Lawmakers began commemorating Israel’s 60th anniversary from the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.
The effort, started April 3, will extend beyond Israel’s Independence Day on May 14 and through June.
Reps. Gene Green (D-Texas), Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-Texas) and Tom Reynolds (R-N.Y.) were the first to laud Israel’s 60 years.
The initiative was launched March 31 in a Dear Colleague letter signed by Green and Reynolds along with Reps. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.), Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), Eric Cantor (R-Va.), Tom Davis (R-Va.) and Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.)
“Despite all of the hardships our democratic ally has faced over the past 60 years, Israel has flourished as the only true democracy in the Middle East and the United States’ closest ally in the region,” says the letter urging members to share personal recollections of the U.S.-Israel alliance.
“The achievements of Israel during the past six decades are especially remarkable considering that the country possesses few natural resources,” it says. “Despite two-thirds of its land mass being arid desert, Israel has developed agricultural techniques that ‘make the desert bloom.’ Today, Israel is home to world-class universities and is a global giant when it comes to high-tech and medical innovations. Life-saving medical techniques and products used every day around the world – from computer processors to cell phones – have all been developed in Israel.”