Pelosi Remarks at Press Availability with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

March 3, 2014

Washington, D.C. – House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, House Republican Leader Eric Cantor and Members of Congress held a press availability with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today in the Capitol.  Leader Pelosi joined Prime Minister Netanyahu to reinforce and reaffirm the enduring partnership between the United States and Israel.  Below are the Leader’s remarks:

Leader Pelosi.  Thank you, Mr. Prime Minister, for inspiring us once again, even though not in a formal speech.  It is my honor to join our distinguished Speaker, in absentia, and the Republican Leader Mr. Cantor in welcoming you to the United States Capitol once again.  You’re like family coming home.  Each visit is greeted with warmth and excitement on both sides of the aisle and on both sides of the Capitol – a sign of our deep respect for you and the people of Israel and the strong alliance between our two nations.

Today, we reaffirm that respect, remain committed to that enduring partnership and reinforce our bonds of friendship.  The longstanding ties between America and Israel are founded in our common values and our common hopes for peace and security.  From the founding of the Jewish state through today, the United States has stood strong for Israel’s defense – unwavering in our support of Israel’s future, unyielding in our dedication to peace between Israel and her neighbors.  This is a stand that will not change – now, or in the years to come.

Our strategic and mutually beneficial – to both our nations – partnership will only grow stronger as we uphold our promises of cooperation for Israel’s security: preserve and advance Israel’s qualitative military edge; maintain our drive for a comprehensive lasting peace agreement; and, as was your focus Mr. Prime Minister, prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, a threat not only to Israel and the region but to the United States and the world at large.  You said the threat should be contained, can be contained – it must be contained.

As you have heard me say, beyond issues of peace and security, it is a source of pride for those of us from the Bay Area to note that you’ll be visiting Silicon Valley this week.

Prime Minister Netanyahu.   I hope to hear some people speak Hebrew.

Leader Pelosi.  Your wish will be fulfilled, because you will see the symbol of the ties between the entrepreneurs in the United States and in Israel, many of whom, shall we say, divide their time.  The Prime Minister and Governor Brown – and this is very exciting for all of us because this is a brand new invitation that we received – Governor Brown and the Prime Minister will sign a memorandum of understanding between Israel and California to promote cooperation in economic development, research and trade – pretty exciting.  And look at the symbol…

Prime Minister Netanyahu.    California has a tremendous emblem.

Leader Pelosi.   Just putting itself right there side-by-side with Israel.  This will again be about economic development, research and trade.  And it’s a recognition of what we’ve all known for a while: that Israel has been leading the way – the intellectual resources, the entrepreneurship, the scientific knowledge and research and development has really led the world.  And we think that this is really a great thing for California and for Israel.

As you know, Mr. Prime Minister – I’ve said it to you so many times – I’ve long held the belief that the establishment of the state of Israel was the most spectacular political achievement of the 20th century – the establishment of the state of Israel.  Together, Democrats and Republicans are prepared alike to work hand-in-hand with the Prime Minister to ensure that Israel remains a stunning and unquestioned success in the 21st century.  And as you have that success, were happy that you’re going to share it with California.

Thank you all very much.  Good afternoon.