Mr. HATCH. Mr. President, today I am pleased to rise and offer, with my good friend, the senior Senator from Connecticut, a concurrent resolution which reaffirms our Nation's steadfast and unshakable commitment to the security of Israel, specifically through the establishment of secure, recognized, and defensible borders.
It is unfortunate that I am compelled to offer such a resolution. For years, both Republican and Democratic administrations have recognized that Israel's boundaries of June 4, 1967 are indefensible and if reestablished will create a strategic military vulnerability for our staunch ally.
That is why President Obama's recent comments were so dumbfounding. The President's prepared and thoroughly considered remarks called for the starting point of negotiations to be what we all know are the militarily indefensible 1967 lines.
Remember, if Israel returns to the 1967 lines its territory will, in some locations, be only 9 miles wide.
As Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu correctly stated in a friendly and appropriate correction to the President's remarks, the 1967 lines are not boundaries of peace. They are boundaries of repeated war.
Israel would have to give up the Golan Heights, the strategic elevated location which dominates northern Israel. Does the President not remember during the 1973 War the Syrians launched a massive armored attack on the Golan Heights which almost succeeded? This raises the question of who President Obama was attempting to appease with his ill-advised statements, which unnecessarily drove a wedge between the United States and Israel? The fact is the national security interests of the United States and Israel are linked. The threats Israel faces are the threats the United States faces. Whether it is Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas in the Gaza Strip or these groups' benefactor, Iran, we share a common foe.
Unfortunately, that foe, Iran, appears to be growing stronger and more capable. Iran has repeatedly stated it wishes to wipe the United States and Israel off the map. Iran's obvious aim is to establish strategic dominance over the entire region. Their relentless pursuit of nuclear weapons and ballistic missile technology is of grave concern.
Much has been said about Iran's nuclear program, but much less has been articulated about its ballistic missile program. In order to achieve its strategic objectives, Iran has embarked on a significant ballistic missile program. Iranian officials have boasted they have the ability to produce a ballistic missile with a 1,250 mile range. In 2009, the Iranians were able to launch a multistage space launch vehicle that the Air Force concluded ``can serve as a test-bed for long-range ballistic missile technologies.'' Even more troubling the Iranians appear to be developing a new long-range multistage solid rocket motor missile. Why is that important? If the Iranians successfully field this type of technology, they will be able to launch, almost instantaneously, missiles which carry warheads over great distances.
With these ominous developments emanating from Israel's and the United States common foe, do we really want to be seen as distancing ourselves from one of our staunchest allies--especially on such a pivotal issue as Israel's borders. This issue of these borders is only underscored by the constant attacks on Israel's borders by Iran's surrogates, Hezbollah and Hamas.
That is why I believe this Concurrent Resolution is so important. It reaffirms the long-held, bipartisan policy of the United States, that we will ``support and facilitate Israel in maintaining defensible borders and that it is contrary to United States policy and our national security to have the borders of Israel return to the armistice lines that existed on June 4, 1967.'' The United States has no greater friend than Israel and Israel has no greater friend than the United States.
Israel too often finds herself alone in the world, unjustly singled out by the left as a nation uniquely without the moral authority to defend itself.
From my perspective, Israel does not need to apologize to anyone for defending itself against those who would do her harm, and I will always stand by Israel as she seeks to protect her citizens against terrorists and their state sponsors.
Having said that, I also believe many Iranians, especially the young people, know Iran is causing problems in the Middle East. We must support those people who are searchers for freedom.
The security of both our nations is irrevocably linked. This bipartisan concurrent resolution removes any harmful ambiguity the President's remarks last week might have caused.
The United States must stand by Israel. With his remarks last week, President Obama undermined her.
Israel faces consistent unprovoked aggression by longtime supporters of terrorism. But Israel is not a victim. All she asks is the ability to defend herself and for free people to support her right to self-defense.
This is no time for the United States to distance itself from Israel, and I will do everything I can to affirm Israel's territorial integrity and ability to protect her citizens against the unprovoked attacks of terrorist and state actors.
Because Israel is a true friend, I am not surprised that this resolution has strong bipartisan support. My colleague, Senator Lieberman, and I will be joined by members of both parties who want to remind the world the United States is steadfastly committed to the security of Israel and especially our ally's ability to maintain secure, recognized and defensible borders.