Mr. ENGEL. I thank the gentleman from California, and I rise in strong support of this resolution.
I want our colleagues to hear what's been going on here on the House floor. At a time when Congress has been derided as not being able to get its act together, when people say Democrats and Republicans cannot agree on anything, when people say that Congress doesn't know how to work together and meet in the middle, what are we hearing? We're hearing Democrats and Republicans alike expressing strong bipartisan support for Israel, expressing strong bipartisan support for the U.S.-Israel relationship.
We know that the United States and Israel have so much in common. We have common feelings of democracy. We have common mores. We have common people who understand what democracy is all about.
Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East and faces threats from terrorist groups like Hezbollah and Hamas. Israel is willing to sit down and negotiate with the Palestinians with no preconditions. Prime Minister Netanyahu has said that many, many times, and he has been rebuffed by the Palestinians, who want all kinds of preconditions before they will even sit down and talk with Israel.
And of course Iran looms large. Iran must never be allowed to have a nuclear weapon. Iran is not only a threat to wipe Israel off the face of the Earth, as that lunatic Ahmadinejad has said, but Iran is a threat to the West, to the United States, and to NATO as well.
So, what are we doing here this afternoon? We're rising in strong support of H.R. 4133, the United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act. This important bill reaffirms that Congress stands shoulder to shoulder with Israel as it faces numerous challenges in the weeks and months ahead. It restates U.S. policy that America must provide Israel with the capability to defend itself and preserve its qualitative military edge. It increases military and civilian security cooperation between our two nations in order to prevent Iran from achieving nuclear weapons capability. It supports a negotiated settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict based on a two-state solution. It encourages Israel's neighbors to recognize the Jewish state, and Israel must be recognized as a Jewish state.
As importantly, though, I think this bill also shows that, even as partisanship runs through Congress, support for Israel remains rock solid and bipartisan. Democrats and Republicans, as I said before, are here on the floor together saying that we need to support the U.S.-Israel relationship and defending Israel's inherent right to self-defense.
With more than two-thirds of Congress cosponsoring this legislation, I think the message to Israel's detractors is clear: The United States will stand with the Jewish state for now and forever.