(Extensions of Remarks - April 17, 2018)

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[Congressional Record Volume 164, Number 62 (Tuesday, April 17, 2018)]
[Extensions of Remarks]
[Pages E484-E485]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]



                           HON. SCOTT TAYLOR

                              of virginia

                    in the house of representatives

                        Tuesday, April 17, 2018

  Mr. TAYLOR.  Mr. Speaker, I rise today to include in the Record 
remarks on behalf of my constituent, Rabbi Dr. Israel Zoberman. Rabbi 
Zoberman is the Founding Rabbi of Congregation Beth Chaverim in 
Virginia Beach, Virginia. Born in Chu, Kazakhstan (USSR) in 1945, he is 
the son of Polish Holocaust Survivors.

       ``What a joyful milestone the 70th anniversary celebration 
     of the world's only Jewish State and only democracy in the 
     Middle East is, shouldering the 4,000 year old loaded legacy 
     of a restored Jewish people to full dignity! The historic 
     return into sovereign Jewish statehood of an ancient people 
     deprived of its homeland for 2,000 years of a trying 
     experience that almost upended it in the Holocaust should be 
     applauded by the entire human family. No other people 
     exercised such a comeback. The Jewish people have proved its 
     authentic bond with its birthplace the Land of Israel, which 
     has served as the daily focus of its prayerful supplications 
     and soulful aspirations. It has never abandoned its prophetic 
     promise that Israel was destined to survive and thrive that 
     it may continue to bless humanity.
       A narrow stretch of land along the Eastern Mediterranean 
     Sea is saturated with the Biblical Book of Book's undying 
     memories of a covenanted Jewish people determined to turn 
     human passion into heartfelt compassion and life's wilderness 
     into an oasis of love. The miraculous ingathering of the 
     exiles from the earth's four corners, including close to a 
     million Jewish refugees from Arab lands, a revitalized Hebrew 
     language and flourishing culture, creating an amazing start-
     up nation from most humble beginnings, while fatefully and 
     successfully tested in costly wars--are all testimony to the 
     unyielding power of the human spirit to turn adversity into 
     advantage, pain into promise and violence into vision.
       Wherever disaster strikes on the globe, whether man-made or 
     natural, you find Israelis on challenging humanitarian 
     missions, at times first on the scene. This was showcased 
     last February when Israelis assisted with trauma counselling 
     (sadly Israel has much experience in this field) following 
     the shooting of 17 students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High 
     School in Parkland, Florida; and reached out when an 
     earthquake hit Papua, New Guinea. A Jewish state is bound to 
     reaffirm the thundering call of its prophets, philosophers 
     and poets, anchored in its 1948 Declaration of Independence, 
     to establish a model society for all its citizens, narrowing 
     economic and social gaps, rejoicing in Jewish religious 
     pluralism, and protecting the disadvantaged as well as 
     endangered refugees.
       Israel is a model of heroic courage and uplifting audacity 
     in the face of stubborn non-acceptance, with finally Egypt, 
     the largest Arab country, and Jordan breaking the circle of 
     enmity. It is ever ready to embrace all its Arab neighbors 
     and particularly the Palestinians in the peace of Shalom and 
     Salaam to jointly transform shared pain into wellsprings of 
     creative hope for future generations, thus fulfilling 
     Israel's fondest prayer. In resolving the 150 year old tragic 
     conflict with the Palestinians, Israeli security more than 
     ideology should be paramount, though the two may overlap. The 
     Zionist enterprise regarded realistic compromise with the 
     recalcitrant Arabs as essential while guarding against 
     untenable messianism.
       With adverse demography in mind, Israel's major concern is 
     to remain both Jewish and democratic. The Palestinians, who 
     have been abused as pawns by their Arab brethren, need yet be 
     educated by courageous leaders to give up their destructive 
     and improbable dream of replacing Israel, and not be 
     financially rewarded for brutal terrorism which postpones 
     peace. Gaza's ruling Hamas would do better spending outside 
     funds to help their impoverished people whom they use as 
     human shields, rather than waste it on rockets and tunnels 
     aimed at Israel. We recall the disturbing collaboration with 
     Hitler of the Palestinian Grand Mufti Haj Amin al-Husseini.
       Israel is the only country whose very existence is being 
     questioned, with signs of radicalization in its sizable Arab 
     Israeli community. Terrorizing and nuclear ambitious Iran, 
     which denies the Holocaust, and its Lebanese and Palestinian 
     proxies are near Israel's borders. The United Nations falsely 
     singles Israel out for constant rebuke while sheltering 
     culprit regimes which violate basic human rights. The United 
     States through indefatigable Ambassador Nikki Haley stands 
     tall with Israel, its true ally and trusted friend in the 
     shrinking community of democracies. However, the Iranian 
     Shiite menace to both Israel and the Arab Sunni world has 
     opened a venue of opportunity exemplified in Saudi Arabia 
     allowing Air India to use its territory to fly to Tel Aviv, 
     Israel which is also a first for India's airlines!
       President Trump Jerusalem Declaration (what an anniversary 
     gift!) that Jerusalem is indeed Israel's rightful capital 
     will resonate in long Jewish memory where friends and foes 
     are never forgotten. President Donald Trump's proud act of 
     conscience finally lends a superpower's support for Israel's 
     indisputable glorious links to both earthly and

[[Page E485]]

     heavenly Jerusalem that is being denied by the West's 
     tenacious enemies. How moving that the American Embassy is 
     relocated from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Israel's capital, on 
     May 14, 2018, exactly 70 years following Jewish independence. 
     It is a poignant reminder that President Harry Truman was the 
     first world leader to recognize the new state, only eleven 
     minutes following Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion's 
     delivering the Declaration of Independence of a redeemed 
     people. It was Jewish history's greatest hour after the 
     Holocaust's lowest mark. Venomous anti-Semitism is on an 
     alarming resurgence in the United States and particularly in 
     Europe, home of the Holocaust. Poland regrettably attempts 
     through a new punitive law to distance itself from the 
     painful truth that there were far more Poles who collaborated 
     in the merciless destruction of Jewish lives than those 
     righteous Poles who sacrificially rose up to protect their 
     assaulted Jewish neighbors, including my own family, who had 
     lived in their midst for a thousand years!
       The Syrian tragedy weighs heavily on Israel whose people 
     emerged from the Holocaust, with both Jews and Syrians 
     abandoned by a callous world. The gassing with impunity of 
     innocent Syrian civilians, including children, so close to 
     Israel as Syria's civil war is into its seventh year, is most 
     revolting. Israel reaching out to medically save over four 
     thousand Syrians is praiseworthy. I concur with Rabbi Israel 
     Lau asking Israel to even do more for Syria's suffering 
     people. He is Israel's former chief rabbi, currently chairman 
     of Jerusalem's Yad Vashem Holocaust World Center Council and 
     the youngest survivor at age eight of the Buchenwald 
     Concentration Camp. Much is demanded though not all can be 
     expected from a now powerful but still vulnerable people 
     enduring the unfathomable and facing a complex Middle East 
     scenario. President Trump's order to send fifty-nine Tomahawk 
     missiles toward a Syrian air base was appreciated. The most 
     recent airstrikes by the U.S., U.K. and France at Syria's 
     illegal chemical weapons operation in light of the Syrian 
     lethal chemical attack in Douma, is encouraging. How could 
     Russia be complicit in Bashar's genocidal machine when losing 
     over twenty million Russians under Nazi Germany? The presence 
     of the USS Bush Carrier homeported in Norfolk, Virginia which 
     I witnessed, on July 4, 2017 in Haifa, Israel, following the 
     bombing of ISIS targets in Syria, was reassuring.
       May Israel's significant anniversary of a tumultuous 
     homecoming usher in renewed hope that its founders' inspiring 
     naivete of being welcomed and appreciated for their 
     pioneering efforts in a problematic region, yet bear good 
     fruit for all.''