular. he's absolutely correct. what an investment that was, but we need to make sure not only does israel's support remain strong, but that we also remain strong with other nations not only in the middle east, but around the world to make sure we maintain our alliances that will be good for israel and good for us. >> senator mccarthy. >> it's true we have a financial challenge, but if we all create peace in the middle east, why don't you help the only democracy in the middle east that believes in freedom, gives people the rights?
that's the place we need to be. what's even more important is when we look at our budget, why don't we fund our friend s fir? that's why israel will always win. >> thank you. thank you. i know kevin and i want to thank all of you because what you do every day, every week, every month, every year is to make sure that your neighbors and friends, our country, and members of the congress know exactly what the issues are, how critically important they are, and give us good advice and counsel as to how we can make sure both israel and the united states remain strong and free and successful. thank you all very much. >> thank you. >> thank you very much. ♪
♪ american support for israel takes many forms, but none is more tangible than foreign aid. the united states provides annual security assistance to israel to help ensure the jewish state can defend itself by itself against a range of threats, including rockets, missiles, and terrorist tunnels. this aid also helps the united states. american security assistance to israel must be spent in the u.s. creating jobs and opportunities here at home. this support offers israel the pursu pursuit of other technologies. the only way to guarantee this funding is through strong bipartisan support in congress. that's where aipac comes in.
by working with democrats and republicans in washington, aipac helps ensure america will provide support for israel over the long haul. since 1998, these efforts have been critical to making sure congress fully funds a serious of ten-year agreements, and in 2016 the two countries signed a new agreement to provide a total of $38 billion to israel through the year 2028. as congress considers funding each year, your work with aipac will be vital to ensure america continues to stand with israel because when israel is safer, america is stronger. ♪ ♪ please welcome from the 32nd congressional district of
california, grace napolitano. >> good day to all of you and welcome to my working office, so to speak. water. 80% of the earth's surface is water. but you would never know it by the pictures of my home state of california over the past few years. my constituents and i have lived through the worst drought on record since recordkeeping began 100 years ago and, as californians in the audience knows, drought affects
everything and everybody. washing, bathing, gardening, eating, you name it. and water restrictions aren't friendly conditions either for business. imagine your favorite restaurant or local starbucks being short on water. the challenges of water scarcity are ongoing even when the drought ends and our's has not. you have to be smart and plan ahead, and that is what compelled me to lead efforts in congress to invest in new water technologies, including desalination and recycling. [ applause ] >> thank you. i am proud to note that these efforts came to fruition a few months ago with bipartisan passage of critical water legislation, the act known as
w.e.n., includes support with partnerships with a country that knows something about desert conditions. israelis on water conservation. they have been at the forefront of technologies like drip irrigation, water decycling, and desalination. in fact, for almost 18 months, an israeli company desalination known as i.t. technologies have provided clean water for 300,000 california residents. [ applause ] >> and this clean water is pumping dollars into our economy too. hundreds of jobs have been created and commerce continues to increase. the plant in california is the largest of its kind in the western hemisphere. not bad. [ applause ] >> and israel's cutting-edge
equipment design makes it incredibly efficient. the plant removes salt impurities from the pacific ocean and does so faster than other desalination processes. the end result 54 million gallons of fresh water now travel to san diego through a ten-mile pipeline every single day. the passage of the recent water legislation will enable the creation of more plants like this one, a more secure california for california, for our entire country. ladies and gentlemen, this is innovation. this is cooperation, and this is israel in my state. thank you very much. ♪
♪ >> i love israel because it is a dynamic, diverse, vibrant place where i feel like i can make a difference. >> i love israel because of its 3,000 years of history. wherever you walk here, every stone you move tells an incredible story. [ speaking in a foreign language ] >> what i love about this place that i call my home is that israel is now known globally as a source of solutions. [ speaking in a foreign language ]
>> we are continuing the legacy who believed part of the dna of israeli society was not only to care for its own, but to be a force for good in the world. [ speaking in a foreign language ] >> it's a tiny country, no resources, existing in a particularly dangerous neighborhood, so all the innovation and creativity that's required to overcome that reality, that is what makes israel a special place. [ applause ]
♪ >> the vastness of the night sky reminds me of the desert. once upon a time, the jewish people looked out into the desert and saw our future. now we look to the stars. six years ago, together with two friend friends we sat down and over the course of a few drinks we started a space exploration organization called space i.l. [ cheering and applause ] >> our mission is for israel, a
tiny nation of 8 million, to join the united states, the former soviet union, and china as just the fourth nation ever to soft land an unmanned vehicle on the moon. we are leading the lunar competition, a 21st century space race. the rules of the competition are simple. a privately funded team must land on the moon, move 500 meters, and transmit back to earth high-definition videos and images. in the beginning, 33 teams entered. now only five remains. in true israeli fashion, we were the last team to register into the competition. [ laughter ] >> and in a true israeli fashion, we moved from a scrappy start-up to the front of the
pack. [ applause ] >> in the coming year, a spacex rocket will launch carrying our lunar lander and with it the dreams and hopes of a nation. space i.l. started as three engineers with a crazy idea, but from early on we realized it represents something much bigger to the state of israel. space i.l. aims to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers. that is why we are the only educational nonprofit in the competition lendi inin ining --. landing space i.l. on the moon won't just be an incredible journey for israel. it will show the world we can
conduct space exploration at a fraction of the cost and also spark our very own apollo effect. if and when we win, the $20 million prize will go toward science and technology, educational programs in israel. and in partnership with the ministry, with the israeli government, we are already piloting educational kcouriurris and doing lectures around the country. i love traveling and talking about work with the kids. when i'm traveling, they ask me all kinds of questions. the best question is when they ask me if the spacecraft is going to come back. i say no. it's your job. it's their job to build a spacecraft that will bring our's back. then i ask them to join our mission. i ask to take a picture of them,
and i tell them that this picture will go in the actual spacecraft. that picture means you are now passengers in the israeli journey to the moon. now today i want to ask all of you to join. so if we may, let's bring up the lights for a second. i'm going to take a panoramic image. we're going to countdown from five and then say "to the moon." are you ready? starting. five, four, three, two, one. to the moon! [ cheering and applause ] >> welcome. when i tell kids about our outer space and our work, their eyes light up. every time they smile, i think about my children. it reminds me how important our mission is to israel's future.
throughout our history from the pioneers who made the desert bloom to the engineers who have built buildings, israel's survival has always depended on innovators and dreamers. we are a nation that lives under constant threat. time and again we have overcome impossible odds with a combination of resourcefulness, inventiveness. israel needs a moon shot. we need to believe that when we dream together, no challenge is too great. at space i.l. that spirit animates our mission. it starts with the moon, but it doesn't end there. so space i.l. will continue our mission to inspire. because when you are israeli, when the very existence of your homeland feels like an
politics. i will start and say that i'm glad to share the stage yesterday, today, and tomorrow with so many members of congress from both parties. i know you heard from many yesterday, and i'm glad to be here with so many colleagues, but i'm here for a different reason. i'm here about dance and art and to talk about a program that you're now going to see that's a very special program in my hometown of richmond and my commonwealth that's deeply important to my family. when i was governor, my daughter who is now about to graduate from the tish school at nyu, became -- [ cheering and applause ] >> all right. -- became connected with a wonderful program at richmond called minds and motion. it is a product of the richmond ballet that brings fourth graders from suburban schools and inner city schools to help them learn to know it and love
each other and then put on a massive dance performance with over 1,000 children at the end of the school year. the program was so successful in building bridges in richmond that there began a dream of maybe we can use it to build bridges not just in richmond. and a wonderful, wonderful friend annie sandler who is in the audience right here, they saw the possibilities of minds in motion in israel. they've used it, dance and children, to build bridges between israelis and their arab neighbors and friends. and what you're about to see i think will make you feel very, very excited. so ladies and gentlemen, can i please introduce you to my friends at the richmond ballet and minds in motion?
>> i really like to dance. >> i have to move all the time, even in class. i have to move. [ speaking in a foreign language ] >> scary. >> when i move, i feel like -- i feel free. >> one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight. one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight. >> when the program began, it started through connections from richmond ballet to the israel advisory board looking for cultural educational things to bring over to israel. >> we work with a jewish school and arabic school, and we come together and perform. >> we try to pick the right
music. we pick the right steps. we think about what it's going to look like for the audience, so combine both schools together for a unique experience opinion. >> the program in my view is a miracle. who could expect or believe that a group of over 300 children from two separate communities that are divided by their cultures could be brought together and within two weeks create a magnificent dance performance? >> we don't understand arabic and they don't understand hebrew, so the connection is through dancing. >> some of the students when we meet them are really shy, and they'll even come up to us the first day and say i don't dance. i'm not going to dance. i'm not a dancer. i don't perform. but with the group, there's a lot of support. it makes it okay because they're around all the other kids
dancing at the same time. >> success for me with this program is for the kids to really feel confident, to be themselves, to be open, to be bold, and to just dance to their fullest. [ speaking in a foreign language ] >> i think that to meet the kids is going to be special and fun, and it's going to be tomorrow and i'm really excited. [ speaking in a foreign language ]
>> first you'll look at them and you're like hmm. and then you see they're actually arab kids that are exactly like us. so okay, cool. >> it's like a puzzle. they know their own part, and we know every part, but when we finally bring it all together, they realize they're part of something bigger. and i think the energy just goes through the roof. ♪ >> it's not just about interactions between the children. two communities are involved.
>> i think it's the same. we're jewish and they are arabs. that's the difference, but that's all. [ speaking in a foreign language ] >> in the end, there's that sense of hope, and when i watch our students dance together, i feel like they need to show that. they need to show that this is possible. we can move together. >> ladies and gentlemen, the minds in motion staff. [ applause ]
>> please welcome founding editor of "the times of israel," david horowitz. >> good evening again, everybody. 50 years ago, israel fought a war for its survival. by the summer of 1967, 250,000 arab troops amassed on israel's borders. forced to protect its people, israel mounted a strike. the six-day war redefined israel and american jury's relationship with the young jewish state, so
we have the former israeli ambassador to the united states, as some of you may know, and now is the deputy minister for diplomacy in the prime minister's office. he's also the author of "6 days of war", one of the most highly regarded books on the 6-day war. ladies and gentlemen, once again please welcome the ambassador. he's not only a native of the city of jerusalem, but he is currently serving his second term as its mayor. ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the mayor of jerusalem. and he is one of israel's leading authors and thinkers. his book "like dreamers" chronicles the story of the i
israeli par troatroopers that reunified jerusalem. please welcome him. let's start with you. you were the only one of the four of us actually living in jerusalem during the war. what do you remember of the days leading up to and during the war? >> well, i was 7 years old, and i remember pre-war helping the soldiers dig trenches and fill sandbags right around my home. we were a few hundred yards from the demilitarized zone separating between jordan and israel, and we were shelled and bombed. i remember our parents put my brother and i underneath the beds, and when i think about it today, the risk we were at, it's hard to believe. we were shelled and bombed. some of our neighbors were wounded. i remember going out after the war to see the wrecks around our home. and then i saw the adults cry, and i couldn't understand why
the adults were crying when we won the war. the excitement then from the eyes of a 7-year-old, it took me years to understand the huge opportunity that we have by reunited the city of jerusalem. until today i pinch myself every morning before i go to work on the huge opportunity and the honor we have to live in our era in a united city of jerusalem. [ applause ] >> michael, you literally wrote the book on the six-day war. many people in this room i'm sure know the basics of what happened, but you're an expert, so what do you know about the war that you wish other people knew? >> okay. thank you, david. shalom, aipac, first of all. the book that i wrote was full of revelations for me. i grew up not in jerusalem, but in the united states. i remember my parents sitting in front of a television set during
those three horrible weeks of waiting before the war broke out and tearing their hair out. i remember this, thinking that we would witness another holocaust within a single generation and the world would do absolutely nothing. israel, a country which had indefensible borders eight miles wide, jerusalem divided, surrounded by arab armies on all sides that swore to drive us into the sea. we had a friendship with the united states, but not a strategic alliance with the united states. israel fought with french bullets an t bullets, and the frergnch on th eve of the war switched sides. israeli completely alone in the world and six days later everything changed. a great revelation for me was encountering the almost inc
incalcuable fear. these people were facing what they believe was an existence shl threat, and you really e encountered it reading the documents, but there was one moment when researching the book where literally my jaw fell open. it was a document written on june 7th, 1967 at 9:00 in the morning. at that moment the israeli paratroopers had completed the encirclement of the city of jerusalem. at that moment, prime minister of israel wrote a letter to king hussein of jordan. he said, your majesty -- you could do this back then. you could send a letter. your majesty, if you agree to a cease-fire, if you agree to enter into peace talks with the state of israel, the paratroopers will not enter the old city.
here is the leader of the first jewish state in 2,000 years who is prepared and poised to reunite the jewish people with their holiesiest sites is willi to give up that historical opportunity to make peace with one arab country. imagine the depth of our commitment to peace. that was extraordinary for me, david. >> that is extraordinary, and i'm sure not widely known. what most people don't realize is that israel's plans during the war never included jerusa m jerusalem. israel made every effort to keep jordan out of the war. your book "like dreamers" tracks the lives of the israeli paratroopers who reunified the city. what did you learn? >> the question that has long preoccupied me about israeli society is how do we manage to hold together despite the tremendous internal strains that could tear another society
apart, especially the left-right debate over the future of samarr samarria, the territories? because each camp sees the vision of the other as an existential threat to itself. as i was writing the story, i realized that some of the leaders of both the future settlement movement and the future peace movement were sharing the same metaphorical tent, the same army tent, and in some cases literally the same tent. so the extraordinary inner story of israel is how we managed to pull together. we do reserve duty every year. and then in the intervals between reserve duty we argue with each other about the consequences of the victories that we bring together. >> this was left and right fought together, liberated jerusalem. and you think that most basic of
connection prevails still? it still holds together? >> absolutely. >> let me ask you again. michael, i'll start with you. the lasting impact of the war on israel in your opinion? the lasting impact of the war. >> the lasting impact was to change the middle east and to create among other things the u.s.-israel strategic alliance. people forget we fought this war without that alliance. it was only on the seventh day of the war as it were that american policymakers woke up and said, whoa, there's this super power in the middle east that just defeated all these soviet-backed armies. maybe we should have an alliance with that country. what you see happening here is a direct product of the six-day war. the six-day war was what gave us peace with egypt. it's what gave us peace with jordan. it's what gave us the reunification not only of jerusalem, but the state of israel with the land of israel
and was a tremendous infusion of jewish identity both in israel and in the united states, indeed throughout the jewish world. and the six-day war gave us security. it gave us secure borders. we didn't have secure borders before that. the state of israel, the middle east, in many ways the world would look completely different today without these six short transformative days in june 1967. >> mayor? >> i would add to that it created internally within israelis the understanding that we have to win all wars. we have to excel. we have to outsmart an enemy. the bravery of israeli soldiers comes from the six-day war. because if we beat all the arab armies then, it creates a very, very powerful strong belief in
ourselves. and i think that since then something good has happened to the people of -- the israelis. very willing to be aggressive, secreta seeking peace, seeking peace, but we know how to fight. i myself remember the six-day war when i saw the soldiers liberate jerusalem. that's when i decided to be a paratrooper. then a company commander and the paratroopers later when i was a young adult. so for me, it was a milestone in israeli history. [ applause ] >> a moment that cemented a sort of national self-confidence. >> well, i study the sipsyche o isra israel, the soul of israel, so my answer will be more abstract. 1967 bequeathed us the
possibility of vulnerability, the fear of being alone again in the international community, and the sense that the threat of genocide was not exhausted by the holocaust, which i think was an enormous shock to the jewish psyche. it bequeathed us this sense of power not in vulnerability, but certainly the sense we can protect ourselves quite adequately and also convey to us a sense of the responsibility of power and the complexity of the consequences of power. and so i feel that the people of israel are constantly weighing in some sense the lessons of may 67 and the lessons of june 67 and how do we apply those lessons to the various challenges that we face. >> that prompts a question to you about jerusalem.
people are hearing the stories of the jerusalem divided from before the six-day war, the separation. and now a separation of east and west. what are the stories that aren't getting told and how are you continuing to work most specifically to unify the residents of the city? >> seven days ago, monday morning i took seven ambassadors that abstained in the last terrible vote. they wanted to see me in the office. i took them to the city of david to see where jesus blessed the blind. we walk on the stones, and i said to them this is where kings and prophets walked. then we went up the paved road that is now uncovered in the city of david and went to a balcony. and i showed them the city, the churches, the mosques, the synagogues that in one square kilometer we have more holy sites than anywhere else in the world.
and they were stunned to see not just our past, but how jerusalem is open, how many people live and breathe in the city, how it works in an amazing way. then we shared with them what's happening in our high-tech, the fact that jerusalem just entered the 25 largest cities in high-tech in the world in 2016 and how our high-tech sector is working. [ applause ] >> i would like the world to see what those ambassadors saw, what a lot of people in this crowd saw. our roots and our history and our holy sites on one side, and the connectivity to the future and making a better world for the benefit of all people from all over the world. this is something we'd like to showcase and share jerusalem with the world. [ applause ] >> that brings me really to the last question i have to ask you fairly briefly. the traditional gift for a 50th anniversary is gold.
of course, jerusalem is known as jerusalem of gold. on the golden anniversary of the city's reunification, michael let's start with you, what wish do you have for the city's future? >> i think jerusalem should be viewed by the people of the middle east and not only by the people of the middle east as an example of what can be done, not what can't be done. whether i'm conducting diplomacy in the prime minister's office or representing a party, i'm always reminded of the fact that i'm basically a two-hour drive from isis. i'm a four or five-hour drive from the civil war in iraq, three-hour droive from the civi war in syria. here we are in this capital of israel. jews of various stripes and observances and political outlooks, christians, muslims debatingeb