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Congress & the Middle East: House Resolution Recognizes Israel’s 60th Birthday

(April 23, 2008)

In April 2008, the House of Representatives passed H.Con.Res. 322 recongizing the historic significance of the 60th anniverary of the reestablishmnet of the State of Israel as a homeland for the Jewish people. The measure was introduced by Rep. Nancy Pelosi [D-CA]. The Senate also passed a similar resolution.

2nd Session
H. CON. RES. 322

Whereas on November 29, 1947, the United Nations General Assembly voted to partition the British Mandate of Palestine and create a Jewish state;

Whereas on May 14, 1948, the people of Israel proclaimed the establishment of the sovereign and independent State of Israel, and the United States Government established full diplomatic relations with Israel;

Whereas the desire of the Jewish people to establish an independent modern State of Israel is an outgrowth of the existence of the historic kingdom of Israel established in the Land of Israel 3,000 years ago, with the city of Jerusalem as its capital;

Whereas for over 2,000 years, there has been continuous Jewish presence and residence in the land comprising the modern State of Israel;

Whereas the establishment of the modern State of Israel as a homeland for the Jewish people followed the slaughter of more than 6,000,000 European Jews during the Holocaust;

Whereas since its establishment 60 years ago, the modern State of Israel has rebuilt a nation, forged a new and dynamic democratic society, and created a thriving economic, political, cultural, and intellectual life despite the heavy costs of war, terrorism, and unjustified diplomatic and economic boycotts against the people of Israel;

Whereas the people of Israel have established a vibrant, pluralistic, democratic political system, including freedom of speech, association, and religion; a vigorously free press; free, fair and open elections; the rule of law; a fully independent judiciary; and other democratic principles and practices;

Whereas Israel has developed some of the leading universities in the world, and 8 Israeli citizens have been awarded the Nobel Prize;

Whereas Israel has developed an advanced, entrepreneurial economy, is among the world's leaders in the high-tech industry, and is at the forefront of research and development in the field of renewable energy sources;

Whereas Israel regularly sends humanitarian aid, search-and-rescue teams, mobile hospitals, and other emergency supplies, to help victims of disasters around the world, including the 1994 Rwandan civil war, the 1998 bombing of the United States Embassy in Kenya, the 1999 earthquakes in Turkey, the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the 2005 hurricanes along the southern coast of the United States, and the 2007 fires in Greece;

Whereas Israel has absorbed millions of Jews from countries throughout the world and fully integrated them into Israeli society;

Whereas Israel has bravely defended itself from repeated terrorist and military attacks since its independence;

Whereas successive leaders of Israel have sought to achieve peace with Israel's Arab neighbors;

Whereas Israel has established peaceful bilateral relations with neighboring Egypt and Jordan and has made its desire to establish peaceful relations with all Arab states abundantly clear;

Whereas for 6 decades, the United States and Israel have maintained a special relationship based on mutually shared democratic values, common strategic interests, and moral bonds of friendship and mutual respect;

Whereas the American people feel a strong affinity for the Israeli people based on common values and shared cultural heritage; and

Whereas the United States continues to regard Israel as a strong and trusted ally and an important strategic partner: Now, therefore, be it

    Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That Congress--
      (1) recognizes the historic significance of the 60th anniversary of the reestablishment of the sovereign and independent State of Israel as a homeland for the Jewish people;
      (2) reaffirms its enduring support for Israel as Israel pursues peace with its neighbors;
      (3) reaffirms its support for Israel's right to defend itself against threats to its security and existence;
      (4) commends the people of Israel for their remarkable achievements in building a new state and a pluralistic, democratic society in the face of terrorism, as well as hostility, ostracism, and belligerence from many of their neighbors;
      (5) reaffirms the bonds of friendship and cooperation which have existed between the United States and Israel for the past 60 years, and commits to strengthening those bonds; and
      (6) extends the warmest congratulations and best wishes to the State of Israel and the Israeli people for a peaceful, prosperous, and successful future.

Sources: The Library of Congress