tv American Israel Public Affairs Cmte. AIPAC Conference - Evening Session CSPAN March 5, 2018 5:07pm-7:00pm EST
that experience give you some sense of understand iing the abt what israel might be facing? >> some people ask did your time in the army shape your world for you? it's close but it's opposite. i joined the army because of my role. it was reenforced in a couple different ways. first at a general level. we live in a dangerous, chaotic world. it always has been that. please welcome anita
friedman and nancy pelosi. [ applause ] [ applause ] >> last year the four of us and so
many gathered in this hall said good-bye to a cherished friend. the aipac family mourned the passing of a wise and wonderful come and the world lost an amazing leader. >> naomi luater was a woman of compassion and strength.
she was beloved and she loved us all back. >> she was among the very first people aipac founders turned to when he began building the membership of america's pro-israel lobby. >> she was one of the few long serving aipac professionals who remembered the dark world before there was an israel and the world of when israel was reborn. both of those inspired her determination and perseverance. >> she was the person to whom we turned. we needed someone who could recruit and inspire and mobilize communities around the world and reflect that strength back to washington, d.c.
that's what she did when she opened the first regional office in san francisco. >> there was no predecessor at the time. there was no tell me bla-- template. only her ideas and strategy. we succeed largely because of her vision.
>> she created meaningful relationships with people in the jewish, civil rights and political communities.
she was the first friend i made. >> we were neighbors who quickly bonded over our children and politics and shared a love for israel. my family would regularly go and come to our house for christmas eve. together we shared birthdays, bar and bat mitzvahs. so many of her family members are here today. her son sammy, daughter-in-law. children, grand children and great grand children. [ applause ] >> it's impossible tot no talk about bob too. he was wonderful. she knew you and your family and what's happening in your world.
>> she wasn't naive. she wasn't pollyann-ish. she saw for all it was miraculous and a little maddening. she never lost heart. she never turned her back or back down she wouldn't want us to lose heart either. [ applause ] she loved america. she loved the political process that allowed us to do so much together. she relished working with our political leaders whose votes could transform the whole world. she never was cynical about politics and she would be
mortified if we did. she would want us to find way
to work together. to come together across parties, ideologies and personal opinions. >> right wing, left wing and everything in between. >> may the memory be a blessing and inspiration. may she remind us how important it is to stand up and speak out and choose to leave. thank you so much for honoring naomi today. [ applause ] >> please welcome aipac manager
direct director arnie christiansen. >> good evening. every two years after a new congress has been sworn in, aipac's educational foundation organizes and leads trips to israel for members of house of representatives. these trips give new and returning legislators the opportunity to meet with israel top government leaders. to see first hand israel security challenges. to learn from political and security experts and discuss critical issues with palestinian officials. one powerful aspect of these trips is members from both parties spend time in israel together. that happens because two great friends of u.s. israel relationships house majority leader kevin mccarthy and the democratic whip have made it their priority.
this past summer i had the privilege of traveling to israel with just such a group. before i welcome our next guest, i'd like to share with you some of the experience for that trip. >> when you're representing 135th of the u.s. population, that means you have a local view. it's important to have an international view. >> a thriving israel is important to the united states national security interests. when it comes to all national security interests we need to be able to do that in a bipartisan manner. >> a visits like this where we have republicans and democrats
being able to experience some of the same insides and briefings really help to build a shared viewpoint. >> you read about it. you hear about it. seeing it is very different. it makes you understand the issue of prom similximity. >> it is dangerous neighborhood. you see these programs that are put into action here such as iron dome and david sling and the arrow systems. these are systems that the united states of america got to work on jointly and now we get to benefit from them jointly as well. >> it let us see why it's so important the work we're doing here for america's national security. for the region. for the democracy in the region. >> it's important that member vs the opportunity to come to israel, be on the ground, look at the geography and look at the israeli people. every time i come to israel i'm revived in my passion for my
country and for our relationship between israel and the united states which have so much in common. >> you just watch throughout the week with republicans and democrats together how the partnership and the excitement grows stronger. i think there's no greater example of how to build a bond. >> whether it's freedom and democracy or the shared values and history they need us and we need them. >> you don't understand what that bond means until you come here. you feel it. that's the importance of these types of trips. >> the relationship between israel and the united states is so very important. i believe that we can tackle any problem as long as we do it tokt and we continue to work together. >> this relationship is so important.
>> a nice video. you guys look good. >> a good photographer, obviously. >> one of many trips you both made to israel. you've seen the land many times. i wanted to talk a bit about some of the security challenges israel is facing. looked over at the lebanese border. you saw mortar fire. give us a sense of as israel faces the threats they face today, what are some of the things that u.s. and israel can do together to respond to that? >> first of all, i want to thank anyone who participates in the education fund because it is life changing for any member to go to israel. when we went to that northern border, much more serious today than it's ever been. to me, we got a 70-year history
between the relationships and partnerships. iran in entrenching itself, russia promised they would not. what we have done inside the house and this is bipartisan the way we deal with most of this. you have the royce in dprgall n bill that came out to go after the guard. what the world needs to know nor ha -- the regular army of iran does not lead the home front. they allow them to go into syria. that's unacceptable. this is place where we need to draw the line and america cannot stand to allow iran to stay.
>> at some form of another in syria. one of the absolute essentials that america must require is that iran have no presence in syria as a result of that agreement. sanction on those who finance, help support or help further the milan mission which is really a force unto itself and we need to treat it as such and be very cognizant of the threat it causes not only to israel but the middle east availability. >> give us a sense of another thing that's critical for missile defense and the other thing the u.s. supplies to
israel, give us a sense of what the state of support is right now and what the republican and democrat caucuses is on those issues. >> kevin and i sponsored a resolution some months ago that got essentially unanimous support. when you speak of missile defense one of the things we all made clear was that iran under the u.n. request should not be testing or developing missiles which can attack israel and or the entire middle east. we need to make sure that we implement the sanctions that have been passed. missile defense is one of the areas where i think israel and the united states can really be cooperative as well as space tunnelling, drones which we have seen such a dramatic consequence
of just recently where israel acted properly when you had an iranian missile attack. we need to be very vigorous and with respect to missiles not only sanctioning but developing even better defenses than we have already developed. >> i hope you realize that this issue is not partisan issue. it's not come out because you we're not here because you invite us together. there's a reason why we go to israel together. we sat and we talked. we meet quite often. it's not as the television portrays it to be.
three main points you have to look at. you look at the agreement, we got to take care of that sunset clause. it's going to end. we can't allow that to happen. there's no reason for iran to be having ballistic missiles or testing. not what so ever. then we need strict enforcement. one part that's very clear we know the challenge when it comes to tunnelling and the technology that we need working together. in that budget agreement we're able to deal with our military getting through the sequester challenge we've had. we'll take up next week the rest of that omni. that really puts us in a stronger position for missile defense and others.
it's beginning to show up in syria as well. >> kevin and i did not vote the same on jcpoa. i think we both felt the same way. that agreement clearly was not perfect. that agreement should have dealt with the non-nuclear malign destabilizing activity that iran participates. it also should have dealt with a permanent solution not a temporary solution. i'm supportive as kevin is of us moving towards renegotiating, cooperating with our european partners as is happening right now.
snefr h never has a nuclear capability. >> there's so much so optimistic. i'd like to ask both you have as you think of israel's 70th anniversary coming up in two months, what are some of the things that most excites you about israel's future for the next 70 years? >> i think first of all you can refer to israel as the miracle in the middle east. [ applause ] when you talk about start-up nation, you talk about a people that demonstrated not only extraordinary courage or it would not have survived but extraordinary innovative, entrepreneurial, inventive
development skills. that have transformed israel into one of the great economic powers in the world. that's to the benefit of the united states. certainly to israel and to stability long term in the middle east. i see a very bright future if we stand strong against those who would destroy israel and all that it means to the world. >> that's a great relationship. no bond can be broken. you can the squestion about the future. i think when bb came to the house to speak to the house and senate, he made this statement.
you can applaud. [ applause ] israel is not just the story of the jewish spirit. it's of the human spirit not succombing to the horrors of history. that to mean only means the future will be priegter. the bond is created because we stand against the rogue nations that want to destroy both of us. my belief will only make the world better. >> absolutely. [ applause ] i hope it's obvious how much everyone in this room
appreciates your leadership and all you do for the u.s. israel relationship. >> thank you. keep the faith. keep on fighting. we're going to win. [ applause ] please welcome claire shipman. >> our next guest plays a role on one of the house committee's essential to the u.s.-israel relationship. the apropuations committee.
she's established herself an an out spoken leader on issues important to the pro-israel community and one of the first democratic members of congress to announce her opposition to the 2015 iran nuclear deal. ladies and gentlemen, join me in welcoming congresswoman grace ming. thank you for being here. >> thanks for having me. >> you have been a leading supporter of israel. as i just mentioned someone who isn't afraid of taking a hard vote to support the u.s. israel relationship. why is this relationship so important to you. where does your passion for israel come from? >> israel is one of america's strongest allies. a safe, a secure and a strong
israel benefits all of us around the globe. [ applause ] i'm proud to represent a district in queens, new york. >> i'm sure we have some new yorkers here. >> whose main street literally runs from the north to the south of the district. on one end is a predominantly asian-american community and the other end is a predominantly jewish community. every day we live side by side, work side by side and i'm proud to represent this beautiful and diverse district. s >> you can clap for queens. [ applause ] >> as a granddaughter who grew up in the christian faith, my grandmother gives me tips
constantly on how to better raise my children in our faith community. as an asian mom who almost likes to feed others almost as much as a jewish mom, we have a great district and so much more in common than we have different from each other. it's amazing. the best part are the connections and the people. from the people i've met during my trips to israel to the people right here in queens and throughout this country, israel is an issue that is not partisan. it's our duty and responsibility and benefits all of us around the globe both democracies and democracy in general to have a
strong u.s.-israel relationship. >> thank you. you were one of the first to oppose the 2015 agreement with iran. there's a little bit of support for that in this crowd. can you till us about that decision and whether you think there's a way to build bipartisan support in congress to address what many see as shortcomings of that deal. it sounds as though from what we heard from the two congressmen that there may be some agreement on that. >> definitely. voting against the iran deal was a tough decision for me politically. [ applause ] i know in my heart of hearts that it was the right decision to make.
i knew it was the decision that i had to make in order for me to sleep well at night. i knew it was the right decision for our next generation. of the many shortcomings of the deal, there were two that bothered me most. one was the lack of oversight and the second was the increased access that the iranian regime would have to money and resources that would help further finance terrorism around the globe. we have seen this day by day play out in the region. i'm worked on legislation in a bipartisan way that passed in the house to ensure better monitoring of iranian ports so
we could better see who and what was going through those ports. we worked to put sanctions on the missile program and the ircg. i believe there's more room to work together to tarlgtget the iranian regime and to work together. >> we see iran projecting its power throughout the region in iraq and syria and lebanon. earlier today it was said iran and the way we deal with it has to be the premiere foreign challenge that we have in the middle east. how do you think the u.s. and
israel can work together to con front the iranian threat and be sure israel has the support it needs to deal with the threats. >> it's a good question. it's why i voted against the deal in first place. i think many people in this room agree that we knew that this threat would become more and more serious. the answer is two fold. one is to work here in congress in a bipartisan way to ensure that israel has the resources it needs to defend herself. that doesn't just keep and make israel safer. it makes all of us safer around the world. the second is to prevent further financing of terrorism. since i've gotten to congress, i, for example, have worked in a
bipartisan way to enshucourage eu to designate hezbollah to be designated as a terrorist orgs. make it harder for them to carry out their nefarious activities. >> i could speak to you all evening but i'm not allowed. we'll have to leave it at that. thank you so much. let's give her another round of applause please for all of her work and her time. [ applause ]
>> when i was 14 and ronnie was 14, ronnie would come to the states and spend a month with us. i would go to israel and live for a month and experienced life as an israeli teenager. over the summer he and i became best friends. i remember leaving for home being on this little bus driving out to the 747. sitting there on the tarmac and something clicked in me thinking i'm in love with this place and coming home from that began a lifelong commitment to zionism and the u.s.-israel relationship. during my time in israel with ronnie and spending time with israeli teenagers, they talked about going in the army. that was totally foreign for me. no one really had served in the military. i didn't know much about the
military growing up. something started getting me to think why not me? why shouldn't i serve and help to defend what's important to me. that led me to apply to westpoint and i got accepted. for me to graduate as a second lieutenant and serve as an artillery officer which was a critical and seminal part of my life. i've heard the expression it's amazing what you can accomplish if you don't worry about who gets the credit. in the military you learn very quickly that i alone can accomplish very limited things compared to what i can accomplish together with a group of like minded people as part of a team. >> if we look at it -- >> aipac is such a team oriented
end endeavour. we all come together as people who value and believe in the u.s.-israel relationship. i think i went to my first policy conference in 2006. joined washington club very soon thereafter. two or three years ago we felt motivated to increase our giving level to capital club and we think there's an incredible return on that investment. for the last few years i've been vice chair of our group in new leadership network here in atlanta. the new leadership network is a way for activists to develop a close personal relationship with a member of congress. if you really want to be most effective if your advocacy for the u.s.-israel relationship you really have to become in
pro-israel giving in addition to pro-israel advocacy. when we asked our middle child what he wanted to do to celebrate his bar mitzvah. he said i wanted to recite in israel. celebrating with our friend ronnie and his family is something i'll never forget. it's very personal for me. their future is at stake. while it's a thriving, bright future, there are threats. there are real threats, serious threats. we have a chance to do something about it. here i am, i'm part of this greatest political experiment in the history of world, the united states of america.
this great state of israel i have a voice in policies that matter to both of them. when i think about that, i think that there's nothing more important that i can be doing. [ applause ] please welcome aipac national member cindy montonaez. >> if you walk down many streets in the united states or in israel you're likely to hear a story just like mine. i'm american of mexican descent.
my parents came to this country for the same reason many others have come to the united states of america. for a chance at a better life. for democracy, for opportunity. they taught us to love our country, the united states of america. [ applause ] they taught us that above all else, no matter our situation we must always work to make the world a better place.
[ applause ] my parents instierinspired me t for political office and help our community. at the age of 25 i was elected to my city council. then became mayor and at the age of 28, i was elected the youngest woman ever to the california state legislature. as a little girl i fell in love with israel through the many biblical stories. my introduction to aipac was like many of you here. you're one of my best friends. she told me, you love israel, come to an aipac event. add aipac i have made many friends and have found incredible mentors.
in 2009 i traveled on one of aipac's first missions to israel for latin -- for leaders in the latino community. in israel i felt at home. as one of six children i understand passion that the families. as a leader in my community, i understand that the jewish latino alliance is so important. today i'm an aipac capital club member. i take an active role in identifying and educating the next generation of pro-israel latino leaders.
for nearly 15 years, my work with aipac has been central to who i am as a person. i've lobbied, i've fund raised. i've made phone calls. i've had tough conversations. this past summer my work took on additional personal meaning. on september 19th, a 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck central mexico where my family lives. hundreds were presumed dead. thousands were homeless. mexico, it's culture, it's people, it's beautiful sounds and images have always been intri
intrinsic to who i am as a person. i have many friends and family members there. as we scrambled to get in contact with our loved ones because the people of israel did what they have done for countless other nations in need. within 48 hours the israel defense forces had a team in mexi mexico. within day, multiple israeli disaster relief organizations were on the ground. i can't put into words both the relief and the pride that i f t
felt. in that moment i heard my mother sitting at our dinner table. once again, always, she told us, no matter your situation in life, work to make the world a better place. the idf brought more than 70 rescue workers to help assess the damage to buildings in mexico city. helping to free those trapped under collapsed buildings. organizations like israid provided services and clean up efforts in remote communities. after days of exhausting work, as the team from the idf walked the streets of mexico city, something remarkable happened.
p the people began to applaud. people standing in the streets waved mexican flags and cheered the israeli rescuers. they cheered the people who had come to help friends in need. in my heart -- [ applause ] in my heart, i was standing there on that street waving a flag, thankful for friendship and thankful for those who work to make the world a better place.
able to say that when i come to aipac, i am with friends. at the united nations we sometimes don't have many friends. i remember last year, when we had the vote about america's principled opposition to the castro dictatorship in cuba. the vote went against us, 191-2. the only two no votes, you guessed it, were the united states and israel. but i always say quality is more than quantity. shortly after the 2016 election, president-elect trump called me to talk about serving in his administration. we had a meeting at trump tower and we had some good discussions about a variety of issues. long story short, his team
called me a couple of days later and said he would like me to serve as ambassador to the united nations. i said i'm a governor, i don't know anything about the united nations. we went back and forth on a few things and the clincher was when i told the president you know i won't be a wallflower or talking head. i have to be able to say what i think. without any hesitation, president trump said nikki, that's exactly why i want you to do this. president trump has been true to his word and i think i have, too.
some of you might have seen that the top palestinian negotiator recently had some advice for me. he told me to shut up. sir, i will always be respectful but i will never shut up. when i spoke here last year, i had only been on the job a couple months. now it's a year later and i know a lot more than i knew a year ago, but as i've learned more about how the u.n. operates, something else has become really
clear. it is important to know as much as possible about every country's needs and views, but that's not the most important part of the job. the most important thing is to not be afraid to stick with the fundamental principles even when they go against entrenched customs. some of those outdated customs have gone unquestioned for years, long before i got to the u.n. i knew a few things that have served me well in this last year. one of those principles is that standing up for your friends is critical. so on my first day on the job, i chose to reach out to ambassadors from four countries. i called the british and french ambassadors because they are our closest allies on the security
council, i called the ambassador from ukraine because i wanted to reassure him that america would not waver in standing up for ukraine against russian aggressi aggression, and my fourth call on that first day was to the israeli ambassador. just about a month before i arrived, the united states allowed resolution 2334 to pass. it was a shameful day for america. we refused to stand up for our friend when it was singled out for terrible mistreatment. on my first day, i assured the israeli ambassador that on my watch, that would never happen again.
and i'm proud to say it has not happened again. standing up for your friends is very important in the united nations. another one of the principles i took with me into the job was that i have absolutely no patience for bullying. when i grew up, we were the only indian family in a small southern town in south carolina. on the whole it was a great and friendly community. my parents and my brother and sister and i were always grateful for the support that surrounded us.
but that didn't mean every day was great. my parents were immigrants. my father wore a turban. my mother wore a sari. there were times that we got bullied. when i was governor, i did something about it. i started an anti-bullying program. every month i went to schools throughout the state to talk about bullying. for me, it was just so fundamental. you don't pick on someone just because they look different than you. you don't pick on someone just because they think differently than you, or because you can. this idea has always been with me since i was a child, but i didn't think it would come to play if tn the united nations. it turns out bullying is a common practice in the united nations. in the real world, israel is a strong country with a vibrant
economy and a first class military. on the battlefield, israel does not get bullied. the iranians and syrians can vouch for that. but the u.n. is a different story. at the u.n. and throughout the u.n. agencies, israel does get bullied. it gets bullied because the countries that don't like israel are used to being able to get away with it. well, just like when i was that little girl in south carolina, that just doesn't sit well with me. as many of you know, one of the u.n. agencies with the worst track record of israel bias is unesco. among many other ridiculous things, unesco has the outrageous distinction of attempting to change ancient history.
unesco recently declared one of judaism's holiest site, the tomb of the patriarchs, as a palestinian heritage site in need of protection from israel. that was enough, ten months into this administration, the united states withdrew from unesco. there are lots of other things that we do, big and small, week after week, to fight back against the u.n.'s israel bullying. every month at the security council, we have a session devoted to the middle east, and every month, this session becomes an israel bashing session. this has gone on month after
month for decades. this was news to me when i arrived. it was actually shocking. i came out of the first session and publicly said if we want to talk about security in the middle east, we should talk about iran, or syria or hezbollah, hamas, isis, the famine in yemen. there are probably ten major problems facing the middle east, and israel doesn't have anything to do with any of them. just about every month since then in the middle east session, i have spoken about something other than israel. i can't say that we have solved the problem, but i can say that several other countries have followed our lead. what used to be a monthly israel
bashing session now at least has more balance. but we're never going to put up with bullying. there's one more principle i knew before i arrived at the u.n. like most americans, i knew what the capital of israel was. to be more clear, i knew that jerusalem was, is and will always be the capital of israel.
this is not something that was created by the location of an embassy. this is not something that was created by an american decision. america did not make jerusalem israel's capital. what president trump did to his great credit was recognize a reality that american presidents had denied for too long. jerusalem is the capital of israel. that's a fact. and president trump had the
you know, our embassy decision caused a little bit of a stir at the united nations. in the security council, almost exactly one year after the united states shamefully abstained when the council attacked israel with resolution 2334, i had the great honor of casting my first american veto. when i was governor, i used my veto power dozens of times. at the u.n., i never got to do it until the jerusalem vote. i got to say, it felt pretty good. the next week, the jerusalem issue was brought before the u.n. general assembly. we lost that vote, but to many people's surprise, 65 countries refused to go against us.
in the long history of u.n.'s mistreatment of israel, that's quite a record. and we're not forgetting that vote. like i said at that time, on that vote, we were taking names. last week, i took a trip to guatemala and honduras. and i thanked them both for voting with us. god bless guatemala. they even joined us in moving their embassy to jerusalem.
and president trump and i are pushing to draw a closer connection between u.s. foreign aid and how countries vote at the u.n. u.n. votes should never be the only factor in our foreign aid decisions. we have many interests that go beyond the u.n. but they should be one of the factors, and we are determined to start making that connection. some people accuse us of favoritism towards israel. first of all, there's nothing wrong with showing favoritism toward an ally. that's what being an ally is all about.
but this is really not about favoritism. in all that we're doing, whether it's the embassy decision or unesco or what we are doing with unruh, don't even get me started on that one, our approach on israel is tied together by one major idea. the idea that runs through all of it is the simple concept that israel must be treated like any other normal country. we will continue to demand that israel not be treated like some sort of temporary provisional entity. it cannot be the case that only one country in the world doesn't get to choose its capital city.
it cannot be the case that the u.n. human rights council has a standing agenda item for only one country. it cannot be the case that only one set of refugees throughout the world is counted in a way that causes the number to grow forever. it cannot be the case that in an organization with 193 countries, the united nations spends half of its time attacking only one country. we will not accept it any longer.
and you know what? that demand is actually a demand for peace. the u.n.'s bias against israel has long undermined peace, by encouraging an illusion that israel will just simply go away. israel's not going away. when the world recognizes that, then peace becomes possible. it becomes possible because all sides will be dealing with realities, not fantasies, and when we deal with realities, then reasonable negotiated compromises can prevail over absolutist demands. thank you so much for the support that you have continued to show me.
>> hello, everybody. it is great to be here tonight. i want to thank all of you for being here. great leadership of aipac, my friends, ambassador haley, vice president pence and all of you. now, you know i always start off with a story. this is dedicated to my father, who is 94. my father struggled his whole life. he had a small little exterminating business. he paced the floor sunday nights at 2:00 a.m. because he hated going to work. but when he retired, my brother, who is the financially successful schumer, bought them a house in florida and every winter they would drive from brooklyn down to florida. my father never played golf. he took up golf. they would see their friends who
moved there. but as they got older, they ran out of things to do. he couldn't play golf anymore, his legs went bad. their friends were passing on. so those of you from florida know that florida atlantic university, hello, florida, way down there in the south part of the convention center. anyway, florida atlantic university lets every senior citizen enroll in any course for free. so my dad and mom would roll up to florida atlantic university every thursday at 4:00 p.m., because they enrolled in the course called humor. now, what was the course called humor? some erstwhile comedian who never nad made it in the catski would get up and tell jokes for 45 minutes, a different comedian each week. my dad never went to college. he said gee, college is pretty easy, i should have gone. but each week, they called me back with their favorite joke. here's one of the favorites.
mrs. goldfarb is brought before the judge. the judge rolls her eyes, rolls his eyes, and said mrs. goldfarb, you're back. yes, your honor, i'm back. what did you steal this time, mrs. goldfarb? i stole a can of peaches from the supermarket down the road. the judge is exasperated. he says look, mrs. goldfarb, i know you are a clkleptomaniac a this is an illness and you could easily afford a can of peaches but for lord's sake, mrs. goldfarb, this is the 17th time you have been brought before me for shoplifting this year and it's only march. i have no choice. i got to sentence you to some time in jail. now, how many peaches were in the can? your honor, there were four peaches in the can. then i have no choice. i'm going to sentence you to four nights in jail, one for each peach. he's about to bang the gavel and pronounce sentence, when in the middle of the courtroom, a man gets up all agitated. your honor, your honor he says, may it please the court, i'm her
husband. she also stole a can of peas. so when you all retire, you can go to del ray beach and enroll in the course called humor and call the kin back home with your favorite joke. now, seriously, tonight i want to address the cause that brings us together, the cause of israel, her security, her prosperity and her prospects for peace. these issues are all related. but let me begin by addressing the issue of peace. many wonder why don't we still have peace in the middle east, even though a majority of israelis want peace and believe like i do and most of you do that there should be two states, a jewish state and a palestinian state. now, some say, there are some who argue the settlements are the reason there's not peace. we all know what happened in gaza. israel voluntarily got rid of the settlements there.
the soldiers, israeli soldiers, dragged the settlers out and three weeks later, the palestinians threw rockets in. it's sure not the settlements that are the blockage to peace. some say it's the borders. oh, israel wants different borders. but they forget, during the negotiations in 2000, barack was making huge territorial concessions that most israelis didn't like. it was arafat who rejected the settlement. it's not the borders neither. and it's certainly not because we have moved the embassy to where it should belong in jerusalem. it's not that, either. now, let me tell you why, let me tell you why, my view why we don't have peace. because the fact of the matter is that too many palestinians
and too many arabs do not want any jewish state in the middle east. the view of palestinians is simple. well, the europeans treated the jews badly, culminating in the holocaust and they gave them our land as compensation. of course, we say it's our land, the torah says it, but they don't believe in the torah so that's the reason there is not peace. they invent other reasons, but they do not believe in a jewish state and that is why we in america must stand strong with israel through thick and thin. we must, because that is the reason, not any of these other false reasons why there is not peace in the middle east. too many people don't understand that here in america. now, i want -- the rest of my speech, i want to address to you, one of the great problems
that israel faces in the future. not immediately but in the future. but we have to worry about it. i will be having lunch with the prime minister tomorrow and i intend to talk to him about this and what we can do about it. the fact of the matter is that too many of our younger generations don't share the devotion to israel that our generations have. that's a problem. we have to face it and deal with it. now, it's certainly not true in aipac. we have thousands of students here who go home and spread the word of israel. students, stand up. we want to applaud. [ applause ] 3500 students here at aipac. god bless you. but we all know the problem. americans, too many of the younger americans don't know the
history and as a result, they tend to say well, both sides are to blame. many americans, younger americans, didn't grow up knowing israel was attacked time after time. they think israel has always been strong. they do not realize that if israel were weak, her enemies would immediately seek her destruction. i remember being in high school, james madison high school, brooklyn, new york, in 1967. i carried a transistor radio to my ear. young people will not know what that is. i wouldn't let it go from my ear because it was during the war in june of '67. i was deathly worried israel would be pushed into the sea by the arab onslaught. and we were praying to please save israel. now, the younger generation never experienced this. they haven't lived through a
time when israel's very existence was balanced on the edge of a knife. fortunately, these days have passed. but israel faces challenges that no other nation must face. while putin enables assad's atrocities in syria, while a humanitarian crisis unfolds in yemen, while human rights abuses happen every day to so many in iran, somehow, to some, israel receives the blame for a chaotic middle east. the world celebrates the most incremental progress by israel's neighbors and ignores the generous cooperation between israel and her fellow nations, including her former enemies. the world draws a false moral equivalence between israel's actions to defend herself and the actions of terrorists who use children as human shields in their evil campaign to push israel into the sea.
the unfairness springs from a deep well of bias that has always existed, unfortunately, against israel. if only the younger generation knew more about this unfairness, i believe it would affect them powerfully. there are two things we can do immediately that will help rectify this situation. first, we must pass and highlight the taylor force act which will bring an end to american dollars that directly benefit a palestinian authority until it ceases making payments to the families of terrorists, stops calling them martyrs, stops giving them parades. my friends, this is not just about funds to the palestinian
authority. too many believe that this palestinian authority is moderate and really wants peace. the taylor force act will confront the world -- will confront the -- will force the world to confront the dark truth that the palestinian authority every day actively aids and abets terrorism. we will pass the taylor force law and that will show the world what the palestinian authority is actually doing. that while israel justifiably defends its borders, the p.a. celebrates and compensates terrorists as martyrs. second, we must continue to stand firm against the profoundly biased campaign to delegitimize the state of israel through boycotts, divestment and sanctions.
while iran publicly executes its citizens, turkey jails its journalists, scores of arab nations punish homosexuality with imprisonment and torture, why does bds single israel out alone for condemnation? when there is such a double standard, when the world treats everybody one way and the jew or the jewish state another way, there's only one word for it. anti-semitism. let us call out the bds movement for what it is. let us delegitimize the delegitimizers by letting the world know when there is a double standard, whether they know it or not. they are actively participating
in an antisemmitic movement. finally, my friends, finally, we must highlight the danger that israel faces from a newly resurgent iran, now so active in syria. a few weeks ago as you know, an iranian drone came into israeli air space. iran and its proxies are gaining a foothold in syria near israel's northern borders. last summer, congress, democrats and republicans together, granted the administration new authority to counter iran's malign activity. now it must use it. not only to combat iran, but to push russia to repel iranian proxies in syria. we can never be complacent about any threat near israel's borders and iran is a threat right now.
so we must do these things and more to ensure israel's security, to educate the younger generations about the true nature of the situation in the middle east, for the cause of israel is too important, to you and to me. as a boy, i grew up hearing stories about my great grandmoth grandmother. in 1941, the nazis invaded her town. they told my grand -- my great grandmother to gather her whole family on the front porch of their house, from elderly people to little babies. there were more than 17 of them. they said you all have to leave. my grandmother said no. the nazis brutally machine gunned down every single one of them. now, my great grandmother, my friends here, could never imagine that one day there would
be a country for jews. the idea seemed like an absurdity in that world. jews had been scattered to the winds, foreigners in their own country, derided by their neighbors, forbidden to farm or become academics or tradesmen. we were scapegoats, second class citizens throughout our history. just imagine, just imagine if you could go back and tell the jews that one day there would be a jewish state of israel. imagine if you could tell the russian jew, chased from town to town by angry mobs and burning torches that one day, he would have a state where he could seek refuge and live like anybody else. imagine if you could whisper to the polish jew who they came for one day and loaded on a train, separated from his family,
forced to labor day after day and watch those wreaths of smoke rising under a silent blue sky. imagine if you could tell him one night that some day soon, there would be a jewish state. that after two millenia of wandering the desert, the jewish people would return home where they could enjoy freedom and raise families in peace, if only we could tell them. my friends, we must never forget what israel and its freedom mean to the jewish people and what the friendship of the united states means to securing that freedom. as long as hashem breathes air into my lungs, i will not forget. i know you will not forget. together we will forever fight to protect the jewish people and the jewish state of israel.
>> in every district in america, we see benefits as a consequence of the u.s./israel relationship. you see that impact, it seems to foster an environment of innovation and cooperation. >> we call israel the startup nation and i see a lot of economic activity. businesses there establishing, discoveries they are making, patents they are getting to fruition, all of which add to a better life not only for israelis and americans but also for the entire world. >> israel is becoming a super power, really, in terms of agriculture and technology, dealing with water. you have some really innovative
technology that israel has led on. so that partnership in that space is going to be more and more important. >> we learned a lot about the startup tech industry there and how so many of the advances that are happening there we are using here. we need to continue not just to maintain that strong bond but to grow it. >> israel which was basically a desert has gone from a shortage of water now to managing the world's best drip irrigation and crop management. >> they have advanced technology that makes it more cost effective, using less energy and also making sure that they are environmentally friendly. that's something that i think the united states could learn from israel. >> it's important for the technologies and the ideas that come from israel here, but it's also really important for israel's economic development for self-sufficiency. >> when you look at israel and you think how do they succeed, they face whatever challenge and they find a solution. and they make the world better. >> i do believe that we can solve any problem as long as we do it together and we continue
to work together. >> part of what makes all this work is the free movement of goods, free movement of people, free movement of ideas. we put it all together and actually have some magic happening. >> please welcome aipac president. mort fridman. >> our next guest has a deep and personal relationship with israel. and i'm proud to say he has a
long relationship with aipac as well. for decades, and throughout his career in public service, vice president mike pence has demonstrated a profound love for the jewish state. he has proudly supported efforts to enhance israel's security, to counter the threats from iran and terrorist groups near israel's borders, and to ensure that america's special bond with our ally endures. just a few weeks ago, vice
president pence stood in israel's kinesset and delivered a historic address to the people of israel and to the world. here's what he said. how unlikely was israel's birth. how more unlikely has been her survival. and how confounding and against the odds has been her thriving. the miracle of israel is an inspiration to the world and the united states of america is proud to stand with israel and
my friend, howard core, ambassador david friedman, members of the united states congress, israeli ministers, members of the kinesset, distinguished guests, to all who have come from near and far, it is great to be back at aipac, the largest and most influential gathering of the friends of israel in the united states of america. and tonight, i bring greetings from a friend of mine. and a great friend of the state of israel. the most pro-life president, the most pro-israel president in american history, the 45th president of the united states
of america, i bring greetings from president donald trump. thank you. you know, thanks to the president's leadership, the alliance between america and israel has never been stronger. friendship between our peoples has never been deeper. i stand before you today on his behalf to convey a simple message. america stands with israel, today, tomorrow and always. during his historic visit to jerusalem, president trump declared that the bond between
our peoples are quote, in his words, woven together in the hearts of both nations. so it is. we stand with israel because that's what the american people have always done. the people of the united states have always had a special affection and admiration for the people of the book. we stand with israel because her cause is our cause, her values are our values, and her fight is our fight. we stand with israel because we believe in right over wrong, in good over evil, in liberty over tyranny. when i stood before you last march, i told you that president trump would keep the promises that he made to all of you, and to our most cherished ally and so he has.
president trump prompised to ensure that israel would have the resources and tools to defend itself by itself, and today, american support for the security of the state of israel is greater than ever before. the president promised to take the fight to radical islamic terrorists on our terms on their soil, and thanks to the courage of our armed forces and the leadership of this commander in chief, isis is on the run, their caliphate has crumbled and we will not relent until we drive this menace from the face of the earth. he promised to stand up to the leading state sponsor of terror.
president trump announced in october of last year the united states of america will no longer certify the disastrous iran nuclear deal. when president trump promised to stand up for the state of israel and against anti-semitism on the world stage, and with ambassador nikki haley on the job, the days of israel bashing at the united nations are over. and while every president for the past two decades promised to recognize the capital of israel,
president trump did more than promised. he delivered. and it was my great honor in january of this year to be the first vice president of the united states to address the kinesset in jerusalem, the capital of the state of israel. as the president said by recognizing jerusalem as israel's capital, in his words, we finally acknowledged the obvious. the state of israel is called jerusalem, the seat of its government since its rebirth 70 years ago. the united states of america was proud to be the first nation in the world to recognize the state of israel in 1948, and just as harry truman made history,
president trump will make history again when thanks to the strong efforts of ambassador friedman, in may of this year, we will open the american embassy. in jerusalem. president trump made his decision as he said in the best interests of the united states, but he also made it clear that we believe this decision is also in the best interests of peace. by finally recognizing jerusalem as israel's capital, the united states has chosen fact over fiction, and fact is the only true foundation for a just and lasting peace. under president trump, the united states remains fully
committed to achieve a lasting peace between israelis and palestinians. in announcing his decision on jerusalem, the president also called in his words on all parties to maintain the status quo of jerusalem's holy sites and made it clear that we were not taking any position on final status issues or specific boundaries or the resolution of contested borders. and as the president reaffirmed, if both sides agree, the united states of america will support a two-state solution. as we gather here, our team, jared kushner, jason greenblatt and our ambassador are hard at work crafting our administration's vision for peace. while any peace will undoubtedly require compromise, know this. the united states of america will never compromise the safety and security of the jewish state of israel.
we know that peace is possible. because history records that israel has made the very difficult decisions to achieve peace with its neighbors in the past. over just the last few months, i have had the privilege also to travel to egypt and jordan, two nations with whom israel has long enjoyed the fruits of peace. i spoke with america's great friends, president el sisi of egypt, king abdullah of jordan about the courage of their predecessors who forged an end to conflict with israel in their time. last year, in saudi arabia, president trump convened an unprecedented gathering of leaders from more than 50 nations at the arab islamic american summit. as we saw there, the winds of change are blowing across the middle east. long-standing enemies are becoming partners. old foes are finding new ground
for cooperation and the descendents of isaiah and ismail are coming together in common cause to meet as the president said, history's great test and conquer extremism and vanquish the forces of terrorism and we will meet that test together. radical islamic terrorism knows no borders, targeting america, israel, nations across the middle east and the wider world. it respects no creed, stealing the lives of jews, christians and especially muslims. and radical islamic terrorism understands no reality other than brute force. together with our allies, we will continue to bring the full force of our might to confront and defeat this enemy in our time. as i said, we have made great progress in the fight against isis.
we have liberated nearly all the territory once held by those barbarians and we have beaten them on the battlefield time and again. but as the enemy retreats, we must be vigilant. we must be vigilant to prevent others from taking its place and let me assure you tonight, we will not allow the defeat of isis to become a victory for iran. iran hopes to recreate the ancient persian empire under the modern dictatorship of the ayatollahs. as we speak, that regime seeks to carve out a corridor of influence running through iraq, syria and lebanon, creating an unbroken passage for its armies and its ideology. last year alone, iran spent more than $4 billion to achieve its ends. at this very hour, it aids and abets terrorist groups that sit on israel's doorstep and fire
rockets at her people. in just the past month, a mounting iranian menace has been laid bare for all to see. the iranian drone that breached israel's borders in february was a brazen act of aggression, but israel's swift and strong response sent a warning to iran across the region that dangerous provocations will not go unchecked by israel, america or our allies. but the danger posed by iran extends much further than its support of terrorism. as we all know, that regime continues to develop advanced ballistic missiles that can threaten every square inch of israeli soil and the lives of all her citizens. and the disastrous nuclear deal signed by the last administration did not prevent iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. it merely delayed the day when that vile regime can gain access
to the world's most deadly weapons. president trump has called on the congress and our european allies to enact real and lasting restraints on iran's nuclear and ballistic missile ambitions. earlier this year, the president waived sanctions to give our lawmakers and allies time to act but make no mistake about it. this is their last chance. unless the iran nuclear deal is fixed in the coming months, the united states of america will withdraw from the iran nuclear deal immediately. whatever the outcome of those discussions today, i have a solemn promise to you, to israel and to the wider world.
the united states of america will never allow iran to acquire a nuclear weapon. for 70 years, israel has overcome every challenge it's faced. in this year of celebration, as we commemorate the miracle of history, i say with confidence that the jewish state and the jewish people will continue to inspire and awe the world for generations to come. indeed, how unlikely was israel's rebirth, how more unlikely has been her survival and prosperity, and how confounding and against all odds has been her thriving. the jewish people have turned the desert in a garden, scarcity into plenty, sickness into
health. they have turned hope into a future of security and prosperity. tiny people in a tiny land, a land with no natural resources, no rushing rivers or verdant valleys, avalleys, a nation despite not knowing a single day of true piece has in two short generations become one of the world's most vibrant and successful nations is a marvel to the world. [ applause ] today, israel is a world leader in science and technology. that couldn't have happened without america's help. now america's great and long investment in the state of israel is paying real dividends for our people and the world at large. israel might be one of the smallest countries in the world but it has one of the biggest footprints thanks to israel's nobel winning scientists, discoveries and innovations can be found in america's hospitals,
doctors's offices and grocery stores. israel's innovations is on our microprocessors, flash drives and innovations so much more. in 70 years israel transformed itself into a fountain of entrepreneurship producing astonishing fields of every human endeavor. in a world, israel is like a tree. it has grown deep roots in the soil of its forefathers. as it grows it reach evers closer to the heavens and gives shade and sustainness to those who seek shelter under it. a living testament to the power of freedom and power of faith. [ applause ] >> the story of israel is a story of faith. the jewish people held fast to a promise through all the ages written so long ago that even if you had been banished to the most distant land under the
heavens from there, from there, he will gather you and bring you back to the land which your fathers possessed. [ applause ] through a 2000 years exile, the longest of any people anywhere, through conquests and expulsions and inquisitions, pilgrims, jewish people held onto this ancient promise and held onto it through the longest and darkest of nights. a night proclaimed as seven times sealed. a night that transformed the small faces of children into smoke under a silent sky. a night that consumed the faith of so many. and that challenges the faith of so many still. to this day we grieve the loss of 6 million martyrs to the
holocaust and to this day we marvel at the faith and resilience of a sacred broken people once scattered just three years after walking through the valley of the shadow of death rose up to reclaim a jewish future and rebuild a jewish state. [ applause ] in this 70th anniversary year of israel's rebirth, i say again, along with jewish people everywhere, thanks to the lord our god who has kept us alive and sustained us and brought us to this day -- [ speaking foreign language ]
[ applause ] >> the miracle of israel is an inspiration to the world. the united states of america is proud to stand with israel and her people as allies and cherished friends. tonight, i close with faith. faith in the good people of israel and america and the immutable bonds of friendship between us. faith in the alliance of the nations nurtured by president trump and leaders throughout the congress in both parties that have insured this alliance is stronger now than ever before.
and faith in god, that he will yet forge a brighter future, where each can sit under their own vine and fig tree, and none shall make them afraid in the promise land. [ applause ] >> with the unwavering support of all of you and all who call these two great nations home, with the leadership of president donald trump, with god's help, i say with confidence the best days for israel and the united states of america are yet to come. god bless you, god bless israel and god bless the united states of america. [ applause ]
senate majority leader mitch mcconnell as well as several other lawmakers. our live coverage gets under way at 8:00 a.m. eastern tuesday on c-span2. wednesday morning, we're live in phoenix, arizona, for the next stop on the c-span bus 50 capitals tour. michelle reagan will be our guest on the "washington journal" starting at 9:30 a.m. eastern. our podcast, c-span's the weekly, takes you beyond the headlines to explain in depth one significant news story shaping the conversation in washington and around the country. you'll hear from leading journalists, policymakers and experts providing background and context. find c-span's the weekly on the free c-span radio app and i-tunes and stitcher and google play and any time on c-span.org.
next, the confirmation hearing for lieutenant general picked to head the command of the national security agency. also testifying the thomnees to publish deputy administrator for defense, nuclear nonproliferation and assistant energy secretary. this is just under two hours. meeting will come to order. the committee meets today to consider the nomination of lieutenant general