tv AIPAC Policy Conference Members of Congress CSPAN March 28, 2017 8:03pm-9:12pm EDT
her talks about the future of the house freedom caucus and ollie brie men of the hill will discuss the house vote on changes to internet privacy rules. be sure to watch c-span's internet journal live at 7:00 eastern wednesday morning. join the discussion. >> the american is real public affairs committee, better known as aipac wrapped up its three-day policy conference this afternoon. attendees heard from senators mitch mcconnell, chuck chum, he harris and bob ma nin des as well as nancy pelosi. together they speak for just under two hours. >> good morning.
good morning. thanks forgetting up early. it's gate to see so many of you here today. howard core, lillian pink cuss, bob colon and of course all the kentucky ians that are here with us. there are thousands of students and of course it's great to be with you this year. just of a last addressed this conference in twist, prime minister netanyahu gave an address to congress. he then warned about obama's plan for a nuclear deal with iran. the obama administration ignored him. it was hardly the only time israel would feel let down over the last eight years. that culminated in what we saw in the u.n. in december. the u.s./israel relationship was in a terrible state when the new administration took office. we all agree on the importance
of reaffirming our relationship and charting a new way forward. but to do so, i believe we first need to examine what went wrong over the last eight years. and that starts at the beginning. former president obama and i have very different opinions about america's role in the world. it won't surprise you, any of you, to hear that. we disagreed about the value of our alliance with israel. we disagreed about whether the post-war order remains in our nation's interest. we just had a fundamentally different approach to the world. president obama formulated policy based on fulfilling campaign promises made in 2008 and pursued politically expedient solutions to whatever stood in the way.
that was his approach. and his first week in office he signed a series of executive orders that made this clear. he attempted to close gaun tan mow without a credible plan for either the terrorists housed there or the terrorists we'd need to detain there in the future pet pushed a withdraw from afghanistan and iraq without regard to threats posed by the taliban or al-qaeda and the fram i will political situation in either country, especially iraq. the absence of american leadership created a strategic vacuum filled by countries like russia and china and iran. all of them grew more aggressive toward us. the natural result of obama's tragic imperative to avoid conflict with other nations even when american interests were challenged was this. our enemies learn not to fear us, our allies learn not to trust us, and friends like israel felt abandoned.
[ applause ] >> but my friends, today we have the chance, really the need, for a fresh start. the u.s. and israel share many values and goals and interests. one of which is seeing the end of ice sol's ability to control territory in the middle east and to attack behind the middle east. just consider what the spread of icesol along with iran high pressure system proxies and our partners has meant for israel. icesol and the sigh nay threatens israel's western land border. the civil ka wa are in syria has brought a group sympathetic to icesol to its north and russia and hezbollah are active within syria. iran tries to expand its area of
influence through the use of militias within iraq now employed to the west of mosul. and through other shia fighters in syria ar and yemen and bah ran and lebanon, thankfully the new administration has nurnd undertaken a review and the coalition has also made progress in taking ground from isol. we know they're planning the deliberation of raqqa, the capital. like you, though, i understand what the liberation of raqqa hardly represents. hardly represents the end of the conflict. the fight against isol will go on and the iraqi security forces will still, i coalition assistance. importantly last week in testimony before the senate secretary of defense mattis
supported, supported maintaining a residual force inside iraq. [ applause ] we all know such a presence can bolster iraqi forces, lend stability, deter and watch for further iranian vapss and, and provide reassurance to our regional allies. that's important because as we remember isol's predecessor al-qaeda in iraq was an incredibly resilient terrorist organization. when we withdrew from iraq on a political timetable, it gave aqi the space and time to regroup and ultimately grow into isol. we can't make that mistake again. what syria looks like post raqqa
matters immense sily to both of our countries. which groups will fill the void? how will original sheera balance be affected? will the shia posted west of mow sill create a land bridge to syria? there are many, many questions. there are, as yet, few answers. but i want you to know this. whatever post-rack absyria looks like, the united states will stand with israel. we will support israel against alnecessary ra and al-qaeda. we will support israel against hezbollah. if any of these groups are left
with a presence, we'll be there for you. groups like hezbollah would hardly pose the same level of danger without their patrons, of course, and tehran. president obama's deal with the regime should not have led to ignoring other aspects of iran's aggressive behavior. [ applause ] as secretaries of state henry kissinger and george schultz warned, they warned obama's deal, quote, risked empowering iran's hedge monthic efforts in the region, and of course they, right. it besoda a windfall of billions for the regime to distribute to its proxies. obama's deal with tehran prevented his administration from take a regional approach to stop iran because it feared that iran would step away from the
deal. but today we can take a different approach with a new administration. today we can combat iran's capability to fund, arm, and train terrorists like hezbollah. and hay amass, and his proxies in syria. and at leads to a broader point as well. the best way to bolser israel's security in the region is to enhance america's influence in the region. [ applause ] >> in my view, the best way do so is by focus on three areas. rebuilding our capabilities here, rebuilding our partnerships, and, frankly, rebuilding our will. so the first step is to rebuild our capabilities. we need a multi-year plan to rebuild our own military, our
total force needs to be rebuilt if america's to remain capable of fulfilling ps traditional role as guarantor of the national order. during the obama administration we at h times where our commanders lacked sufficient aircraft carrier presence or tactical units-like lacked marine kpa dish nary units to be meet command. the trump administration has taken -- funds to address aacute readiness challenges and will seek a defense increase in fiscal year 2018. but this is going to, i a multi-year plan, one that will help modernize our military and prepare us for the threats of tomorrow. i know senator john mccain will work tirelessly preparing next year's defense authorization legislation and they are working hard on next year's defense funding legislation too.
the second step, the second step, very important, we got to rebuild our partnerships. the past eight years gave witness to a serial degrading of our alliances and partnerships all across the globe. [ applause ] >> -- military forces and we must reassure our allies that america is simply not retreating from the world. instead of alien eighting our partners, we need to let them know we'll stand with them as well. so instead of picking fights with israel, we should be reassuring, reasserting the strong and enduring bond between our countries. [ applause ] and instead of telling the victims of iranian coercion or
aggression to share the neighborhood, we should push back against it, don't you think? [ applause ] >> and that, my friends, would be a welcome change from what we saw the last eight years. [ applause ] >> so what is the third step, the third step? we've got to rebuild our will. the obama administration allowed iran to use the nuclear deal to hold hostage all other areas of our foreign policy. we cannot allow that to continue. we have to push back against iran's maligned behavior, its use of proxies and its sicyber warfare if the when they attack our ships in the gulf or helps hezbollah secure advanced weaponry, we have to work if our
allies and use all elements, all elements of american power to end those actions [ applause ] >> so sanctions and diplomacy are starting points, but we need to use all elements of our power. only when iran fears the consequences of aggression will it cease such action. [ applause ] >> it's called deter reince. deterrence. it should be at the center pearce piece of our strategy, vis a vis regime. and where deterrence fails, we must respond. [ applause ] >> i made a commitment when i addressed this group in 2012 before obama's deal with iran. i said that if at any time the intelligence community presents congress with an assessment that iran had begun to enrich uranium
to weapons grade levels or if it had take ann decision to develop a nuclear weapon, i would consult with the president and joint congressional leadership and introduce an authorization for the use of military force. [ applause ] >> and so i restate that commitment today. as i said then, the authority would be focussed to assure the people of iran and the sbieshl community is not with the population of iran or the muts muslim world. this would strengthen those efforts. in short, it's the best way 10 to sure the world that our leaders are united in confronting iran and for israel's sake, it will ensure that iran cannot enter into a zone of immunity from which it can coerce and intem date other
nations. [ applause ] >> but look, i hope we won't get there. with the right deterrence measures, we shouldn't. what is needed is something the last administration did not provide, and that say clear, clear declaratory policy that says what we will do and why. the relationship between the united states and israel spans generations. it has been tested, twisted, and bent over the decades especially in recent years, but it is, in the end, unbreakable. and i'm here to tell you -- [ applause ] >> -- this relationship between israel and the united states is, indeed, unbreakable. [ applause ] >> the bond between us is more than just an alliance of
interest, though we do have a lot of interests aligned. it's a statement of our common values. democracy. individual rights. freedom, and an unyielding spirit. these are the things that define israel. [ applause ] >> they're also the things that define the united states. [ applause ] >> it's a shared heritage, a shared heritage and it's the foundation of an enduring alliance. i believe this deeply. i know i knew ambassador of israel shares the same heart-felt commitment. [ applause ] >> i was proud to join my colleagues in voting to confirm david friedman just last week.
[ applause ] >> we all wish him the best of luck in a difficult but important task that lies before him. and let me share another wish. this one is from prime minister netanyahu. in his 25ening address to congress here's what he said, may israel and america always stand together strong and resolute. may we neither fear nor dread the challenges ahead and may we face the future with confidence, strength, and hope. i couldn't have put it better myself, no matter what the world throws our way, we'll continue to walk by israel's side. [ applause ] >> thank you.
♪ ♪ >> please welcome senate democrat leader chuck schumer. ♪ >> thank you, everybody. it's truly an honor to be with you this morning. you know i always like starting out telling a little story, and as they say, i can tell a ham issue story at this crowd. some of you in new york heard this but many of you haven't. it's about when i was redirected
as a congressman to queens. i always had a district in brooklyn and i'm kpaping in the new parts of queens, forest hills, a nice jewish neighborhood, and a lady comes over to me and she says, oh, i just read in the queens tribune you're chuck schumer, i just read in the queens tra r tribune you're my new congressman. i said, yes, ma'am, i am. she said you have more courage than any other member of congress. i said well, ma'am, that's a pretty tall statement there are 535 members of the house of senate, i admit few are no good but many are good people. i said what makes you say i have more courage than any of the others? she said well, as i said i've never met before you but i've watched c-span and when you rise to your feet to speak, you're the only one who has the courage to wear aiama ka.
i said thank you very much, ma'am, but it's obviously you haven't met me in american. it's not a yamma ka. . anyway, i have a lot of those but we have to get down to the business at handed it. i'm so glad to be here at aipac, i love aipac, do you an amazing job. through thick and thin you've kept the israel american relationship like this. and i want to thank you great leadership, lillian pink cuss, bob cohen, howard core, ester kurts and the whole gang, thank you you all for your tireless effort to ensure no matter what that the bond keen america and the state of israel remains as durable as ever. [ applause ] >> and a thank you, a strong thank you to all of you who have taken the time out of your busy schedules to be here today out of your commitment and dedication to the land of israel, the land of milk and
honey. now, this year we celebrate 69 years since the state of israel was first established. borne out of the ashes of the hallow kauft, thrusted into conflict, struggling always to guarantee the safety and security of its people while growing as an international power and building one of the world's most dynamic economies and at the same time, reaching out for peace. even when it seemed a distant prospect. throughout that history, the fate of israel has been tied with our fate here in america. from the moment president truemtru man the bond between israel and the united states has been unbreakable. we have shown the true meaning
the friendship between nations and so it must remain forevermore. because although israel is as strong as it has ever been, it continues to face challenges no other nation on earth must face. now, many year in america, many especially younger americans, have been blessed to grow up knowing israel is strong and secure. they're aware of the threats israel faces, but they have not lived through the war of independence or theium key pore war, those moments when the very existence of israel balanced on the edge of a knife. when david ben gurian said that he wanted younger generations to know that the jews were no longer lambs being led thot slaughter but rather a nation able to defend itself, he did not know whether that aspiration would actually come true. i remember as a senior at james
matted s madison high school in brooklyn new york -- madison forever -- carrying a trance sister radio. you young people don't know what a trance sister radio is, to my ear as i went to classes in june of '67, listening to every moment of the news cast because -- and praying that israel would prevail, that the arab nations wouldn't push israel into the sea. and i was hoping that the jewish state would be the kind of state we see today. the younger generations are blessed, i mean that. they are blessed. to know an israel entirely capable of defending itself, to think of israel as established and strong, and in so many ways it is. israel's advancements in the tech sector makes us so proud. they're the silicon valley of the middle east and israel's
innovation economy produces some of the world's most popular and ground-breaking products. the top american firms go to israel to figure out how to protect them self from cyber theft and enhance their cybersecurity. -- a force to be reckoned with and a vital partner in the war against isis and other terrorist organization dollars. working with governments worldwide to help them meet every threat imaginable at israel is also become a humanitarian leader in the global community, whether it's sending medical units and search and rescue teams to haiti and japan after devastating earthquakes or opening its arms to orphan children and refugees fleeing war-torn syria. so, while some continue to unfairly paint israel as an international per rya, more and
more countries are realizing its in their fundamental self-interest to extend to israel the olive branch of friendship. [ applause ] >> our dear jewish state has come a long way indeed since its earliest days, but that does not mean we must be complacent. israel and jews across the world continue to face the kind of challenges that no other nation and no other people must face. i want to talk about anti-semitism. it seems that every time we think for a moment that we have entered a more enlight resident era of tolerance, the age-old demon of anti-semitism has -- comes back with a vengeance. and make no mistake, anti-semitism and anti-israel sentiments are all too often
totally intwined. >> we've watched it arise in europe where it seems to live in the soil as their original sin. neonazi gangs match in the streets, members of parliament from london to budapest run in wind on platforms that actively promote hostility towards jews and other religious minorities. european jews are now thinking twice before they wear a yamma ka in public. echoes of our people's dark history in europe are growing louder and louder. what is happening in europe is an outrage and it out to be condemned by leaders of the world from every faith and nationality. but anti-semitism has always simmered just a bit beneath the surface in europe.
it's far more shocking to see this scourge its ugly head in our dear country america, reemerging with a strength that we haven't seen any decades. all of us have read the news reports. far too many among us have seen this scourge firsthand in our own countries. sane goings are graffitied with swats swalgts tig kas ar sacred ground desecrated, white sfreemists on the far right, on you're college campuses holding rallies and distributeding leave flets an effort to recruit young people to join the ranks of organized bigotry. even the community centers where we send our children for preschool and skrim swim meets and summer camps have been targeted by a wave of bomb threats that regardless of the
suspects religion or nationality have struck fear in the hearts of a community already on edge. the darkest and most hateful fringes of our society from the far left to the far right are newly emboldened. we cannot stand for this. [ applause ] >> to the parents who are worried for your children's safety, to the young people who have never seen anything like this in your lifetime, to the older generations who are ever wary about history repeating it self, please know this. the perpetrators of these heinous acts will be brought to justice and we will show these cowards who traffic in hatred and bigotry that america, in america good triumphs over evil, fear mongering and intimidation
will not be condoned. [ applause ] >> i am committed to doing everything in my power to combat these threats wherever they may arise and in whatever form they take. recently, at my urging the federal communications commission announced that jewish community centers and other at-risk organizations have been granted special emergency waivers that make it easier for law enforcement to access caller i.d. information to help identify, track down and prosecute these criminals. [ applause ] >> congress must also remain committed to pro providing funding for vulnerable institutions through the nonprofit security grant program. last year this program had allocated $20 million for emergency preparedness, to
nonprofit and religious organizations. these dollars save lives i will work to ensure this crucial funding is increased. [ applause ] >> now, while we continue to address these threats, we must not lose sight of the many forms that anti-semitism can take. the vile attacks i just mentioned are so despicable, so motivated by hate that the anti-semitic aspect cannot be ignored. but anti-semitism can sometimes be cloaked, hidden by certain movements that profess no bias but suspiciously hold israel to a different standard than any other nation. there is no greater example than the per nish shus effortor harm zroil israel through boycotts, divestment and sanctions. the bds movement. three years ago i stood before you and called out bds movement for what it really is, a deeply
biased campaign to delegitimize the jewish state. it's supporters whether they mow it or not are practicing a modern form of anti-semitism, no less. [ applause ] they treat what is anti-semitism? it's the double standard. everyone could farm but the jew could not. everyone could live in moscow but the jew could not. every could get a college degree but the jew could not. every nation can live in peace, but the jewish nation cannot. [ applause ] >> they seek to impose boycotts solely on israel and not on any other nation. the bds movement condemns israel but willfully turns a blind tie nation who's actually violate human rights, even and especially in the middle east. i ask these so-called social
justice crusaders, where are your boy koots cots against iran? a country that sponsors terrorism around the globe, executes dissenters and hangs them from construction cranes in city squares? where are your boycotts against the scores of arab nation where's journalists are routinely jailed, homosexuality is punished by prison and physical abuse, where are your boycotts there? [ applause ] >> the state of israel is all too greently measured by a different standard than the rest of the world. make no mistake, these boycott efforts have one goal and only one goal, to delegitimize the state of israel. and i pledge to you that i will continue to fight these boycott efforts tooth and nail, not only because they are unjust and
immoral, they are counterproductive in achieving a truly lasting peace between israel and the palestinians. [ applause ] >> in my home state of new york, the state legislature passed a law saying if your business or university boycotts israel, the state of new york will boycott you. i applaud the governor and state legislature for passing those laws and i'm calling on every other state do exactly the same thing and fight bds for the movement that it is. [ applause ] there's one other place where this cloaked anti-semitism lurks, and that is in the halls of the united nations. the u.n. singles out israel more than any other nation,
especially in the human rights council, which remains hell bent on admonishing the only beach head of democracy in representative government and equal rights in the middle east. just the other week a top u.n. official was forced to resign after she published a defamiliarer to report that declared israel had engaged in quote the crime apart tooit tied. i'm glat she was forced to step down because these attacks disguise dollars as appraisal ares are little more than a smear campaign. but unfortunately we all know this is business as usual as u.n. since the days of zionism is racism, the u.n. has been an incubator for israel bashing. it say forum where israel is almost always labeled the ville lan and never the victim. friends of the jewish state should not trust it. [ applause ] >> i hope one day israel will
come to be treated fairly at the u.n. time may be on israel's side, because i believe that history ultimately, ultimately favors nations that condemn terrier, not celebrate it. nations with democratic institutions and accountable governments and open markets and the rule of law, not those to close representation to all but a ruling family who ra jeemz are beyond the approach of the governed who yield not to law but to a regressive orthodoxy. so maybe some date u.n. will become fair to israel, but until that day comes, the united states must always come to the aid of our friend israel at the u.n. we cannot, we cannot be silent when the u.n. singles out israel for condemnation, we cannot let the u.n. impose terms on negotiations with the palestinians ever. the united states should have vetoed resolution 2334 in
december and it should never ever use the u.n. as a forum to put pressure on israel for any kind of agreement. [ applause ] resolving the age-old israeli-palestinian conflict is no simple task, my friends, but peace will never come from the u.n. peace must come from district negotiations. [ applause ] >> now, despite all these threats, anti-semitism at home and abroad, anti-semitic campaigns leveled at the u.n. in the form of global bds, israel remains strong. but we must do everything in our power to make sure the united states of america will forever be a beacon of hope for its friend and ally israel. there is some who would have the united states retreat from the
world stage. they even borrow from charles lindberg's isolationist campaigns of the '30s. i believe this attitude is very dangerous for the united states and for israel. the united states should not shirk our responsibilities to our friends around the world, including and especially the state of israel. a strong america in the world is very good for israel. [ applause ] >> that's why i strongly support robust security assistance and missile defense funding for israel, fiercely oppose proposals that would slash our state department's budget by more than 28%. [ applause ] >> i join aipac in opposing that cut. and engaged america is particularly important when it comes to iran, which continues to broaden its influence in menacing ways throughout the
region. as iran souz instability by continuing to provide funding to people in the region, flagrantly aboousz buz human riefts iz its own people, unjustly imprison foreigners, have missile test, we must work with our partners in the region to align iran's activities and we must support sanctions against iran's icbm program which is aimed at the united states of america. [ applause ] >> and finally, and finally, americans across the political spectrum, democrats, republicans, liberals, conservatives and independents, must stand united in our support for israel. our politics may never be more polarized than ever these days, but we cannot afford that to weaken our bipartisan support that israel has always enjoyed.
and that's because the jewish state is too important. as a boy, i grew up hearing stories about my great grandmother. in mine 1941 when the nazis invaded the ukraine, the nazis and the s.s. skt asked my grandmother, the matriarch of the family to gather her whole family on their porch of their house. they came. little babies, elderly people, and everyone in between, all my relatives. they said when they came to the porch they said, you are all coming with us. she said, we won't leave and they machine gunned down all seven teen of them, killed them all. my great grandmother could never imagine that one day there would be a country for jews. the idea of a jewish homeland was a far away dream, a birth right deferred so long that it could hardly be considered a
possibility at all. generations of jews had been expelled from their homes in spain, forced to announce their faith or face execution in the town squares of yemen if the for them, the notion of a nation for the jewish people was unthinkable. if you could go back and tell the jews that one day there would be a jewish state of israel, they would give you a hardy ga far and go on selling their waerz if the if you could go back and sell russian jews chased from town to town, the angry mob, the burning torch, that one dayed there be a state of israel, i do not think they'd believe you. if you could whisper to the polish jew who they came for one day at his home in warsaw who was loaded on to a train separated from his family forced to labor in a concentration camp, who had watched day after
day the reeves of smoke and you a solid blue sky if you could tell him one night that someday soon there would be a place where jews could not only survive but thrive, that they would have a land of their own, if you could only tell him, that after two millennia of wandering the desert, the jewish people would finally find their way home and could live in freedom and self-determination and raise their families in peace. if you could tell them. we must not forget the warning that israel and its freedom will not survive if one day it forgets the veil of tears out of which it arose. it is for this reason we must defend the jewish state of israel. it for this reason that i pledge
[ applause ] ♪ >> please welcome house democrat leader nancy pelosi. ♪ >> good morning, everyone. it is such an honor to be here with your president, lillian pink cuss. thank you, lillian for your leadership of aipac. women have done so much in leadership in aipac, former president, thank you for your friendship and for your leadership. and your continued leadership on so many issues. sissy swig from -- anybody here from california? i thought so. i learned a lot about aipac from its start from sissy swig and also from naomi lauder.
anybody here from san francisco? every year the aipac policy conference shows the strengthening and the vitality of the unbreakable bonds between the united states and israel. this year, 18,000 strong activists and community leaders of diverse experience young and old, jewish and otherwise, democrat and republican, many voices speaking to one mission. let us all recognize the future leaders of our nation, understand about 4,000 students are here, let's acknowledge the students that are here. [ applause ] >> i want to especially once again acknowledge the delegation from my home state of california. [ applause ] >> don't be shy. and my native state of maryland, anybody here from maryland? [ applause ] >> as i bring up the state of maryland, i want to say
something about how i was introduced to the u.s./israel relationship. before i was even born my father was in the congress of the united states, thomas della san droe junior. he was -- okay, let's hear it for dad. [ applause ] >> he was a little -- a teenager, so he spoke yiddish. he spoke yiddish. he's grew newspaper that, he was a great speaker and all the rest, and he had a love for the idea of jewish state in what was then called palestine. so he was older and he went to congress, this was one of his big issues. he worshipped at the shrine of franklin roosevelt. he worshipped at the shrine of franklin roosevelt but he
disagreed with him on two very strong points. one was on the treatment of jewish people in europe that he wanted to call more attention to. and two, okay -- [ applause ] >> -- as a second was the establishment of a jewish state in what was then known as palestine. [ applause ] >> he was part of something called the berg ston group. some of you know this, some of you marylanders and we've shared this thought at other times, but i just want you to know that this support for u.s./israel relationship is kind of in the dna of our family even before the establishment of the state of israel. [ applause ] >> he went -- he went on to become the mayor of the baltimore and support all of that. my brother would become the mayor of baltimore and he supported the state of israel and u.s./israel relationship as well and has, they say, stadium, i don't know if that means
playing field, whatever, in hiva, famd nor him thomas della and is droe the third. but one of the things that i think is so remarkable named th i iii. but here he was speaking in yiddish about the cause. when he was in the floor of congress, june 22nd, 194 2, he rose to speak about the state of israel, and he said, mr. speaker, as a member of the committee for a jewish army, i speak to you on behalf of 200,000 fighting men who, by divine destiny -- then he goes on to say that they are fighting for the establishment of this state of israel. so this was really a big deal for all of us, so while i do not have, cannot boast of jewish
grandparents as other speakers have and will and how fortunate they are, i do have my father's devotion and my brother's devotion to the cause, which is part of our family tradition, and i do have, to boast of my jewish grandchildren, i think i have the most of anyone in congress. i'm not quite sure, but they're adorable, you might expect me to say. the u.s./israel partnership -- let's hear it for my grandchildren. [ applause ] the u.s./israel partnership is special because our partnership is rooted deep in our shared vision and values. both of our nations are invigorated by entrepreneurship, by immigration and by ideas. both, we treasure that, both of our nations have entrepreneurship at our core. we treasure it in america. our founders advocated it.
and we are constantly dazzled by the israeli entrepreneurship that has made the deserts blossom. [ applause ] when prime minister netanyahu last visited the capitol a few weeks ago, he spoke with rightful pride that israel stands at the forefront of innovation. in particular, he mentioned driverless cars technology. israel in the lead. both of our nations, in addition, are ceaselessly invigorated by our immigrants, the constant renewal of newcomers who bring their hopes and aspirations to our shores. [ applause ] and most of all, our connection is unique, because both of our nations are more than soil and people. at their soul, our nations are ideas and ideals. the united states of america, an idea now centuries old, the
modern state of israel, young in age, but the dream of millennial, millennia, we are bound together forever. it is my firm belief that the establishment of the state of israel, and you've heard me say this at other aipac meetings. the 20th century had some horrible, some terrible things were done to people, but it is my firm belief that the establishment of the state of israel is the greatest political achievement of the 20th century. this great beacon. this great beacon. [ applause ] today we are called upon to sustain and advance this achievement in the 21st century and to fulfill the vision of a just and lasting peace. in recent years, our nations have witnessed new threats, new barbarism and sfis cation from those who mean to do us harm.
we must be relentless in our fight against terrorists, in the united states, in israel, wherever the threat exists. remember, the goal of terrorists is to terrorize, to instill fear. we must not let that fear destroy our nation's character. as we protect the american people, we must also protect and defend our constitution. that is our oath of office. [ applause ] we come together in the aftermath of an election that has left our country divided. but our democracy is strong, and fahd god is always with us. our faith tells us that we have not done enough to rid our nation of the poisonous attitudes, where anti-semites
desecrate jewish cemeteries, hate crimes continuing to increase. the right supremacists and alt-right feel empowered and connected to the white house. that is unacceptable. [cheers and applause] with many voices and one mission, elected leaders and community activists must condemn anti-semitism and other bigotry in all forms. [ applause ] because hatred against jews and other minorities and minorities in the united states and around the world, there's a campaign to delegitimize israel, and that all flows from the same cancerous ideologies. one of the people who always inspired our vestrength in this fight against hate was the great shimon peres. he was one of the greatest states men of all time, a
soldier and a peacemaker. a founding father of israel, who inspired the world. i had the privilege of being invited to go to his funeral as part of president obama's delegation. there are few honors one could receive than to be included in going to shim own paon peres's . if there was ever a man who knew what the people of israel had endured, it was he. i remember the challenge of the words he spoke at the capitol in 2014. he said, finding a way forward is hard, but we must not lose hope. and he continued. there is no better solution than two states for two peoples. a jewish state, israel, and an
arab state, palestine. [ applause ] he said. if we are to preserve the beautiful dream of israel for a new century and beyond, we must continue our pursuit of this goal. i say, this is the way to continue israel's proud character, jewish, democratic and secure. and to that end, [ applause ] i know that i was invited, when i received the invitation to be here today, i took great personal pride in receiving it and great pleasure in accepting the invitation, but i know i wasn't invited just because i was a supporter of israel as a member of congress. i was invited because i was the house democratic leader. and, in that regard, i want to read you a letter from my colleagues in the house, signed
by around 191 house members, a couple republicans, 189 democrats. i may read it off my phone, which i think may be clearer, but let me begin here. as strong supporters of israel, we write to urge you to reaffirm -- oh, it's to dear mr. president. did i tell you that? dear mr. president. as strong supporters of israel, we write to urge you to reaffirm the united states' longstanding bipartisan commitment to supporting a just and lasting two-state solution to the israeli/palestinian conflict. [ applause ] for decades, american presidents and israeli prime ministers of all political parties have publicly supported and worked toward attaining a peace agreement that recognizes israel's right to exist as a democratic jewish state and establishes a demilitarized
palestinian state. [ applause ] co-existing side by side in peace and security. today we remain convinced that a two-state solution is the only outcome that would quell ongoing incidents of violence, maintain israel as a secure, jewish and democratic state and provide a just and stable future for the palestinians. it is our belief that a one-state outcome risks destroying israel's jewish and democratic character, denies the palestinian's fulfillment of their legitimate aspirations and would leave both israeli the and palestinians embroiled in an endless and intractable conflict for generations to come. leadership from the united states is crucial at this juncture. we must ensure that a comprehensive agreement between the two parties is not imposed and oppose unilateral actions by
either of the two parties that would push the prospects for peace further out of reach. to that end, we stand ready to help facilitate an environment that fosters the resumption of direct peace negotiations between the israelis and palestinians in order to achieve a viable, lasting and mutually agreed-upon two-state solution. sincerely. it was organized by david price and jerry conley, signed by 191 members of congress, 189 democrats. [cheers and applause] i want to read you the letter directly, because i wanted you to hear it as written, not out of context. and i wanted to read it to you in the spirit of strong support for a jewish, secure, and democratic israel. an israel that recognizes the dignity and the security of both
the palestinians and the israelis. that, that is the israel we know and love, as friends, allies and advocates for israel. that is the future we must continue to champion. and when people sometimes say to me, the united states is so overwhelmingly partial to israel in this discussion, i say, yes, of course. we have been friends for a long time. we have shared values. we have shared values. and they are, we are friends. so we don't want to interfere in a negotiation, impose anything, but we do share the values of a secure, democratic, jewish israel. that is why i hope we can come together on efforts to oppose,
boycott divestment sanctions. that is why we must come together on efforts to counter the iranian ballistic missile threat, building on the obama administration's leadership in imposing unilateral sanctions more than a year ago. [ applause ] and i want to commend the obama administration for its support of sharing intelligence and making sure in a stronger way than ever before that israel have a qualitative advantage in its military capabilities. [ applause ] we must stand united in opposition to iran's support for hamas, hezbollah and other regional proxy agrexs. today i want to say thank you to all of you, not only for your commitment to the u.s./israel partnership but for championing the foreign aid dollars that alleviate poverty, eradicate
disease and promote peace. aipac has been a champion in doing that. last week i had generals visit me in my office. generals. and advocating against the 30% cut in the budget blueprint. they said, and we know we owe it to our men and women in you know foc -- uniform to avoid conflict. we know it's important to build bridges of confidence with countries. we know that it is important that issues like pep far, that's aid that president bush took such pride in. we worked with him, issues like that build confidence in our relationships in countries, make friends. we owe it, again, to our men and women in uniform to avoid conflict, but when we have to go, we need to have friends to do so.
as general mattis testified recently, he said, if you don't fully fund the state department, then i need to buy more ammunition. that's just not what we should be doing as we allocate our resources. foreign aid for israel is sacred. we know that. [ applause ] that is sacred. but the president's budget cuts would devastate the u.s.'s leadership in the region and around the world. today your voices and wisdom are more important than ever, and i know that you will be storming the hill shortly after these sessions. together we will ensure that the unbreakable friendship between the united states and israel is forever, a friendship dedicated to peace, to justice, to a future of success for all.
on behalf of my colleagues in the house, i say thank you, aipac, for inviting me to join you, but more importantly, for advancing the cause of a thriving u.s./israel relationship. together we will work. our work will continue. our alliance will grow deeper. the friendship between the united states and israel will stand strong now and othforever. may god bless israel. may god the united states of america. may god bless you all. thank you so much. [cheers and applause] ♪
please welcome, from the second congressional distribute of arizona, martha mcsally. ♪ good morning, aipac! david and goliath, the original underdog story. a plucky young warrior defeats a giant with only his staff, a sling and a handful of stones. a story reminds us that with courage and faith, we can overcome any odds. today the state of israel is a modern-day david, and goliath is the arsenal of hundreds of thousands of rockets and missiles aimed at the jewish state by terror groups like hezbollah and hamas. but this time, israel has a may -- major upgrade in technology that will help it take down the next giant. [ applause ]
amen, the defense system which was co-partnered by ratheon a, iron dome has proven effective at intercepting the short-range, david sling safeguards from long-range artillery rockets, drones and cruise missiles. that is, simply put, a game changer. [ applause ] israel's home front command estimates that during a conflict, hezbollah could fire more than 1,000 rockets a day into israel's north. a comprehensive multi-tiered defense system assures that they are protected from the full spectrum of attacks. the system more than triples the range of iron dome and deploys a variety of settings.
giving critical protection outside the umbrella of iron dome batteries. and, as a supporter of a close u.s./israel relationship, i couldn't be more proud that ratheon was developed in my district in arizona. you know the united states has committ committed $1.1 billion. we gain valuable insight into technology that improves our own systems, and it keeps americans safe too. [ applause ] as a retired air force colonel and an a-10 warthog pilot, that's the plane i flew right there. [ applause ] thank you.
thank you. thank you. and as someone who deployed to the middle east and afghanistan six times, and as a member of the house arms services committee and the homeland security committee, i've dedicated my life to presenting our country and ensuring a safer world for our allies. [ applause ] thank you. that's why, and that's why i am a proud and vocal supporter of u.s. security assistance to israel. [ applause ] our partnership with israel ensures american interests in the middle east are protected by our friend who shares our commitment to democracy and
human rights. and u.s. annual security assistance to israel, which you all advocate for comprises a significant portion of israel's defense budget. in addition to that, the u.s. missile defense agency works with our israeli counterparts to ensure that the jewish state purchases missile defense technology built right here in america, to keep its citizens safe and secure. [ applause ] those purchases add up. ratheon, in my district, employs about 10,000 people in tucson and works with more than 500 suppliers across the state. and israeli purchases contribute to a major portion of the $2.1 billion economic impact that ratheon brings to arizona each year. [ applause ] if israel is a modern-day david, i'm glad to know that my district and my state play a
crucial role in ensuring that our hero comes to the fight better equipped than ever before, because david's sling of arizona developed new technologies, they boost our economy and keep all our citizens safe and secure. and it that's israel and my state. thank you all. god bless you. ♪ good morning, aipac. [ applause ] good morning. what an honor. lillian, congratulations on your outstanding presidency. and it's great to be with you again this year. i also want to thank aipac's executive director, howard core, and i'm just thrilled to see all of the students in the