SENATE RESOLUTION 76--WELCOMING THE PRIME MINISTER OF ISRAEL TO THE UNITED STATES FOR HIS ADDRESS TO A JOINT SESSION OF CONGRESS; Congressional Record Vol. 161, No. 24
(Senate - February 12, 2015)

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  SENATE RESOLUTION 76--WELCOMING THE PRIME MINISTER OF ISRAEL TO THE 
      UNITED STATES FOR HIS ADDRESS TO A JOINT SESSION OF CONGRESS

  Mr. CORNYN (for himself, Mr. Inhofe, Mr. Wicker, Mr. Cotton, Mr. Lee, 
Mr. Heller, Mr. Blunt, Mr. Rounds, Mr. Boozman, Mr. Hatch, Mr. Moran, 
Mr. Thune, Mr. Tillis, Mr. Roberts, Mr. Grassley, Ms. Collins, Mrs. 
Fischer, Mr. Vitter, Mr. McConnell, Mr. Sullivan, Mr. Lankford, Mr. 
Risch, Mr. Daines, Mr. Isakson, Mr. Cochran, Mrs. Capito, Mrs. Ernst, 
Mr. McCain, Mr. Sessions, Mr. Sasse, Mr. Barrasso, Mr. Portman, Mr. 
Rubio, Mr. Alexander, Mr. Cassidy, Mr. Burr, Mr. Crapo, Mr. Toomey, Mr. 
Hoeven, Mr. Cruz, Mr. Shelby, Mr. Gardner, Mr. Perdue, Ms. Ayotte, Mr. 
Coats, Mr. Kirk, Mr. Johnson, Mr. Scott, Mr. Enzi, Mr. Paul, and Ms. 
Murkowski) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to 
the Committee on Foreign Relations:

                               S. Res. 76

       Whereas, since its founding in 1948, Israel has been a 
     strong and steadfast ally to the United States in the Middle 
     East, a region characterized by instability and violence;
       Whereas the United States-Israel relationship is built on 
     mutual respect for common values, including a commitment to 
     democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, free-market 
     principles, and ethnic and religious diversity;
       Whereas the strong cultural, religious, and political ties 
     shared by the United States and Israel help form a bond 
     between our countries that should never be broken;
       Whereas Israel continues to serve as a shining model of 
     democratic values by regularly holding free and fair 
     elections, promoting the free exchange of ideas, and 
     vigorously exercising a form of democratic government that is 
     fully representative of its citizens;
       Whereas nations such as Iran and Syria, as well as 
     designated foreign terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah 
     and Hamas, refuse to recognize Israel's right to exist, 
     continually call for its destruction, and have repeatedly 
     attacked Israel either directly or through proxies;
       Whereas, in particular, the Government of Iran's ongoing 
     pursuit of nuclear weapons poses a tremendous threat both to 
     the United States and Israel;
       Whereas the negotiations between the so-called P5+1 
     countries and Iran over its illicit nuclear weapons program 
     are entering a key phase, and Congress has heard the 
     perspectives, both publicly and privately, of a number of 
     close allies involved in the negotiations; and
       Whereas the United States is committed to ensuring that 
     Israel, as a strong and trusted ally, maintains its 
     qualitative military edge: Now, therefore, be it
       Resolved, That the Senate--
       (1) warmly welcomes the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin 
     Netanyahu, on his visit to the United States, which provides 
     a timely opportunity to reinforce the United States-Israel 
     relationship;
       (2) eagerly awaits the address of Prime Minister Netanyahu 
     before a joint session of the United States Congress;
       (3) reaffirms its commitment to stand with Israel during 
     times of uncertainty;
       (4) continues to strongly support Israel's right to defend 
     itself from threats to its very survival; and
       (5) reaffirms its unequivocal and bipartisan support for 
     the friendship between the people and Governments of the 
     United States and Israel.

  Mr. CORNYN. Mr. President, I want to speak on another matter, and 
that is an event that should be a historic and momentous event that is 
scheduled to take place on the other side of the Capitol early next 
month. For the third time since he has been Prime Minister of Israel, 
Benjamin Netanyahu will be speaking to a joint session of Congress.
  In his invitation, the Speaker of the House indicated that the reason 
for the invitation is because of the grave threats radical Islam and 
the Iranian regime pose to our security and our way of life. I cannot 
think of a more timely or a more critical subject for the American 
people to hear about from one of the world's great leaders.
  For some reason, some people are trying to turn this into a public 
controversy, but to me and I imagine to many others, it is mystifying 
and somewhat disappointing. The reasons for supporting and defending 
the nation of Israel are obvious: Both of our countries are pluralistic 
democracies with a staunch commitment to liberty, equality, and human 
rights; both of our countries are threatened by radical Islam; and both 
of our countries have responded to that threat while remaining free and 
open societies. Those are the reasons why most Americans stand with 
Israel and why U.S. aid to Israel enjoys such overwhelming support 
among Members of both parties here in Congress. Indeed, we have no 
closer Middle Eastern ally than Israel and I would argue no bigger 
Middle Eastern adversary than the country of Iran.
  I would also argue that we have no bigger foreign policy challenges 
than stopping the Iranian drive for nuclear weapons and keeping those 
weapons out of the hands of terrorists. A nuclear Iran would make this 
world a far more dangerous place. For starters, it would dramatically 
increase Iranian leverage, Iranian power, and Iranian aggression in the 
Middle East. We must remember that this is the same regime that has 
continued to violently target the United States since 1979. It is the 
same regime that has been on the State Department's terrorism blacklist 
since 1984. It is the same regime that not too long ago was plotting to 
blow up a restaurant right here in Washington, DC.
  I was reminded that 1983, with the bombing of our Embassy in Beirut--
a largely forgotten historical moment--was the beginning of America's 
deadly encounter with the political Islamist movement. It was also the 
birth of the Shiite political entity we know today by the name of 
Hezbollah, supported by Iran.
  Perhaps most poignantly, the Government of Iran refuses to recognize 
Israel's right to exist, has continually called for its destruction, 
and has repeatedly attacked Israel either directly or through proxies. 
Make no mistake--Iran's ongoing pursuit of nuclear weapons poses a 
tremendous threat to the United States and to our ally Israel.
  Given the very clear and present danger to the nation of Israel and 
the dangers they face on a perpetual basis from their neighbors in the 
region--Iran--the U.S.-Israel alliance has never been more important 
than it is today.
  Israel is a shining model of democratic values for nations around the 
world. It is a great example for others to follow in the Middle East. 
The strong cultural, religious, and political ties shared by the United 
States and Israel have helped form a bond between our countries that 
should never be broken.
  Now more than ever, the people of Israel need reassurance that we 
remain committed to seeing that their nation, as a strong and trusted 
ally, maintain its qualitative military edge in the face of ongoing 
threats from nations such as Iran and Syria and terrorist groups such 
as Hamas and Hezbollah. That is why today we have filed a resolution 
here in the Senate welcoming Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu 
when he addresses a joint session of Congress next month. This 
resolution reaffirms the Senate's commitment to stand with Israel 
during times of uncertainty. It reaffirms this body's strong support 
for Israel's right to defend itself from threats to its very survival. 
And it reaffirms the Senate's unequivocal support for the friendship 
between the governments of our two nations.
  As of this morning a majority of the Senate has signed on as a 
cosponsor to

[[Page S1008]]

this resolution, and this afternoon we are signing a ``Dear Colleague'' 
letter, which, as the Presiding Officer knows, invites all 100 Senators 
to join in support of this resolution. I hope the rest of my colleagues 
on both sides of the aisle will join me in welcoming the Prime Minister 
to Washington so we can continue to work together as he articulates in 
graphic detail, as no one else can, the threat of a nuclear Iran. 
During this time of such great instability and danger in the Middle 
East, the United States cannot afford to waver in our commitment to one 
of our closest and most important allies.

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