[Pages H8046-H8050]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]


  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under the Speaker's announced policy of 
January 3, 2019, the gentlewoman from Washington (Mrs. Rodgers) is 
recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the minority leader.
  Mrs. RODGERS of Washington. Mr. Speaker, I thank everyone for joining 
me tonight on this Special Order.
  In August, my colleagues and I traveled to Israel with the United 
States-Israel Education Association, and tonight we wanted to share 
with you about our trip. I am joined by Bradley Byrne from Alabama, Ann 
Wagner from Missouri, and Dr. Phil Roe from Tennessee.
  Through the years, the USIEA has led Members of Congress behind the 
Green Line, so into the West Bank, in Judea and Samaria.
  Tonight we wanted to share with you some of what we saw, what we 
learned, witnessing the economic cooperation and integrated businesses 
between Palestinian and Israeli business leaders. It is really an 
untold story. It is an untold story, one that includes the story of 
hope and opportunity.
  For me, it was my first trip to Israel since being named the United 
States Representative to the U.N., and it renewed my strong commitment 
to ensure that America remains a bipartisan, steadfast, and staunch 
supporter of Israel.
  Tonight we are going to get started with my friend and colleague from 
Alabama, Bradley Byrne, to share about the trip.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from Alabama (Mr. Byrne).
  Mr. BYRNE. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman from Washington (Mrs. 
Rodgers) both for giving me this time, but also for her leadership on 
this and other issues.
  Mr. Speaker, beside me is a photograph of myself; Avi Zimmerman, who 
is the head of the Judea and Samaria Chamber of Commerce, an Israeli 
Jew; Sheik Ashraf Jabari, a Palestinian businessman; the gentlewoman 
from Washington (Mrs. Rodgers); the gentlewoman from Missouri (Mrs. 
Wagner); and the gentleman from Tennessee (Mr. David P. Roe).
  Mrs. Wagner and Dr. Roe joined Mrs. McMorris Rodgers and me on this 
incredible trip. We are standing in the Sheik's home in Hebron. The 
Sheik is a former security adviser to the Palestinian Authority, an 
incredible businessman.
  Now, before I get back to that meeting, I want to make sure that we 
begin to make clear to everybody in America that much of what we have 
learned or believed we have learned about what is going on in Israel 
between Israelis and Palestinians is not true.
  What we learned, both from Sheik Jabari and from others, is that 
something new and exciting is happening between the Israelis and the 
Palestinians in Israel.
  There is this idea out there that the Israelis and the Palestinians 
have been fighting one another for years. That is not true.
  The truth of the matter is, after the Romans expelled most of the 
Jews from Israel in the first and second century AD, there remained a 
small number of Jews in what was known as Israel and then later on as 
the Province of Palestine. Then over the years, some would creep back 
in, but there was a relatively small number of Jews in that land, and 
they lived in peace with their Arab neighbors.
  It wasn't until the 20th century, when large numbers of Jews began to 
move into that area from Europe and the U.S. and other places, that we 
began to see some clashes between the Arabs that lived in that area and 
the Jews that were moving there.
  In 1948, when Israel proclaimed itself to be a State, there was an 
unfortunate war between them, their Arab neighbors, and many of the 
Arab countries that surrounded them.
  As a result of that, a State was formed with true territories, but 
there was a problem between Israel and Jordan, which was one of the 
countries that they fought, and in order to decide who lived where, 
they took a green pen and wrote on a map a line, and it was called the 
Green Line. Jordan existed, or had control, on the east side of that 
Green Line, Israel on the west.
  A second unfortunate war occurred in 1967, the Six-Day War, which 
many of us remember. As a result of that war, Israel was able to take 
control of all of the area that is now within Israel on the east side 
of the Green Line.
  Those two wars and what came out of them is where a lot of the 
problems between the Palestinians and the Israelis started. It is not 
ancient, it is not built into their genes. It is not something that 
can't be overcome.
  So let me go back to this picture. Avi Zimmerman, as I said, is an 
Israeli Jew, and Sheik Jabari is a Palestinian Muslim standing next to 
one another in his home in Hebron.
  We actually heard from them and other Israelis and other Palestinians 
about their desires and their efforts to work together in business and 
industry and economics. It is bringing people together.
  The day before we visited the Sheik, we were in a town in the 
northern part of Israel--in what Israel calls Samaria--called Ariel. In 
Ariel, there are two parts, two industrial parts, that have 209 
different manufacturing companies in them. Most of the people working 
in those manufacturing factories are Palestinians, and they make on 
average four times as much as they could make if they were working 
somewhere else in what we, unfortunately, call the West Bank, but is 
really not the West Bank.
  It is good for those Palestinians to make that much money. It is good 
for them to be able to take advantage of the miracle of the Israeli 
economy. Giving them that opportunity so that they can have a better 
life for themselves and their families is hope.
  Sheik Jabari and what he is trying to do is hope.
  What the people in Israel need more than anything else is hope.
  Perhaps our struggles over the last 20 years to create a two-state 
solution there has blinded us from the fact that this is really about 
people. It is not about lines drawn on a piece of paper that we can't 
seem to get a resolution to.

                              {time}  1815

  Those people, if they are allowed to live and work together as they 
want to, maybe they will find peace on their own without some push from 
the rest of us, which seems to be getting us nowhere.

[[Page H8047]]

  At any rate, I hope that we, in this country, and we, in this 
Congress, can do everything in our power to help these good people grow 
economically in their businesses, but also find that peace that only 
people-to-people actions can find for us all.
  I thank the gentlewoman, and I am looking forward to hearing the rest 
of this Special Order.
  Mrs. RODGERS of Washington. Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentlewoman 
from Missouri (Mrs. Wagner).
  Mrs. WAGNER. Mr. Speaker, I thank my very dear friend and colleague, 
Cathy McMorris Rodgers from the great State of Washington, for leading 
our delegation, for putting this Special Order together this evening, 
and for including all of us--Dr. Phil Roe from Tennessee, my good 
friend Bradley Byrne from Alabama, and there have been others--who have 
made this journey with the U.S. Israel Education Association from both 
the Senate and the U.S. House.
  It is just so marvelous to stand in support of the U.S.-Israel 
relationship, a decades-long partnership that underpins security in the 
Middle East and promotes democratic flourishing throughout the entire 
region at a time, sadly, of heightened anti-Semitism that we are seeing 
across the globe. It is more important than ever that we maintain this 
strong connection to this very, very key ally of ours in Israel.
  Israel is deeply invested in achieving peace in the Middle East, and 
so is the United States of America. We will always, all of us, stand 
collectively with Israel as they work toward the achievement of this 
  As my good friend Bradley Byrne from the great State of Alabama 
expressed, in August, we traveled as a delegation and had the 
opportunity to go to Israel with the U.S. Israel Education Association 
and my colleagues. We saw firsthand Israelis and Palestinians working 
together to promote peace and harmony.
  We visited the capital of Samaria, which Bradley Byrne talked about, 
which was Ariel, a town where we saw Palestinians and Israelis working 
together in a true, integrated business fashion. We spoke to both Jews 
and Arabs who yearn for peace and prosperity for the region.
  We explored an industrial park that has upwards of 200 businesses 
where Palestinians were, indeed, working alongside Israelis. We spoke 
with those employees. Many of the Palestinians told us that they were 
making somewhere between three and four times what they would otherwise 
earn if they didn't have this opportunity to have the integrated 
business that we saw going on in Ariel.
  To provide for their families, and live in peace and harmony, they 
were standing up to what I would call strong, divisive forces that seek 
to vilify Israel and undermine its credibility as a force for peace.
  Yet, it is clear that both sides want to find a solution to the 
bloodshed and to the hate. People-to-people connections--and my friend 
Congressman Byrne said it so clearly and eloquently--between the 
Israelis and Palestinians are building blocks of the entire peace 
process. I am confident that both communities are working together to 
improve a mutual understanding and expand economic prospects for all 
  We did so many things in the area of defense, our common defense with 
Israel, getting to see some of the amazing work that the Israeli 
defense organization, working in conjunction with the United States of 
America, was able to do, especially when it came to the Arrow-3 test 
that we saw, which was just so fantastic. It just happened this last 
July. That would take out a long-range ballistic missile and keep us 
all safe.
  We also got to meet with Prime Minister Netanyahu. We had a long 
discussion about the West Bank and about the time that we spent there 
inside the West Bank, watching Israelis and Palestinians working 
together in this integrated fashion. I asked the Prime Minister: Wow, 
so many of the myths have been debunked. I want to go back with this 
information, talk to my colleagues, and talk to my constituents. What 
should we say?
  The Prime Minister said: Tell their truth.
  I will also say this: With Iran working to destabilize the region and 
threaten Israel through dangerous terrorist proxies that we have seen 
in Hezbollah and Hamas, it is essential that we stand together with our 
ally. I am committed, and I know that we all are, to protecting our 
critical relationship and strengthening the ties between the United 
States and Israel.
  I also find it especially concerning that anti-Israeli actors are 
seeking to delegitimize and isolate the State of Israel through the 
Boycott Divestment and Sanctions, or BDS. I was very proud to introduce 
legislation, H. Res. 246, with Representatives Schneider, Zeldin, and 
Nadler, a true bipartisan effort that expresses Congress' strong 
support for Israel and condemns the BDS movement.
  I am happy to say that H. Res. 246 has been agreed to in the House 
with a vote of 398 in support. I hope this sends a clear message of 
support to the people of Israel and also to those who would maybe seek 
to undermine it.
  We, in Congress, stand with Israel. We will continue to work to 
strengthen and deepen ties between our nations.
  I am just so pleased that I had this incredible opportunity to see 
business, peace, prosperity, hope, and real people who found their 
humanity and want to live together in peace and harmony. To be with 
these good people and to be on this journey that was one of policy, one 
of defense, it was also a spiritual journey that I think lifted us all 
up, heartened us, and strengthened us.
  Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman from Washington State, my dear 
friend, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, for leading us in this journey and for 
her continued leadership in the work that we are going to do to promote 
integrated business.
  I look forward to her comments and those of Dr. Phil Roe. I am so 
grateful to USIEA for this tremendous opportunity.
  Mrs. RODGERS of Washington. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman from 
Missouri. I thought she said it so well. It really is an untold story. 
It is a story of opportunity, and it is a story of hope that, 
unfortunately, isn't being told right now.
  This needs to be part of the peace plan. We need to have and 
encourage that economic cooperation between the Israelis and the 
Palestinian business leaders. We saw it, the Judea and Samaria Chamber 
of Commerce coming together and, in the last 2 years, creating jobs, 
creating opportunities, and giving people hope.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from Tennessee (Mr. David P. 
  Mr. DAVID P. ROE of Tennessee. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman 
for yielding.
  It was, indeed, a privilege to be on the trip with the group. It was 
a great group.
  I also thank our leader, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, for keeping a stiff 
upper lip when her clothes didn't get there for a few days.
  I was in Israel 10 years ago, so this was my first trip back in 10 
years. I saw a dramatic change in that country.
  I grew up on a farm, so I am very, very interested in the agriculture 
in that country. One of the things that I saw that had changed in that 
country was they had developed the ability to desalinate seawater. 
Sixty percent of the water that they get in that country now is 
desalinated seawater. They are able to take a desert and actually 
sustain a fairly substantial population on it.
  When we visited the Sea of Galilee in Tiberias, I also noticed that 
the Sea of Galilee was up since the last time I was there. It had 
actually come up. It had a wet winter.
  Up on the Golan, which overlooks the Sea of Galilee, which the 
Israelis captured in the 1967 war, that is one of the best agricultural 
areas in the Middle East, probably. Let us not forget that it is still 
a very dangerous piece of real estate.
  Most people don't realize how small that country actually is. There 
are places in Israel from the Green Line. That is the fence separating 
the Palestinian Authority and Israel. It is 9 miles. One of the 
officials there laughingly said that when President George Bush was 
there, he said: We have driveways in Texas longer than that.
  He is almost right. You don't appreciate how small that country is 
and what they have been able to accomplish.
  From an economic standpoint, I am a former mayor, and one of the 
things as

[[Page H8048]]

a mayor that you do is try to develop and sell your city and develop 
businesses in that city. What I saw was the Judea and Samaria Chamber 
of Commerce did not exist when I was there 10 years ago. It is very 
new, 18 months old. I am going to introduce them to our Chamber of 
Commerce in the U.S. so that they can get together.
  You saw people--not nations, but people--working together to make 
life better for their community. This is their home, and they want 
their home to be as safe and good as it can be.
  I want to say this about Mr. Jaber. He is a very brave man. I told 
him that not everybody agrees with what he is doing in this, and he did 
not care. He represented a large family in that region, in Hebron, 
where he is and where his family resides.
  What they want is they want freedom. They want the ability to work. 
They want the ability to worship like anybody else wants. They want the 
same things you and I do.
  In this piece of real estate, there are a lot of bad actors there. If 
you go down to the Gaza Strip, it is the poverty that is there.
  By the way, we know that in southern Lebanon, where Hezbollah and 
Islamic Jihad and other terrorist groups live, Iran is funding those. 
Israel has to deal with that.
  We made a trip to Golan Heights. We looked and could see a very green 
Israel where it had been farmed and irrigated, and we saw a very 
desolate looking Syria, where there has been a war for over 10 years. 
Five hundred thousand people, the population of Washington, D.C., had 
been killed there during that civil war. It is really incredibly sad.
  I think one of the things I looked at was how you defend them. I am 
an old second infantry guy in the Army, so how do you defend this real 
  We had an opportunity to meet with some of the Israeli officials, and 
they showed us their defense systems. Every new home in that country 
built since 1998, I believe, has to have a safe room, so a room that 
has reinforced concrete, rebar, that you can get your family in almost 
  We take these liberties and freedoms that we have for granted in this 
country, where we are safe to go wherever we want to go and drive where 
we want to. We saw roads in areas that are marked A, B, and C. In A 
area, a Jew cannot go there. You are not allowed to go there.
  We have, in this country, been free for a third century, and we don't 
appreciate that as much as when you go to a place like that and realize 
you can't go exactly where you want to. There is always a worry when 
you are on the beach or out at dinner or at a restaurant with your 
family: Is this going to be the night that a terrorist attack occurs?
  There was much improvement from 10 years ago.
  With the gentlewoman from Missouri, who I hope to get to see next 
week in Missouri when I visit there, we visited with her family and got 
to see some of the most amazing sights. From my standpoint as a 
Christian, it was incredibly uplifting to me to walk on the steps where 
Jesus walked, to be able to see where Abraham, perhaps, almost 
sacrificed Jacob.
  We saw a lot of those areas that we read about but had never really 
seen them. It really brought the Bible to life for me. That was really 
  Meeting with the Prime Minister, he spent an enormous amount of time, 
considering what was on his plate--an election. He had that on his 
plate, but he was very generous with his time.

                              {time}  1830

  He spent a lot of time considering what was on his plate: an 
election. He had that on his plate, but he was very generous with his 
time. I remember asking him, I said: What keeps you up at night? What 
wakes you up?
  And it didn't take him 2 seconds. He said: The red phone, because 
there is almost not a night that he is not dealing with something 
incredibly serious in that small country.
  So I wish them well, and I certainly would encourage others to study 
this part of the country. It is an amazing country.
  I will say this: There for thousands of years. And we saw artifacts 
and buildings that were thousands of years old. We think of our country 
being 300 years old or 400 years old, and this area is thousands of 
years old. So anything that you dig in Jerusalem, especially, you are 
going to find something when you dig under the ground that has been 
there for many years.
  Mrs. RODGERS of Washington. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for 
his comments. That was great to hear.
  I often tell people, everyone should go to Israel. There really is no 
other place like it in all of the world. And it is at the center of 
history from a Biblical perspective, the history, but today, so much of 
what is happening in the world is centered on what is going on in 
Israel. So it was great to be able to return to Israel for me.
  I have traveled with the U.S. Israel Education Association before, 
and I am grateful for them leading these trips, especially behind the 
Green Line into Judea and Samaria, and taking Members of Congress, 
House and Senate, Republicans and Democrats, to be able to see it for 
themselves. It really is important.
  We spent a couple of days beyond the Green Line, so that is in the 
West Bank, and we were witnessing amazing cooperation between the 
Palestinians and the Israelis. I feel like, for me, it is the untold 
story, and it is a story about opportunity. It doesn't always make the 
headlines or the news, the cable news. It is a story of hope at a time 
when too many despair.
  So I think the gentlewoman mentioned we went to the city of Ariel. 
Ariel is the capital of Samaria. It is a city right now that is booming 
with housing, shopping centers, more jobs. We went to Ariel University. 
It is the newest university in Israel. It is a leader in science and 
  I was especially impressed with the program that they had for those 
with autism, giving those with autism an opportunity to earn a degree. 
They are also building a new medical school.
  Ariel University is a leading model, where Jews, Arabs, and diverse 
students from across Israel come to study and to learn together, to 
build that opportunity for a better life.
  Down the road from Ariel University, we toured the business park. 
There was a large business park. We toured one factory that is 
processing 50 tons of tahini a day, and they want to double that very 
  In that town is where we saw the Israelis and the Palestinians 
working together. We saw neighborhoods where they are living together 
with equal opportunities, equal pay, equal benefits.
  The waiting list to get a job is over 1,000 people long. And why is 
that? Because they are going to make three to four times what they 
could make anywhere else that is controlled by the Palestinian 
  Now, everything that comes out of that business park is considered 
BDS. So why would Palestinians want to risk working at a place that 
everything is going to be stamped ``BDS''--and that is actually against 
the law. It is because they want to be able to provide for their 
families and live a full life.
  So one Palestinian employee in Ariel said this: ``All the people I 
know in the factory or outside it, they believe that the commercial 
progress will bring stability, a comfortable life.
  ``Why not work together in peace? You can see good examples of 
friendship and peace here.
  ``In the territories that are under the control of the Palestinian 
Authorities in the West Bank, we don't have factories like this 
factory. If you want to work in a factory over there, you will not get 
the salary we get here. It's not enough for the necessity of life.
  ``Here, we get a comfortable and respectable salary.''
  That is the reality on the ground in the West Bank. Jews and Arabs 
from Israel and Palestine are working and living together today in 
  I was reminded again that it is the opportunity: It is the 
opportunity for a good-paying job. It is the chance for your children 
to get a good education.
  It is the desire for hope, peace, and security that drives all of us. 
It really is foundational for every person, no matter their background 
or their walk of life.
  I was also reminded of this in Hebron. And in Hebron, we did make 
history. That picture was the first time that a group of Members of 
Congress had traveled to a Palestinian business leader's home, Ashraf 
Jabari, and he warmly invited us into his home. He told us that he 
wants to be a partner

[[Page H8049]]

for peace with America in the Middle East.
  Mrs. WAGNER. Will the gentlewoman yield?
  Mrs. RODGERS of Washington. I yield to the gentlewoman from Missouri.
  Mrs. WAGNER. Mr. Speaker, we hope that he would be coming along with 
the Judea and Samaria Chamber of Commerce to the United States to also 
tell their story to Congress and to our other colleagues. Mr. Jabari 
welcomed us into his home, and we can't wait to welcome the sheikh here 
to tell this great story of partnership and integrated business and 
working together.
  Mrs. RODGERS of Washington. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman.
  This picture is a picture of the leaders of the Judea and Samaria 
Chamber of Commerce. There are 150 Israeli business leaders and 150 
Palestinian business leaders coming together. They formed the Judea and 
Samaria Chamber of Commerce 2 years ago, and, yes, we want to invite 
them to come to Capitol Hill, to visit with Members of Congress, to 
tell their story, because it is an untold story, and it needs to be 

  They believe that this has to be part of the peace solution. It is 
the bottom-up grassroots movement where people are living together, 
working together, and they are doing it. And that is the way that we 
are going to build peace. So it was really encouraging to see that 
economic activity.
  One of the things that I remember Ashraf saying was:

       Our truth and our reality is that the Palestinians and the 
     Israelis work together. We want to show the world that 

  So that is why we are excited about them coming and being able to 
host them here in Congress and being able to introduce them and have 
them tell their story.
  Mrs. WAGNER. Mr. Speaker, ``tell their truth'' is what the Prime 
Minister said. That is so important. We look forward to it.
  Mrs. RODGERS of Washington. Mr. Speaker, another aspect of this does 
deal with the BDS movement, the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions 
movement that we see right now. It has a goal of delegitimizing Israel.
  We heard from the factory workers, the business leaders like Ashraf, 
and the Judea and Samaria Chamber of Commerce. We saw a different story 
where they are really working together in peace, and that economic 
relationship must be foundational to peace.
  For the Palestinians and the Israelis, though, BDS is going to 
threaten it. Both the Palestinian business leaders as well as the 
Palestinian workers told us that BDS actually hurts them more than the 
Israelis because, for the first time, they have an opportunity for a 
really good-paying job, to be able to provide for their families, to be 
able to make sure that their kids are getting a good education. That is 
their dream. That is what gives them hope.
  So it hurts them. It hurts their ability to work, to provide for 
their families. They want economic freedom, not boycotts. And this 
desire is overwhelming.
  That is why I am proud of the leadership of my colleague, the 
gentlewoman from Missouri, Ann Wagner, in leading the resolution that 
passed here on the House floor, overwhelmingly, a statement that we do 
not stand for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, BDS, that this is 
actually going to work against peace.
  What we saw, what we witnessed, that is the foundation for peace and 
must be a part of any of the peace plan moving forward.
  So I believe that, as America continues to influence and encourage 
this kind of grassroots movement, we are going to see growing economic 
opportunity that is foundational, that is vital for Israel's future, 
but also for the Palestinian people.
  Israel is our greatest ally, our greatest friend in the Middle East. 
They are also vital for America. So I am going to be encouraging, and I 
know my fellow colleagues who traveled with me, we are going to be 
talking to the administration and Jared Kushner about the peace plan 
that is being developed right now and urging them to include, in any 
kind of a peace plan, this economic cooperation and America standing in 
support of this bottom-up grassroots approach that really makes a 
difference in people's lives.
  Mrs. WAGNER. Mr. Speaker, if I could add one thing while we are 
having this colloquy in this terrific Special Order, we were all 
grateful for the opportunity that USIEA gave us.
  I want to thank--I think we all want to thank--Heather Johnston for 
her leadership. Thanks to General Krulak for his leadership and their 
entire team that made this experience possible, that has worked so 
diligently and so fervently to bring peace to Israel, to put forward 
the peace process through things like integrated business, to recognize 
the strong defense ally and partnership that we have with Israel, and 
that some $3.3 million of U.S. taxpayer funds that we share jointly 
with Israel in order to lift up their defense system so that we are all 
safe in this world and, certainly, in this delicate part of the Middle 
  So I want to thank those leaders of USIEA and, again, the gentlewoman 
from Washington for bringing us on this tremendous journey. We hope to 
share it with many others.
  Mrs. RODGERS of Washington. Mr. Speaker, I completely agree. That is 
a good point. A big thank-you to Heather Johnston, who led, and General 
Krulak, former Commandant of the Marine Corps, Joint Chiefs of Staff, 
who is helping encourage this economic, integrated business approach.
  We also got to, as the gentlewoman said, see Arrow 3. Also traveling 
with us was Ari Sacher, who led the whole Iron Dome.
  I always take pleasure in noting that, under his leadership, Israel 
was able to develop Iron Dome in less than 3 years, under budget. That 
is something we could take note of. And it is working, and they are 
using it today and every day.
  Mr. DAVID P. ROE of Tennessee. Mr. Speaker, just to continue with Mr. 
Jabari, to put this in perspective for people. He worked for the 
Palestinian Authority for over 10 years as one of their security 
people. He saw it was not working.
  He pointed out, when we were in his home: We had a 4-year election 15 
years ago. This term of the leadership was supposed to be for 4 years, 
and that was 15 years ago.
  So they knew they had no power. They had elected these folks, and he 
saw his people were not improving; their plight was not improving. So 
he thought: I am going to do something different.
  And that is exactly what he struck out. And as I said, this gentleman 
right here on this photo is a very brave man, and I wish him nothing 
but the absolute best.
  Mrs. RODGERS of Washington. Mr. Speaker, Mr. Jabari had courage and 
  Mr. DAVID P. ROE of Tennessee. Mr. Speaker, I think he had his people 
at heart and his family at heart and the Palestinians at heart, and I 
see nothing but good things if peace can break out.
  Another thing we did that I think was extremely important was go to 
the training center and visit there. This is a leadership training 
center. Some 60,000 people have been through it in Israel.
  The day we were there, there were a group of Palestinian Girl Scouts 
there team building, and it was fun to kind of watch them.
  I was actually much happier watching them on the ground. They were 
climbing up on these ropes and everything.
  But they were there with their Scout leader going through the 
leadership training. This is building bonds and friendship that will, 
hopefully, last for generations.
  I think the other thing that the Palestinian Authority, that Mr. 
Jabari pointed out, he said that, of all the money that the United 
States has given the Palestinian Authority, they have not built one 
school or one hospital for the people.
  So where did the money go?
  We heard that day when we were there that there is actually a bounty 
from the Palestine Authority if you kill a Jew, if you kill another 
human being, that your family that is left is given money each month.

                              {time}  1845

  That is very difficult to get to a peaceful situation, and that is 
why I am so respectful of Mr. Jabari, because he put himself in harm's 
way to try to make the plight of his people better. And he is doing it.
  A couple of other things that I think we learned on this trip was how 

[[Page H8050]]

businesses are thriving in Israel. So the next time you get in your 
car, Mr. Speaker, and you start driving down the road, and your car 
automatically brakes, your steering wheel shakes when you get out of 
the lane as you look at your cellphone--and you shouldn't--this 
driverless car technology was developed in Israel. I think Intel has 
now bought the company. So when you see a car driving without anybody 
in it, that technology began in Israel.
  Another thing that really surprised me that is a difference, it is a 
game changer in that country, was the fact that they discovered natural 
gas. They are now a net exporter of energy. They actually export to 
Egypt. So it really stabilized them from an energy standpoint where 
they are not so dependent. America's independence also contributes to 
their safety.
  Let me go over why that is important. Forty-plus years ago, we had an 
oil embargo by OPEC in this country. We had lines. Every other day we 
had to get in a line to get gas. I happened to be a young Army officer 
11 miles south of the DMZ in Korea during the winter. We got heat 3 
hours a day because of this embargo. We had to use our fuel for our 
tanks, Cobra gunships, Huey helicopters, and other equipment that we 
had. So we didn't have any to heat the place we were in, and it was 
incredibly miserable there.
  I saw oil used as a political weapon back then. The fact is that this 
country is now energy independent. We had three huge tankers get 
diverted by Iran. We had an attack that took out almost 6 million 
barrels of oil a day. Because of the energy policies in this country, 
there was hardly a hiccup. I can tell you, Mr. Speaker, if we had been 
in the same situation 40 years ago, gas would have been two or three 
times what it is. It would have created great hardships in this 
  So the fact is that Israel is there helping. They are making friends. 
They have a great partnership. I give President Carter a shout-out. 
Anwar Sadat died because of that partnership that occurred, and peace 
has broken out between the Israelis, the Egyptians, and the Jordanians.
  Do they still have differences?
  Yes. But they are civil to each other, and they are working those 
differences out. Saudi Arabia--who would have ever thought--I remember 
Prime Minister Netanyahu said: Who would have ever thought Israeli 
airplanes would be flying over Saudi Arabia?
  They are now. So you can see a change that has occurred in the last 
10 years that I found astonishing.
  Mrs. WAGNER. Will the gentlewoman yield?
  Mrs. RODGERS of Washington. I yield to the gentlewoman from Missouri.
  Mrs. WAGNER. Mr. Speaker, the economic summit that was pulled 
together where so many Arabs came and participated was all a lead-up to 
a peace process and the kind of work that we are seeing that is 
happening in the West Bank. We hope that it will continue to flourish. 
The peace process is something that I know that Jared Kushner, our 
White House, USIEA, the Israeli Government, the Palestinians, and 
others are working on. It is something that I think will be the basis 
and the underpinning of the peace process.
  As we have all expressed, we see people find the humanity, find that 
all they want is what we all want: to be safe and secure, to take care 
of our families, to give back to society, to be productive, to be able 
to worship in the fashion that we choose, and to have some freedom. 
That is what we hope for Israel long-term.
  It was just wonderful to be a part of this journey. I look forward to 
the future, what this administration is going to bring to the table, 
and to those who will be coming to, I hope, educate our colleagues on 
the important work that is being done.
  Mrs. RODGERS of Washington. Mr. Speaker, we should also recognize the 
extraordinary leadership of Ambassador David Friedman. We had the 
opportunity to have lunch with him. We had the opportunity to visit the 
United States Embassy in Jerusalem.
  Mrs. WAGNER. A first. A promise that was made and kept, finally, by 
an American President, President Trump. It is great.
  Mrs. RODGERS of Washington. It was a beautiful day when we were 
there. It was just great to be able to spend some time with him. He 
really has led the way within the administration with integrated 
business. Also he sees the vision, and he sees the potential of what 
that means as far as helping really forge peace from a bottom-up 
approach. So it was great to be with him.
  I appreciated Dr. Roe talking about the national training center 
which is leading with training, leadership, and teamwork that we all 
can benefit from. They have contracted with the IDF. They have 
contracts now with the Department of Education. We saw the young 
people--the Israelis and the Arabs--going through this training 
  Mrs. WAGNER. Tens of thousands. It was amazing.
  Mrs. RODGERS of Washington. It was so encouraging to see that during 
our time there.
  Mr. DAVID P. ROE of Tennessee. Mr. Speaker, one of the young ladies 
took a lot of encouragement. I do remember that. She was having a hard 
time, but she made it across finally.
  Mrs. RODGERS of Washington. I remember that, too.
  Mr. DAVID P. ROE of Tennessee. Mr. Speaker, Mrs. Wagner mentioned 
that I hope that the Palestinians find peace and prosperity. They have 
long suffered, and many in Gaza still do. In Hebron where Mr. Jabari 
was, peace and prosperity is breaking out there.
  I wish them nothing but the best, and I hope they are successful in 
their endeavor.
  Mrs. RODGERS of Washington. Mr. Speaker, when you think about Israel, 
it is a very young country. It is just over 70 years old. It is very 
impressive from a defense perspective, from a technology perspective, 
and from an agriculture perspective leading the world in so many 
different fields.

  I also believe it is always important to highlight they are the only 
democracy in the Middle East. They are our best friend. Its history and 
its culture are the center of our civilization. Israel faces threats 
every single day against its survival and against the universal values 
of peace, security, opportunity, and, of course, freedom.
  Those values unite us in America and in Israel on both sides of the 
Green Line. I am excited that my colleagues are here to share with 
everyone our experience. We returned home with a strong conviction that 
this story needs to be told and that more of our colleagues, 
Republicans and Democrats, need to see it for themselves. That was the 
biggest takeaway we heard after listening to the people whom we met. 
They asked us to go home and share their reality and their desires to 
promote peace and economic security in Israel. That is our mission 
  Mrs. WAGNER. As I said, Mr. Speaker, I just thank the gentlewoman 
from Washington so much for her leadership and that of the USIEA. To go 
on this journey is wonderful, and we look forward to the future.
  Mr. DAVID P. ROE of Tennessee. Mr. Speaker, I say God bless the 
Palestinians and Israelis. We wish them nothing but the best.
  Mrs. RODGERS of Washington. Well said.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.