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Congress & the Middle East: House Resolution Commending Israel's Democracy

(February 11, 2003)

In February 2003, the House of Representatives passed H.Res.61 commending the people of Israel for conducting free and fair elections and reaffirming the friendship between the Governments of the United States and Israel. The measure passed by a vote of 411-2.

H. Res. 61

Whereas the United States and Israel are close allies whose people share a deep and abiding friendship based on a shared commitment to democratic values;

Whereas since its establishment in 1948, Israel has fulfilled the dreams of its founders who envisioned a vigorous, open , and stable democracy;

Whereas an essential feature of Israeli democracy is its system of competitive, free , and open elections ;

Whereas on January 28, 2003, the people of Israel elected Israel's 16th Knesset, or Parliament, which in turn will choose the Prime Minister of Israel ; and

Whereas the election on January 28, 2003, is the most recent example of the commitment of Israel to the democratic ideals of freedom and pluralism, ideals that Israel shares with the United States: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the House of Representatives--

(1) commends the people of Israel for reaffirming their dedication to democratic ideals as expressed in the election on January 28, 2003;

(2) expresses both its respect for the freely expressed will of the people of Israel , and its intention to engage in constructive relations with the new Government of Israel , and urges the international community to do so as well;

(3) reaffirms the close bonds of friendship that have bound the people of the United States and the people of Israel together through turbulent times for more than half a century;

(4) urges the Palestinian leadership to abide by its commitments made to the United States and to Israel and urges the Palestinian people to act on President Bush's call of June 24, 2002, to dismantle the terrorist infrastructure, end incitement to violence in official media, elect new leaders not compromised by terror, and embrace democracy; and

(5) restates the commitment of the United States to a secure peace for Israel .

Sources: Library of Congress