A delegation of Democratic Congressional members met with President Reuven Rivlin Wednesday in Jerusalem to discuss the Iran nuclear deal signed by the U.S. and world powers.
The group, led by House Minority Whip Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) is currently in Israel for a visit to the country arranged by AIPAC. Rivlin called visit “yet another link in the long and unbreakable chain tying together the U.S. and the State of Israel.”
He quoted President John F. Kennedy, who said, “Friendship for Israel is not a partisan matter. It is a national commitment.”
Then Rivlin went on to say, “We stand together in a partnership established on the strong foundations of common values and a shared vision, rooted in the long-standing commitment to democracy, liberal values, and human rights for each and every citizen.
“These are not just slogans,” he stressed. “For us in Israel, we strive each and every day, to achieve our goal of a Jewish, democratic state. Democratic and Jewish. Where the historic traditions and values of the Jewish people, and the individual rights of each and every citizen of this land, are protected and safeguarded.”
Rivlin also spoke about the concerns of Israeli citizens over the Iranian nuclear deal signed by the U.S. and world powers in Vienna last month.
“Along with Israelis on all sides of the political spectrum; I am deeply concerned about the recent nuclear deal signed with Iran… We fear this agreement is a first step in the legitimization of Iran’s policies and strategies, and only acts to further destabilize a chaotic region,” he said.
Nevertheless, he added, “We know that Israel does not stand alone. Whatever the Congress decides, it will be your decision as representatives of the American people. We, as your allies and partners, must make sure that whatever the result of this vote, our strategic alliance stands, and grows even stronger.”
Rep. Hoyer thanked Rivlin for his warm welcome and said the visit came not only as a means of learning about the present-day facts, politics and strategic and security issues “that we all must focus on” but also as a “reaffirmation of the unbreakable bond that exists between Israel and the United States of America. We come to reaffirm that bond, even though there may be differences of opinion today between our leaders on issues of great importance to not only our two countries, but to this region and the entire world.
“We think it is critical now more than ever to let it be known by those who would undermine democracies, those that would undermine free peoples, that we are united and not divided.”