WASHINGTON, DC - House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement in commemoration of Yom Ha'atzmaut, Israel's Independence Day, which began at sundown Monday night and continues today:
"Today, on Yom Ha'atzmaut, I want to congratulate both Israeli citizens and the Jewish community on the 59th anniversary of Israel's independence. Since 1948, Israel has served as a bastion of democracy and been a true friend and ally to the United States.
"On this day, we renew our solidarity with Israel's cause of freedom and democracy. Israelis have the right to live in peace, and it is clear that the safety and security of Israel has ramifications far past its borders. We must continue our efforts to create a permanent peace that will result in a secure Israel and a more secure world.
"Israel, like the United States, is a nation of immigrants, founded on the tenets of freedom and the rule of law. Based on these shared political and moral values, the United States and Israel have a unique relationship that has only strengthened over time.
"For 59 years, the United States and Israel have stood together, working for the advancement of liberty, freedom, and democracy. President Kennedy's words from 45 years ago are as true today as they were then: 'We will never turn our back on our steadfast friends in Israel, whose adherence to the democratic way must be admired by all friends of democracy.' The U.S.-Israel relationship shall endure for many years to come."