Mr. Speaker, the Nation of Israel has fought for 60 years for the right to exist, and I'm proud to be a cosponsor of H. Con. Res. 322, a measure before the House today. It recognizes the 60th anniversary of Israel's statehood, and reaffirms United States support for Israel as Israel continues to pursue peace with its neighbors and defend itself against constant threats to its security and its existence.
Sixty years ago, on May 14, in the aftermath of World War II, the people of Israel declared independence and claimed sovereignty of about 8,000 square miles of land that was between the Dead Sea and the Mediterranean Sea, the area about the size of New Jersey. That day was just the beginning of another chapter in Israel's long history of defending its right to exist.
Almost immediately after Israel announced independence in 1948, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan and Saudi Arabia all declared war on Israel, launching Israel's long fight for the mere right to exist. In that war, the newly created State of Israel defeated the Arab armies that invaded it, and even expanded some of its territory.
Then again, in 1967, Israel acted once more to defend itself against hostile invasion by its neighbors during the Six Day War. Once again, in 1972, Israel was targeted by Arab armies during the Yom Kippur war.
And recently Israel has been attacked in the north by terrorist hate groups Hezbollah, and in the south by Hamas terrorist group.
Also, Israel has been forced to defend itself against Palestinian aggression. And since January 1 of this year, Palestinians have fired more than 450 mortar shells into Israel. This rocket fire has intentionally targeted civilian communities in Israel, and made life for these people a nightmare. But Israel is resilient and continues to fly the flag of freedom.
I proudly join my colleagues in commending the people of Israel for building this democratic state in the face of terrorism, hostility, hate and war from their neighbors.
Israel and the United States are like family. Sometimes we disagree on things, but when someone attacks part of the family, it's an attack on the whole family. Let there be no mistake about it. The United States stand side by side with its friend, Israel, and with the concept of freedom.
And that's just the way it is.
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