SECRETARY POMPEO IN ISRAEL; Congressional Record Vol. 166, No. 92
(Extensions of Remarks - May 15, 2020)

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[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.

                          ____________________