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We Must Continue To Stand With Israel

Rep. Jim Jordan

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Mr. Speaker, this past weekend's shocking attack on Israel's embassy in Cairo reminded us of the ongoing challenges faced by Israel as it continues to take risk after risk in the name of establishing lasting peace in the Middle East.

Thousands of rioters knocked down a recently installed protective barrier, ransacked the embassy, burned Israeli flags, and held six security guards hostage. These shameful acts had the potential to do great harm to the hard-won 1979 peace treaty--a treaty penned barely a generation after the Holocaust and in the wake of the blatant 1973 attacks by Egypt and Syria that opened the Yom Kippur War.

Yet even in the face of evidence that the rioters seek an end to the peace treaty, Israel remains dedicated to it. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu paid rich tribute to the ultimate actions of Egyptian authorities to quell the riot and rescue the embassy guards. He pledged that the ambassador and the embassy's staff will return to Cairo when security can be better guaranteed. Israelis well know that peace with Egypt is in the best interest of both nations and the entire region.

As Prime Minister Netanyahu said in his May address to Congress, Israel is ``the one anchor of stability'' in the Middle East. Unwavering, self-sustaining, and yet faced with threats to its sovereignty from many sides, Israel has taken every chance to secure peace over its six-plus decades of existence. The prime minister has repeatedly said that Israel is willing to make ``painful compromises'' to achieve a two-state solution and quell violence in Gaza and the West Bank. In response, Israel is vilified in the United Nations, mocked for its attempts to survive, and met with open calls for its elimination.

Mr. Speaker, we must continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with Israel, a vanguard against the terror states of the Middle East. Our two nations share a strong, long-lasting partnership based on mutual democratic values and freedoms. We must remain united against all threats to Israel's peace, stability, and its very existence--which, as we were reminded just days ago, cannot be taken for granted.