Senators thank Czech Republic for standing with Israel


WASHINGTON (JTA) – Three U.S. senators sent a letter to the Czech Republic ambassador thanking his country for standing with Israel when the United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly voted to elevate the Palestinians’ status.

The letter from Charles Schumer, (D-N.Y.), Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) was dated one day before Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Czech Republic Prime Minister Petr Neca on Dec. 5.

At that meeting, Netanyahu thanked the Czech Republic for being the lone European country that stood with Israel when the General Assembly voted to upgrade the Palestinians to non-member state observer status.

In the one-page letter addressed to Petr Gandalovic, ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary at the Embassy of the Czech Republic, the senators noted that they “truly appreciate your unwavering friendship and support — both for the United States and our democratic allies.”

“We know that democracies are strongest when they stand together, and the Czech Republic’s principled position at the United Nations reinforces our commitment to the U.S.-Czech alliance, which has never been stronger,"  the senators wrote. "From trade to counterterrorism, the United States and the Czech Republic are advancing a robust bilateral agenda to strengthen the economy and security of both our peoples. We strongly support these efforts and pledge to work to strengthen them in the months and years ahead.”

In the U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Calif.), the outgoing chairwoman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, circulated a letter among colleagues that would thank all seven countries that joined the United States and Israel in the vote against upgrading the Palestinians’ status.

"We appreciate your courageous opposition to the UN General Assembly’s irresponsible decision to support this reckless unilateral Palestinian statehood scheme — and we regret that more nations did not follow your example," Ros-Lehtinen said in her letter, which she began circulating on Thursday.

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