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News, May 2011
Texts of AIPAC Speeches of the US House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and the House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer
May 22, 2011
AIPAC is the public headquarters and symbol of the Zionist control of the US government. It holds an annual conference, during which leaders of both parties in the US compete in pledging allegiance to the Zionist state of Israel, even if this contradicts with the US foreign policy as stated by the President of the United States.
This year, Zionist Israel-firesters, together with leading Democrats and Republicans competed during their speeches to side with the Israeli prime minister against President Barack Obama, in supporting Netanyahu in his tricks to justify the continuation of the Israeli occupation of Palestine, as well as his incitement against Arabs and Muslims.
Netanyahu's speech was a blue print and an instructional manual for Israel-firsters in Congress, media, and evangelical churches about how they can defend Israel in refusing to end the occupation, oppression, and subjugation of the Palestinian people. The focus on the Jewishness of the Zionist state has been the new ploy to block any peaceful resolution. Palestinians won't accept it because it means that the state of Israel is only for Jews. This means that there is no place for Palestinian Christians and Muslims in that state.
If anyone is still in doubt about how Israeli leaders control the US government, he or she needs to watch this festival of pledging allegiance to the Zionist state from both US Democrats and Republicans, Evangelical Christian Zionists, and of course from the Jewish-Zionist Israel-firesters.
Speech of the House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA)
TRANSCRIPT (As Prepared for Delivery)
It's great to be here. I'm really honored to be able to address you at the afternoon plenary of AIPAC's policy conference, the biggest ever.
As I look out, I see 10,000 people, young and old, who have come to Washington from around the country - not for personal enrichment or gain, not out of concern for your industries or businesses, but out of deep affection for a fellow democracy, Israel. We are all here because we know that America is at its best when it stands with allies that share our values.
Like many of you, I am the descendant of immigrants to America.
My grandparents came to this country nearly a century ago from Russia. They passed through New York harbor and the statue of liberty on the way to a better, freer life.
My grandmother was widowed at a young age. And she eventually made her home in a predominately African American section of Richmond, Virginia. She raised my father and my uncle in a tiny apartment above a grocery store that she owned.
Through hard work, perseverance and faith - the very values on which America is built - she lifted herself up into the middle class, and even sent her two children to college.
But never did she dare to dream that her grandson would someday be a Member of Congress, much less the Majority Leader of the U.S. House.
When I grew up, my parents were among the few Jews actively involved in local politics. From them, I learned the value of community involvement in shaping our future.
One of my most vivid memories as a child came on that fateful Yom Kippur Day in 1973. I was just 10 years old. I remember standing on the steps in front of the synagogue after services let out. I heard grown-ups around me talking about Israel being attacked on the holiest day of the calendar. I heard them recall what it was like to live as a Jew before Israel came into being. They feared that those days might return.
That experience was etched into my memory. It was only years later that I truly understood the critical role America can play in coming to the aid of a fellow democracy.
Visitors to our country often ask, "Why is it that America and Israel are so close?"
There are many answers to this question.
Yes, Israel is a critical pillar of U.S. national security.
Yes, Israel fights on the front line against radical Islam.
And yes, a strong Israel provides a more stable and hospitable Middle East for U.S. interests.
Our strategic ties to Israel are important. But there's something much deeper that binds our two nations. There's something that Americans identify with on a gut level - something I see every time Steny Hoyer and I take Members to Israel.
When Members of Congress stand on the shores of the Sea of Galilee; when we listen to the words of the Sermon on the Mount; and when we walk the Stations of the Cross, the names and places that people read about in their Sunday school studies come alive right before their eyes.
It is emotional. It is profound. And to our Christian brethren among us, we salute you and appreciate your solidarity and support.
Israel cherishes the values we do. Israel represents the triumph of the human spirit over impossible odds. Israel represents a fierce dedication to saving and improving life for all.
Israel's spirit lives through its people.
In 1942, a boy was slipped by his parents off a train bound for the gas chambers of Auschwitz. By a stroke of luck, a Catholic woman in a nearby Polish village took him in and hid him in her cupboard. After the war was finally over, that boy immigrated to Israel to begin a new life.
Today, his son, Dr. Ofer Merin, heads up the now-famous medical field hospital that travels the world in the wake of natural disasters.
Just three days after the earthquake in Haiti last year, Dr. Merin was there helping save lives. And this year, his unit treated the wounded in remote areas hardest hit by Japan's deadly tsunami.
No question, Israel joins America in leading the way to save lives and help feed the world.
Yet today the two-thousand-year-old dream of the state of Israel is in jeopardy. There is no other nation on earth so routinely denied its right to exist and threatened with destruction.
Recent developments in the region have moved Iran out of the headlines, but it is undeniable: the specter of a nuclear Iran looms larger than ever.
We must never take our eye off Iran. And that's why Congress will soon pass the bipartisan Iran Threat Reduction Act, making it official U.S. policy to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons capability.
Plain and simple, if you do business with Iran, you cannot do business with America.
Meanwhile, during this Arab Spring, we all hope that freedom will take a leap forward in the Middle East. And we will do everything we can to support institutions of democracy and civil society.
Yet the truth is, there is much uncertainty.
However, there is one thing for certain: America must do everything in its power to keep Israel strong and secure.
The longstanding anti-Israel, anti-Semitic vitriol persists. But the world must no longer turn a deaf ear. It's time for America to lead.
To the emerging governments of the Middle East, America must clearly state:
It is not okay to vilify Israel.
It is not okay to demonize Jews.
And it's time to stop scapegoating Israel.
Nearly 7,000 miles away, Israel fights the same war we do. We share a common enemy in Iran and its terrorist proxies who seek nuclear weapons.
So, my message to you this afternoon is this: If Israel goes, we all go.
In order for us to win this great struggle, we must have the courage to see the world not as we wish it to be, but as it truly is.
It is not morally equivalent when the offenses of terrorists are equated with the defenses of Israel.
The following story illustrates Israel's dilemma.
A Palestinian woman from Gaza arrives at Soroka Hospital in Beersheba for lifesaving skin treatment for burns over half her body. After the conclusion of her extensive treatment, the woman is invited back for follow-up visits to the outpatient clinic. One day she is caught at the border crossing wearing a suicide belt. Her intention? To blow herself up at the same clinic that saved her life.
What kind of culture leads one to do that?
Sadly, it is a culture infused with resentment and hatred.
It is this culture that underlies the Palestinians' and the broader Arab world's refusal to accept Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state.
This is the root of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. It is not about the '67 lines.
And until Israel's enemies come to terms with this reality, a true peace will be impossible.\
And the reality, as we say in Hebrew, is "Ahm Yisrael Chai: The people of Israel live. And what they want is to live in peace.
If the Palestinians want to live in peace in a state of their own, they must demonstrate that they are worthy of a state.
To Mr. Abbas, I say:
Stop the incitement in your media and your schools.
Stop naming public squares and athletic teams after suicide bombers.
And come to the negotiating table when you have prepared your people to forego hatred and renounce terrorism - and Israel will embrace you.
Until that day, there can be no peace with Hamas. Peace at any price isn't peace; it's surrender.
All of us here today are heirs to a rich tradition of Zionism that has its roots in America's founding.
The colonists, including Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, saw themselves as a New Israel crossing to the Promised Land.
I have the great privilege of holding James Madison's seat in the Congress. He spent a year at Princeton learning to speak Hebrew.
Like many others, John Adams marveled at the prospect of "a hundred thousand Israelites" returning to the Land of Israel and creating an "independent nation" in their ancestral and religious homeland.
One hundred ninety years later, Adams's vision has been realized. Never before in the history of mankind have a people, forcibly removed from their land for thousands of years, returned - just as the Bible promised.
In this time of extraordinary challenge for Israel and for America, we simply cannot afford to become complacent. We must rise to the challenge before us and shape history.
Israel deserves America's friendship in reality - not just in rhetoric. Words and promises come and go.
Only deeds count.
There is a time for talk; but now is the time for action.
There is a time for dreaming; but now is the time for doing.
There is a time for following; but now is the time to lead--from the front.
For the survival of Israel, for the security of America and peace of the world, now is that time and right here is the place to begin.
Speech of the House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD)
May 22, 2011
Eric, it's so good to be in this small group of friends. I am pleased to be here with all of you. I'm pleased to be here with my friend and colleague and partner, Eric Cantor, the majority leader.
Frankly, I'd like to trade titles with him, but notwithstanding that, our partnership is a good one. Howard Friedman, you noticed, he is my good friend. A little hyperbole never hurts. Lee Rosenberg, your president, who does such an extraordinary job of leadership; Michael Kassen, your president-elect; Howard Kohr, your extraordinary executive director; my good friends Jeff Snyder and David Cordish, who are from my own state; and of course, Shelley Berkley and there are a lot of colleagues here, but Shelley's right up front as always. And to Mike Oren, an extraordinary ambassador who just rightfully received a standing ovation.
The most remarkable journeys are often those we begin with a destination far from clear. That's the case of one of the most remarkable journeys ever recorded -- Abraham's journey to which the Jewish people traces its origin. Abraham was told only this, "Get up, leave your country, your people, and your father's house and go to the land I will show you." In other words, leave behind everything you know, take only what you can carry and walk by faith to a place you have never seen. That place, of course, because Israel. That man became the ancestor claimed by three great faiths. And it would have never happened if he had chosen to stay safe among what he knew, or if he demanded certainty about where he was going.
The great journeys, the ones that are told and retold never come with certainly. And that has been just as true of the life of the nation that in our own time grew on that land. Israel has rarely, if ever, known the certainty that other states know. In years like 1948, 1967, its very survival was in doubt. But Israel prevailed, survived, and yes, even thrived. And it must continue to do so.
In 1978, at Camp David, there was grave doubt that Israel and an Arab neighbor could ever make peace. But a critical peace was made. And today, this new era of Middle Eastern turmoil, the so-called Arab Spring is also an era of deep uncertainty. An era in which, try as we might to look into the future, so very little comes clear. But I am here secure in this faith. Israel will prevail and endure.
In times of uncertain and death, when we are called to leave the world we know, we hold on to all the more strongly to those things in our lives that are certain. Those things that are lasting, unshakable and true. That's true of men and women, and it's true of nations. And in the life of the state of Israel, we know of at least one fact that is and has always been certain -- its friendship with the United States of America.
That friendship has endured -- -- that friendship endured in peace as well as in war. It has lasted through 12 presidencies and 60 years of political change in the Congress and in the Knesset. It has endured differences and disagreements and has, in fact, been strengthened throughout those years. And we are here today to re-infirm it. Not only between ourselves, but to all the world as well. Our friendship is so certain because it is based on two pillars of shared interest and shared ideas.
As to interests, Israel and American [sic] strengthen one another by building on one another's economic innovations, by sharing intelligence and training, to keep our people safe from common global threats, and by fighting the scourge of terrorism and hatred. But just as importantly, shared ideals -- shared ideals when Americans look at Israel, we see a nation founded on the principles that have given our own nation life for more than two centuries.
Israel's declaration of independence expresses those ideals eloquently. And I quote, "The state of Israel will be based on freedom, justice and peace and envisaged by the prophets of Israel. It will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all of its inhabitants, irrespective of religion, race or sex." It goes on to say that it will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture. It goes on and concludes it will safeguard the holy places of all religions.
I have seen Israel in times of celebration and times of sorrow, in times of confidence and times of doubt. But one lesson has been constant. Israelis are a people of deep reverence for the land of Israel and an extraordinary willingness and courage to serve its cause. Israelis can teach all of us what it means to love country and to risk all for its survival and success. I told Tzipi Livni that I would be visiting for the 12th time Israel this summer. And I know that I'll -- -- and in fact, I've had a number of people who are telling me they are going to visit with me. And we're glad to be with them.
I know that I will be traveling to a nation deeply unsure of what the future holds. Across the Middle East, we are witnessing convulsive change. And if we've learned anything, we've learned this. History never plays out with the sureness of history books. Its transformations can be chaotic and often frightening and dangerous. However, they can also be full of hope and apprehension in equal measure. We have seen the bravery of a young generation risking its life for universal freedoms. We've heard words like these from a protestor in Tahrir Square. He said this: "I'm here because everyone needs to feel like a free human being." That of course is what Israel provides alone in that quadrant of the world.
What an example Israel can be for those who seek to establish freedom and democracy in their own lands. However, we've also seen that bravery gunned down, over long nights of brutal repression in Damascus, Daraa and Benghazi from some quarters. We hear bright promises of a new era of Arab democracy. From others, we hear prudent warnings that extremism and radicalism love a vacuum of power. There is hope the regimes across the Middle East will be pressured to attend more closely to their people's grievances rather than using Israel as a convenient scapegoat.
There is also -- -- there is however also fear that despots will turn again to that scapegoating as they struggle to cling to power. What Prime Minister Netanyahu said of the uprising in Egypt holds true across the Middle East. Netanyahu said, "No one knows what the future will bring. Changing the status quo can definitely lead to a better outcome." This happened, he observed, two decades ago in Berlin, in Prague, in Bucharest. But he went on to say that change can also lead to worse outcomes -- worse for freedom, worse for human rights and worse for peace.
But as the leaders of our nations watch this unfolding history with a wary eye, we make this firm commitment to do everything in our power to ensure the security, safety and sovereignty of the state of Israel.
To ensure the survival of democracy in a region where its survival has always been at risk, where its light has shown all the more brightly for shining so often alone. The United States must maintain its commitment to the U.S.-Israeli Memorandum of Understanding, and to ensure that Israel's security -- -- and to ensure that Israel's security funding is provided in full. Eric Cantor and I have pledged to work together to achieve that end.
And the world must know this as well. As they saw the United States respond to the threats to citizens in Benghazi, surely they must be confident that the United States will respond in kind to any threatened assault on the people -- our brothers and sisters in Israel.
At a time when Iran's nuclear ambitions threaten the safety of all Israelis and the stability of the entire region and indeed the world, we must stand firm against the Tehran regime's nuclear pursuit. We must continue -- -- we must continue to stand by the strong sanctions and diplomatic pressure that are holding that dangerous threat back. President Obama takes that threat with the seriousness it deserves. He has resolutely led the global effort to stop it. And that effort must be successful. And I know Bill Daley, the chief of staff, will focus on that issue. Bill Daley, thank you very much for your leadership in that effort.
We must continue to remind the world of the disastrous global implications of a nuclear armed Iran and we must ramp up the pressure to prevent that outcome. And even at a time when the future of the peace process looks as uncertain as it has ever been, let us reassert our faith that there is only one just and secure outcome for Israelis and for Palestinians alike -- a future of two states for two peoples -- one, a homeland for the Jewish people, the other, a homeland for the Palestinian people, both living in peace and security with one another.
And if that peace and security are to exist, Israel's borders must be defensible and must reflect reality on the ground. The reconciliation of Hamas with Fatah puts the future in doubt to the detriment of the Palestinian people. But in the face of those who put their faith in violence, along with those who seek a peace that is imposed from outside, let us make this clear. Peace can only be achieved by a return to the negotiating table without preconditions.
I believe in Palestinian statehood. But I stand strongly against a solution that is either declared, either unilaterally or by an international body. Peace cannot be imposed. It must be negotiated. Ladies and gentlemen, we must speak with crystal clarity that we will not compromise or temporize with an alliance that includes terrorists and international criminals. That principle is enshrined in U.S. law, which I was proud to support. And in accordance with that law, we will not fund a government that fails to accept previous agreements and recognize the Jewish state of Israel's right to exist.
Robert Kennedy said to a group of students in South Africa, "Our future may lie beyond our vision, but it is not completely beyond our control." And he added, "It is the shaping impulse of America that neither fate nor time, nor the irresistible tides of history, but the work of our own hands matched to reason and principle that will determine our destiny."
Today, as then, the future is beyond our vision but let us meet it with confidence and resolve. When we are called to leave behind what we know, let us go bravely and willingly. Let's go with faith that the lasting things we carry with us will be more than enough to sustain us. Let us go with the conviction and in times like these are born the qualities of vigilance, public spirited, fidelity to purpose and principle, conviction and courage that make nations lastingly great. Israel is such a nation. America is such a nation. Together we are better.
While what tomorrow brings may be uncertain, let us confront those tomorrows with the certainty of our own immutable bond. Together, Israel and the United States have represented and fought to sustain the values for which so many in the Arab world now strive. Let us neither delude ourselves about the evil that exists in the hearts of too many, nor be dissuaded from responding to the good in the hearts of others. In these times, we come together as friends of Israel to share our apprehensions and our hopes, to share our predictions, our insights, our analysis, to discuss and debate, to do the work that is the heart of democracy and the secret of democracy's success.
And in these times of great flux, we can count on at least this blessing: What is certain, what is lasting, what is true stand out all the more brightly. And first among those facts is the unbreakable bond between our two nations. And from a foundation so strong and so deeply rooted, there is nothing we cannot endure together, nothing we cannot accomplish together. May God continue to bless the state of Israel and United States of America. Thank you very much.
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