By Gal Sitty
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu received a warm welcome yesterday on Capitol Hill. Leaders of both parties clamored to have their picture taken with the Israeli premier. Netanyahu held closed door meetings with leaders of the House and Senate and then finished his visit with a public address thanking Congress for its support of Israel.
Netanyahu’s presence on Capitol Hill is one of the few things that can unite the parties and highlight their agreements. Republican House Speaker John Boehner and Democratic Minority Leader of the House Nancy Pelosi both issued statements upholding US solidarity with Israel and American determination in preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear arms.
This show of support follows Netanyahu’s May 2011 rare address to both chambers of Congress where he was greeted with thunderous applause. He has also repeatedly been invited to the White House for private meetings with the President.
In fact Netanyahu’s prestigious treatment in Washington is not rare nor is it new for an Israeli leader. Ever since President Truman recognized the State of Israel on the day it declared its independence the US has stood by Israel.
America’s support of Israel today is a continuation and recognition of Truman’s bold move. Overstepping his Secretary of State, Truman’s decision was not based on domestic policy but on “moral, ethical, and humanitarian values… an on America’s national interests.” A free, independent, democratic Jewish state is the only state in the region that upholds the values that the Truman administration first recognized. This is still the case today and this is why our government leaders continue to unite in their unequivocal support of Israel.