tv Opening Remarks Members of Congress CSPAN March 26, 2019 2:15am-2:33am EDT
the problems we have domestically as well as greatationally are too to be handled by one party being in control. we have to rise above that. we have to. we cannot afford the petty politics of the past. i remain firmly committed to engaging in bipartisan action in everything that i do, whether it is standing strong for the u.s.-israeli relationship, or any other issue i work on, because that is what americans deserve. it is what our forefathers did to create the country we enjoy today. it is what we owe to our kids and grandkids so they can have a country to be proud of tomorrow.it is our duty . [applause] fortunate, america is fortunate, senator kiersten cinema, thank you for joining us. [applause] ♪
[cheers and applause] ♪ >> please welcome, chairman of the conference of presidents of major american jewish organizations, arthur stark. ♪ >> good evening. it's a pleasure to bring you greetings from the conference of presidents of major american jewish organizations. so here's a fast fact about the conference of presidents that many don't know.
the conference was first established in the 1950s, due to strong pressure from the eisenhower administration to provide a central address, a consensus voice for the jewish community. in the ensuing years and especially in the last three decades under the visionary leadership of our ceo, malcolm honeline -- [applause] -- that's right. the conference has become the big tent for the leader of more than 50 major american jewish organizations. we represent the broad spectrum of the american jewish community. collectively pursuing one mission. to ensure the well-being of israel and the jewish people. our motto is strength through unity. however, unity does not suggest unanimity. rather, it is a recognition that we have far more in common than we have differences.
aipac plays a unique and important role in the conference of presidents as it has in washington, ensuring that leaders in both parties understand and support the strategic value of the u.s./israel alliance. for two decades, i've been a staunch supporter of aipac and now a member of aipac's board. as chairman, i have gained an even greater appreciation for aipac's work through our uniquely close and productive relationship. each week on the aipac board call, i witness the engagement and dedication of aipac's board members, let by mort and the trust earned by howard and his team. when i was elected as conference chairman, i often heard that this is the most difficult period in our history. no doubt, our challenges are many. but who could have imagined the many blessings we have.
how many of us would not even be here today, had our parents or grandparents not survived the holocaust? [applause] they of blessed memory could not have imagined this powerfully significant gathering. how different history might have been, had israel and aipac existed then. who could imagine? many of us remember when the attendance here was in the hundreds. who could have imagined that we would approach the 18,000 gathered here today? [applause] and who could have imagined israel's diplomatic standing on the world stage? the predictions of israel's isolation have been debunked. the conference of presidents has traveled around the world. and we have witnessed the embrace of israel's know-how, technology and innovation.
israel is indeed understood on every continent as a light unto the nations, a model and inspiration to many. [applause] i'm delighted that we're joined here by many representatives from the diplomatic community who are working together with america and israel to forge a better future for our world. and who would have imagined that following the american lead, we would see more and more countries signaling, as we heard yesterday, the inevitable move of the embassies to the capital of the state of israel, jerusalem. [applause] we thank president trump for his historic leadership in recognizing the centrality of jerusalem to the jewish state. [applause] we also commend the bold and courageous pronouncements of eu council president romanian prime
minister don cheila. [applause] and we thank president trump for his signing just a few hours ago the formal recognition of israel's control of the golan. [cheers and applause] in doing so, the president has addressed the reality on the ground, that the notion of the golan ever being in the dangerous and volatile hands of hezbollah, iran and other militias would be truly unimaginable. yet nothing can be taken for granted. as we have seen in recent weeks, even here in our own united states, voices will arise with baseless, age-old accusations, nefarious and unfounded of dual loyalty. my friends, we will not be
intimidated. [cheers and applause] we will double down. we will not fail to exercise our right and our duty as american citizens to advocate for this cause. [applause] israel is not only a jewish cause. it is an american cause. americans support israel because of shared values. israel and america are the staunchest of allies. and israel is an oasis of democracy and human rights in its region. [applause] there is no better way to combat pernicious stereotypes than by speaking out as american citizens. all of these hard to imagine outcomes do not just happen. they are the culmination of decades of tireless activism by generations of pro israel advocates like you. so let us rededicate ourselves to the important work ahead.
there are many challenges before us, but by being here in washington to meet our elected leaders in congress and to express appreciation, we have taken the single-most important step to addressing these threats head-on. together there is no limit to what we can accomplish. so once again, on behalf of the conference of presidents, thank you all for your friendship, your partnership and your continued dedication to our common mission. thank you. [applause] ♪ >> please welcome, freshman members of the house of representatives, elaine luria, dan crenshaw, susie lee, denver riggleman, david trone and tim bershet. [cheers and applause]
each of us believes that participating in our government is not just our responsibility. it's our calling. >> like elaine, i'm a veteran of the united states navy. [cheers and applause] i was a u.s. navy s.e.a.l. my experiences overseas have im imbewed in me a deep love to serve both this combat and congress. here on stage we have democrats and republicans coming together from virginia, texas, maryland, nevada and tennessee at a time when america needs it the most. we believe it is our mission to find common ground.
[applause] >> as a mother of two, i ran for office as an education advocate. committed to working with my colleagues to advance solutions that impact all of our children. foreign policy wasn't the focus of my campaign, but congress cannot neglect this issue or america's role in the world. i'm fortunate to have many great friends who are active in the las vegas aipac community. they helped underscore the importance of the u.s./israel relationship before i ran for office. [applause] >> i first traveled to israel in 1996 when the nation was in the midst of a series of terrorist bus bombings. that time i was serving in the united states air force.
and i -- [applause] and i never forgot the strength shown by the people i've met. all these years later, as i embarked on my campaign, i remain committed to a safe and secure israel. and i knew i had a -- [applause] and i knew i had an obligation to understand the issues impacting the region. for each of us here, the people of aipac offered themselves as a resource and a partner, and for that we say thank you. [applause] >> i have been to israel many times. my love for israel, u.s. relationship cannot be expressed in words alone.
i believe deeply, america is stronger because of its relationship with israel. [cheers and applause] but understanding israel and the relationship is best achieved firsthand. there's no comparison to seeing it and studying it for yourself. so even before we took the oath of office, we made a commitment. >> this past december, the six of us traveled to israeli together with aipac's education foundation. [cheers and applause] it was my first visit, but i can honestly say, there is nothing like seeing israel for yourself. [applause]
we visited jerusalem, tel aviv and everywhere in between. we saw homeland so central to my faith and others in a startup nation to central to all of our future. [applause] >> we met with military scholars, officials, journalists and israeli leaders from across the political spectrum. we had honest and real conversations about the issues impacting the region. we stood on israel's borders, looking into syria and lebanon. >> we traveled to the gaza strip. we met with families impacted by years of sustained rocket and terror attacks. we saw firsthand one of the tunnels being dug by hamas into israeli territory with the sole purpose of infiltrating israel and killing civilians. few of us can imagine what it is like living near these tunnels. we were proud that america and israel are working together to stop these rocket attacks and
destroy these tunnels. [applause] >> this trip was comprehensive. it gave us a wide-angle view of the challenges and the opportunities that israel and america have in the region. but the trip was more than just learning about israel. we learned about ourselves and became friends with one another. i love you, denver. >> i love you, susie. [applause] i do love her. [laughter] we forged relationships that will be crucial in finding common ground on this and other important issues facing our country. you gave us hope that the bipartisanship that exists here is possible everywhere.
[applause] >> so tomorrow when you go to capitol hill, know that you are doing the most american thing possible. [cheers and applause] you are using your voice and advocating for what you believe is right. >> and when you get home and you are once again bombarded with stories about how america is divided, how democrats and republicans don't work together, remember this picture and remember that you all made it possible. thank you all. [cheers and applause] ♪
announcer: the israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu was in the u.s. for meetings with president trump. the leaders met at the white house, where president trump signed a proclamation recognizing israel's sovereignty over the golan heights. the president also made the remarks about the release of the guatemala report. here's a look.