May 22, 2013
Hundreds of activists from 16 states across the country, from California to Ohio, to Pennsylvania and Florida, participated in the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA)’s Annual Advocacy Mission to Washington, DC on Wednesday, May 22, 2013. Meeting with over a hundred Members of Congress and their legislative assistants, ZOA activists urged them to:
1). Support Israel’s right to military self-defense against Iran’s illegal, threatening nuclear weapons program and impose new comprehensive, robustly enforced sanctions on Tehran and close loopholes in existing sanctions; and
2). Oppose $650 million in U.S. aid to Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority (PA) until it fulfills its signed agreements under Oslo to arrest and imprison terrorists, dismantle terrorist groups and end the incitement to hatred and murder within the PA-controlled media, mosques, schools and youth camps, and to recognize Israel as a Jewish State; and
3). Support making $2 billion U.S. aid to Mohamed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood-supported regime in Egypt conditional on Cairo observing its 1979 peace treaty with Israel (which it is not), restricting and even banning further weapons sales to Egypt, and stopping incitement against Jews and Israel, affording full rights for women and Christians and ending Muslim Brotherhood rhetoric that the U.S. will collapse.
At the ZOA’s Congressional Luncheon, held prior to the congressional meetings in a magnificent room in the Russell Senate Office Building, ZOA activists were joined at the luncheon by both Democratic and Republican U.S. Senators and House Members, who delivered speeches to the packed audience. Here is a sampling of their comments:
Senator Benjamin Cardin (D-MD): “ZOA, give yourself a round of applause. The overwhelming majority of Congress didn’t come through the Jewish community. And yet we have strong support among Democrats and Republicans and Independents. That doesn’t just happen. It happens because you are here, speaking out on what’s important” …
Senator Rand Paul (R-KY): “I was asked before coming here today, ‘Why are you going to ZOA?” I answered, ‘Why? Because ZOA was the only organization that supported my amendment saying no more money and arms to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt … Giving F-16 planes and M-1 tanks to them? One day we’re going to regret this.” Turning to Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood leadership in Egypt, he said, “You now have a president in Egypt who says Jews are sons of pigs and apes and a president who stands next to a preacher saying ‘Death to Jews and all their supporters,’ which includes America. If they want our funding, why don’t they affirm their support for the Camp David accord? Why don’t they reaffirm that Israel has a right to exist?”
Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) said, “We want you to know that as a committed friend of Israel and an Evangelical Christian I pray for the peace of Jerusalem. I believe in Psalm 22 and the idea that those who help Israel prosper. I want to prosper. I will always be a strong supporter of the state of Israel. It’s my faith, its common sense and I will always do so.”
Senator Mark Pryor (D-AK) Spoke enthusiastically about Israel which “is our closest ally in the region … I have a good voting record on Israel, because it is our strong interest to see a strong Israel and the relationship between our two countries continue for our mutual defense and security.”
Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann (R-MN) … The land of Israel is important, the people of Israel are important. For 65 years, we have celebrated the return of the Jews to the land, the terra firma, that G-d promised them … Israel is facing enemies unlike any they have seen, because the Arab spring has produced new threats on all of Israel’s borders … We have to send a clear message: If you touch a hair on the head of Israel, you touch every hair on the head of the United States.
Congressman Rob Andrews (D-NJ) addressed in stark terms the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran. “What if the two bombs that were left at the finish line at the Boston Marathon had enriched uranium in them? Instead of mourning the loss of three lives and the maiming of dozens, we would be mourning the loss of hundreds and probably thousands.””
Congressman Hakeem Jeffreys (D-NY) opened by saying that he represents more Russian-speaking Jews than any other Member of Congress in the country. … “We must do everything we can to stand up for our ally, Israel, for their defense, their qualitative military advantage. We must stop Iran from its nuclear aspirations. I will do whatever I can do to see that happens, whatever I can to see that strategically vital relationship with Israel continues.”
Louie Gohmert (R-TX) addressed the scope of the Iranian nuclear threat, observing that the Iranian regime would soon “have enough material to make several [nuclear bombs] before they make even one … More sanctions are worthless, Iran breathes a sigh of relief when we promote new sanctions. It sends a message to them that we’re not going to use military action against them”
Trent Franks (R-AZ): … “I truly believe that as long as America stands with Israel it will be important to the peace and security of the world … It is also very important to restrict Palestinian Authority funding based on what the PA does, as it is also in the case of Egypt and the Muslim Brotherhood … Israel is the toughest friend on the block, and we’re not going to forsake them. G-d bless you all.”
Congressman Paul Broun (R-GA): “I am a Bible believing Evangelical Christian and I have been described as — and I have embraced the term — a Zionist Christian. The reason I do this is because I believe what my Bible said — we have the same Bible, we just have a few extra books — and I am an ardent supporter of the nation of Israel. G-d’s blessings on this country today are because we bless Israel, and it must never cease.
Congressman Greg Walden (R-OR): “Mort, I want to thank you for your long term leadership of this organization – Well done! … Our peoples share a common interest in peace and Israel is a beacon of hope in a region awash in violence and intolerance … Systems developed in Israel knocked down impressive amounts of incoming missiles from Hamas in Gaza. This is a very important system. Iran is building weapons that can wipe Israel off the face of the planet. That cannot be allowed to continue. We must build on existing sanctions to tighten the screws on Iran. Together we’ll make sure that Israel is safe and secure and America as well.”
Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick (R-PA) spoke of the bill he introduced to cut $500 million in U.S. aid to Egypt and to redirect it towards tuition for armed forces personnel. “We can’t justify giving money to Egypt when our own servicemen and women are suffering funding cuts to their tuition so I said, ‘Let’s take that $500 million right there.'”
Congressman Peter Roskam (R-IL): “Paul Johnson is a great historian, who wrote A History of the Jews. In the introduction, there is, he says, one group in history that has insisted that history has meaning. This claim to land and heritage are the foundation on which many Western virtues are founded. It is to be celebrated and defended.
Congressman Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) said that “the pro-Israel feeling people have here is genuine because, apart from anything else, support of Israel is in the best interest of America’s foreign policy … As a loyal American, it is my duty to speak up for Israel and help build and defend the special relationship between us.”
Billy Long (R-MO) opened by thanking ZOA ‘for the work you do because your work is extremely important … I back Israel, not because it is the right thing to do, but because it is the only thing to do … On the Iranian drive to obtain nuclear weapons, he said, “People need to understand that Iran is not only a threat to Israel but a threat to the United States.”
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