May 15, 2020 - Issue: Vol. 166, No. 92 — Daily Edition116th Congress (2019 - 2020) - 2nd Session
SECRETARY POMPEO IN ISRAEL; Congressional Record Vol. 166, No. 92
(Extensions of Remarks - May 15, 2020)
Text available as:
Formatting necessary for an accurate reading of this text may be shown by tags (e.g., <DELETED> or <BOLD>) or may be missing from this TXT display. For complete and accurate display of this text, see the PDF.
[Extensions of Remarks] [Page E456] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] SECRETARY POMPEO IN ISRAEL ______ HON. JOE WILSON of south carolina in the house of representatives Friday, May 15, 2020 Mr. WILSON of South Carolina. Madam Speaker, congratulations to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for traveling to Israel this week, his first international trip in nearly two months amid the ongoing Wuhan Virus pandemic. The trip coincided with the two-year anniversary of President Trump fulfilling his campaign and implementing U.S. law by relocating the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, Israel's eternal unified capital. I was grateful to lead the House Delegation with Senator Lindsey Graham, Vice President Mike Pence, lvanka Trump, and Jared Kushner for the opening of the new embassy with Ambassador David Friedman as President Trump fulfilled ``Promises Made, Promises Kept.'' Secretary Pompeo's trip also coincided with the 72nd anniversary of the Israel's Declaration of Independence on May 14, 1948. The timing of the visit, especially given today's circumstances, sends a clear message to our valued allies and friends in Israel: the United States will unequivocally stand by your side. Secretary Pompeo's visit also comes as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his political rival Knesset Speaker Benny Gantz are in midst of forming a unity government after over a year of political stalemate that has paralyzed the Israeli government. This new unity government will be especially significant as it will take the first steps to realize President Trump's bold and unprecedented ``Peace to Prosperity'' Middle East peace plan coordinated by Jared Kushner. President Trump's plan, unveiled in January 2020, offers a fresh opportunity to restart final status negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. This new plan includes many incentives for both sides, including an Israeli settlement freeze for four years, land swaps for both sides, and $50 billion in new investment in the Palestinian territories. While Israel has indicated a willingness to restart the negotiations, the Palestinian side has unfortunately categorically rebuffed President Trump's plan, in line with their rejectionist track-record. I am grateful for the Trump Administration's efforts to restart negotiations for Middle East peace, and I beseech both sides to take this opportunity for a new, hopeful future seriously. Undoubtedly another high priority item on Secretary Pompeo's agenda in Israel is the persistent threat to Israel and indeed the stability and security of the entire region, posed by Iran's sponsorship of terrorism and its development of ballistic missiles. The threat will unfortunately be compounded in October of this year, when the United Nations arms embargo on Iran expires pursuant to UN Security Council Resolution 2231. Not only does its expiration allow Iran to buy potentially game- changing military hardware and technology, it also weakens and effectively eliminates the legal architecture that has underpinned international efforts to restrict Iran's ability to transfer weapons to their proxies. I'm grateful that Secretary Pompeo and President Trump have made coordination of security with Israel a top priority in light of this growing threat. Secretary Pompeo's visit to Israel this week is yet another indication of the Trump Administration's strong support for our valued ally, Israel. It is a strong sign that this Administration will not forsake our allies and will always stand with the people of Israel to face any challenge side-by-side. ____________________