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Congress & the Middle East: Joint Resolution Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of Israel's Founding

(April 28, 1998)

In April 1998, the House and Senate both unanimously passed H.J.Res.102 commemorating the 50th anniversary of the founding of the State ofisrael and reaffirming the bonds of friendship and cooperation between the United States and Israel. The measure was introduced by Rep. Tom Lantos [D-CA] and was signed into law [Public Law 105-175] by President Bill Clinton on May 11, 1998.


Begun and held at the City of Washington on Tuesday, the twenty-seventh day of January, one thousand nine hundred and ninety-eight

Joint Resolution

Expressing the sense of the Congress on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the founding of the modern State of Israel and reaffirming the bonds of friendship and cooperation between the United States and Israel.

Whereas on November 29, 1947, the United Nations General Assembly voted to partition the British Mandate of Palestine, and through that vote, to create the State of Israel;

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

Whereas the desire of the Jewish people to establish an independent modern State of Israel is the outgrowth of the existence of the historic Kingdom of Israel established three thousand years ago in the city of Jerusalem and in the land of Israel;

Whereas one century ago at the First Zionist Congress on August 29 to 31, 1897, in Basel, Switzerland, participants under the leadership of Theodore Herzl affirmed the desire to reestablish a Jewish homeland in the historic land of Israel;

Whereas the establishment of the modern State of Israel as a homeland for the Jews followed the slaughter of more than six million European Jews during the Holocaust;

Whereas since its establishment 50 years ago, the modern State of Israel has rebuilt a nation, forged a new and dynamic society, and created a unique and vital economic, political, cultural, and intellectual life despite the heavy costs of six wars, terrorism, international ostracism, and economic boycotts;

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

Whereas, at great social and financial costs, Israel has absorbed hundreds of thousands of Jews from countries throughout the World, many of them refugees from Arab countries, and fully integrated them into Israeli society;

Whereas for half a century 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; and

Whereas the American people have shared an affinity with the people of Israel and regard Israel as a strong and trusted ally and an important strategic partner: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the United States

(1) recognizes the historic significance of the 50th anniversary of the reestablishment of the sovereign and independent modern State of Israel;

(2) commends the people of Israel for their remarkable achievements in building a new state and a pluralistic democratic society in the Middle East in the face of terrorism, hostility and belligerence by many of her neighbors;

(3) reaffirms the bonds of friendship and cooperation which have existed between the United States and Israel for the past half-century and which have been significant for both countries; and

(4) extends the warmest congratulations and best wishes to the State of Israel and her people for a peaceful and prosperous and successful future.

Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Vice President of the United States and
President of the Senate.

Sources: Library of Congress