For Immediate Release: 
April 26, 2012
Contact Info: 

Katie Grant, 202-225-3130

WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) delivered remarks on the House Floor today in celebration of Yom Ha’atzmaut, Israel's Independence Day. Below are his remarks and a link to the video:

Click here to watch the video.

“Sixty four years ago, the State of Israel was born out from the hope of the generations and on the heels of history’s darkest human tragedy.  Notwithstanding the many grave challenges it has faced since that day and still in our time, Israel has achieved a thriving economy, a strong national defense, and an important role as a member of the family of nations.  Israel’s existence itself is a powerful symbol of the Jewish people’s resolve never again to permit its sons and daughters to face the threat of persecution or genocide. 

“On my many visits to Israel, I have witnessed the triumph of a dream – a beautiful dream that sustained the Jewish people for two thousand years and that has been fulfilled through the blossoming of a desert, the emergence of Israel’s high-tech economy, and the freedoms of speech, press, and religion for its citizens of every faith. 

“Israelis continue to impress the world with their achievements in business, technology, sports, the arts, and the defense of human rights.  They are even more remarkable when considering the very real dangers Israel faces in the form of terrorism, regional instability, and the threat from Iran. 

“For Americans, Israel’s peace and security has always been in our national interest.  And, as President Obama has made very clear, our countries will continue working closely together to prevent a nuclear Iran. 

“Not only do the United States and Israel share common interests; we also share the same values.  Democracy, equal opportunity, human rights, and a yearning for peace are the ideals we hold in our hearts – and together we have worked for sixty-four years to defend them and promote them. 

“On this anniversary of Israel’s independence, Americans continue to stand side-by-side with Israel as it pursues peace and security for its people. I pray for the peace of Israel and its people, and I know the strong bonds between our nations will endure for generations to come.”