JPOST: Democrat, Republican lawmakers say happy 72 to Israel

Congressional Israel Allies Caucus Co Chairs

A group of pro-Israel lawmakers sent a letter to President Reuven Rivlin on Tuesday to congratulate Israel on it’s 72nd year of independence.

“On the Day of Independence, Yom Ha’atzmaut, we will celebrate not only the establishment of the State of Israel and its remarkable achievements and contributions to the world, but also the shared values that have sealed the friendship between the United States and the State of Israel for so many decades,” a letter signed by the six co-chairs of the Congressional Israel Allies Caucus read.

The co-chairs include Congressman Eliot Engel (D-New York), Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado), Brad Sherman (D-California), Steve Chabot (R-Ohio), Juan Vargas (D-California) and Chris Smith (R-New Jersey).

In the letter, the lawmakers committed to “fostering deeper levels of understanding and cooperation between our two countries in the assurance that this will benefit both countries and the world.”

The Congressional Israel Allies Caucus was the first of more than 40 “sister” caucuses to be formed in parallel with the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus, which was established in 2004 to open formal and direct lines of communication between Knesset members and Christians leaders worldwide. The American caucus was started in 2007.

“These congressmen have always been leaders for our caucuses around the world, demonstrating through their actions how to channel faith into concrete political action,” said Israel Allies Foundation president Josh Reinstein.

“The United States was the first nation to recognize the establishment of the State of Israel eleven minutes after Israel’s proclamation of independence,” said Sherman, the author of H.R. 2343, the Peace and Tolerance In Palestinian Education Act that would require the State Department to report annually to Congress on textbooks used in schools in areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority or located in Gaza.

“I join my fellow Israel Allies Caucus co-chairs from both sides of the aisle in congratulating Israel on the occasion of Yom Ha’atzmaut, marking 72 years since Israel’s independence. Congress continues to support a strong US-Israel relationship.”

Lamborn authored the Taylor Force Act that prohibits American economic aid to the Palestinian Authority until it ceases to pay stipends to individuals who commit acts of terrorism and to families of deceased terrorists.

“Yom Ha’atzmaut, the day on which the State of Israel was declared, is a unique national day – it is both the birth of modern Israel as well as the restoration of the ancient Jewish homeland,” he said.

“Yom Ha’atzmaut is the fulfillment of a millennia-old divine promise inspiring not only Israelis but millions of believers around the world of God’s fidelity to His promises.”

Read article at the Jerusalem Post here.