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President Bush Addresses Members of the Knesset--Address by PM Olmert, Benjamin Netanyahu
IMRA ^ | 5-15-08

Posted on 05/15/2008 10:50:26 AM PDT by SJackson

Text: Greeting to President Bush by Benjamin Netanyahu at Knesset


Greeting to President George W. Bush
The Knesset, May 14th, 2008
Benjamin Netanyahu, Head of the Opposition
[Translation provided to IMRA by MK Netanyahu's office]

Israel and the United States were founded on one pivotal idea - freedom:
individual liberty, religious freedom and the desire to be a light unto the
nations-along with the determination to resist those seeking to destroy
those principles.

The history of the Jewish People was deeply rooted in the creation of the
United States. The first pioneers to land on the shores of America saw
themselves as the new Children of Israel who escaped slavery to attain
freedom in the new Promised Land. They gave Hebrew names to their sons and
daughters and biblical names to their cities and towns- Salem, Canaan, Zion,
Bethel, Bethlehem. Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson urged that the
symbol of the United States portray Moses leading the Jewish people into the
Land of Israel.

The United States, in the view of is Founding Fathers, was the New
Jerusalem, the City on the Hill shining a beacon of liberty to the world. It
is no coincidence that the immortal words of freedom inscribed on the
pedestal of the Statute of Liberty - "Give me your tired, your poor, your
huddled masses yearning to breathe free" - were written by the Jewish poet
Emma Lazarus, one of America's earliest Zionists.

American Presidents from John Adams to Abraham Lincoln to Woodrow Wilson,
were ardent supporters of the return of the Jews to Zion. "Restoring the
Jews to their national a dream shared by many Americans," Abraham
Lincoln said. Indeed, Harry S. Truman recognized Israel's independence only
minutes after the Jewish State was declared, thereby giving the Jewish state
immeasurable support at its birth.

You, Mr. President, carry on the tradition of these great presidents. You
bear the torch.

Welcome to the Knesset, Mr. President, welcome to Jerusalem, the eternal
capital of Israel.

The relationship between our peoples is based on our connection going back
hundreds of years, a communality of ideals and principles, of spirit and of
For that reason, the United States has repeatedly stood by Israel throughout
its history, contributing generously to its strength and well-being. For
that, Mr. President, all Israelis say today to you and to your fellow
citizens - thank you.

Over the past sixty years we have witnessed what this vision of liberty can
achieve. We have built our state while upholding the values of democracy. We
have lived up to the words of the nineteenth-century British author George
Eliot who foresaw that the Jewish state would be a beacon of liberty and
progress amid the despotisms of the East.

We cultivated our land, liberated our cities, ingathered our exiles, revived
our ancient language, developed our economy, and extended our hand in peace
to our neighbors.

We have seen the blessings of being a free people in our own land, just as
earlier we endured the curse of being a homeless people with no country and
no defense. The unspeakable tragedy that befell our people in the first half
of the 20th century occurred because the State of Israel did not yet exist
to protect the Jewish people, and because the United States at that time did
not lead the free world. The democratic nations were too late in confronting
Nazi totalitarianism. The result was the murder of millions and the
annihilation of a third of our people. We swore then -never again!

But in the second half of the century, the fate of the Jewish people and
mankind was utterly transformed. The establishment of the State of Israel
enabled the Jews to regain control of their destiny and to regain the
ability to defend themselves. And the United States now assumed the
leadership of the free world and won the Cold War.

Today, at the dawn of the twenty first century we face a third totalitarian
threat - the tyranny and fanaticism of radical Islam. Its disciples are
conducting a terror war of jihad against the United States and Israel, who
represent the culture of freedom which they so ardently detest.

Mr. President, you have confronted this threat with great courage. For the
past seven years you have led the struggle against it. You have been a true
leader. You have never bent to the winds of fashion. You have never
hesitated from fighting tyranny and defending freedom.

We, the citizens of Israel, stand by you and the United States in this

Our first task is to prevent Iran, which calls for Israel's annihilation,
from arming itself with nuclear weapons.

Twelve years ago in my speech as Prime Minister before a joint session of
Congress, I said that the greatest danger facing mankind is a nuclear Iran.
Time is running out.

Our second task is to deny Iran the ability to establish additional bases
around us, like the ones it has established in Lebanon and in Gaza.

Unilateral withdrawals only bolster these bases, push peace away and bring
terror closer. This is happening before our eyes every day with the
rocketing of Sderot, Ashkelon, and the Western Negev. It must stop. Israel
should have long ago adopted a policy of not containing terror but defeating
it, as you have Mr. President.

Our third task is to bring peace to our region.

The State of Israel has worked for peace since the moment of its inception.
We have never stopped yearning for peace and working for it. Peace will be
achieved when people regard it as a basic human need, one which enables them
to improve their lives.

We must therefore today advance the economic peace with our Palestinian
neighbors. That is the only way to strengthen the moderates and weaken the
Israel can advance widespread prosperity in our region with the cooperation
of the Palestinian Authority, Jordan, and other Arab countries. But in order
to achieve this-in order to prevent the radicals from dominating the
moderates-Israel must retain control over security in its own hands. We must
remember that the goal of peace is to strengthen security, not weaken it.

Security and economic peace will provide the corridor to the diplomatic
peace. Yet even after the achievement of a final peace settlement, Israel
will have to retain defensible borders. The only durable peace is a
defensible peace.

But there is one other thing which we must preserve. It is not strictly
confined to issues of secure borders or territory but rather to a central
factor in our national existence-Jerusalem!

In your previous visit here, Mr. President, I presented you with a coin from
the period of the Jewish revolt against the Romans. One side of the coin was
inscribed with the words "Shekel of Israel," and the other side "Year Three
(of Israel's Independence)" and the words "Jerusalem the Holy."

Mr. President, this coin was minted in 70 C.E. The Roman legions had already
gripped Judea and were strangling Jerusalem. The city's Jewish defenders
knew that the end was near. They minted this coin not for commercial
purposes but as a message for future generations-as a message for us: that
the Jewish People would return to its land and rebuild Jerusalem and its

This is the source of our identity and the thrust of our millennial
yearnings. That is why Herzl called the national movement of the Jewish
people "Zionism"-in honor of Mount Zion in the heart of Jerusalem. This is
why Jews in Toledo during the expulsion from Spain and why Jewish fighters
in the Warsaw Ghetto pledged "Next Year in Jerusalem!"

In all the centuries of our exile and even with the advent of independence,
we never forget for an instant the Western Wall, the Temple Mount and the
Old City.

Forty years ago, we liberated Jerusalem and reunited it. Our first act was
to ensure the freedom of religion which had previously been denied. That
religious freedom, which is so cherished by the citizens of the United
States and so vital to world peace, will be preserved as long as Jerusalem
remains united under Israeli sovereignty.

Mr. President,

The Promised Land is a land of promise. We have shown a remarkable ability
to overcome adversity and to unleash the great powers of creativity stored
within us. We can bring unimagined prosperity to ourselves and to our
neighbors, we can defeat the terrorist enemies of democracy and freedom, we
can achieve peace with our neighbors.

But to do so we must remain true to our principles: That freedom should be
protected, that enterprise should be nurtured, that peace should be
defended, that Jerusalem should remain united.

The rebirth of Israel is one of history's great parables. It is the story
not of the Jews alone, but of a human spirit that refuses to succumb to
history's horrors. It is the incomparable quest of a people seeking, at the
end of an unending march, to be a free people in its own land, the Land of
Zion and Jerusalem.





Address by PM Olmert Knesset Session in Honor of the President of the US



Madam Speaker of the Knesset,
The Honorable President of the State of Israel, Mr. Shimon Peres,
Honored Guest of this House, the Honorable President of the United States of
America, Mr. George Bush, and Mrs. Laura Bush,
Madam Secretary of State, Ms. Condoleezza Rice,
Government Ministers,
Members of Knesset,
The Honorable US Ambassador to Israel, Mr. Richard Jones,
The Honorable Israeli Ambassador to the United States, Mr. Salai Meridor,
Dear Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

The State of Israel and the Israeli Knesset are honored to host you, Mr.
President, in the home of Israeli democracy, the house where the free will
of the Israeli people is manifested, through its delegates and elected
representatives. On behalf of the citizens of Israel, on behalf of the
Government of Israel and on behalf of the members of this House, I warmly
welcome you as the President of a great nation, the leader of the Free
World, and as a true, steadfast and loyal friend of the State of Israel.

The deep-rooted friendship between the United States and Israel is not an
accidental one, and it cannot be taken for granted. It is a friendship
predicated on shared values and on a moral, human and social destiny, the
main principles of which are individual liberty, social justice and peace.
The greatness of the United States lies in its willingness and ability to
act and sacrifice for the sake of a global, international order based on
democracy, human rights, free economy and the achievement of peace. The
distinction between a way of life which is worth defending and that which
must be opposed has always been, and still remains, clear and sharp. In the
words of American President Harry Truman, who, sixty years ago, supported
the establishment of the State of Israel:

"One way of life is based upon the will of a majority, and is distinguished
by free institutions, representative government, free elections, guarantees
of individual liberty, freedom of speech and religion, and freedom from
political oppression. The second way of life is based upon the will of a
minority, forcibly imposed upon the majority. It relies upon terror and
oppression, a controlled press and radio; fixed election, and the
suppression of personal freedoms".

In a world where the American light-tower prevailed, the Jewish people rose,
through tremendous efforts, from the abyss of the Holocaust to the pinnacle
of revival, and founded, by the heroism of its sons, the democratic State of
Israel. Since then and throughout the years, despite the changes of
governments in Washington and governments in Jerusalem, the alliance of
friendship between our peoples and countries has remained solid and
continued to grow stronger and more powerful.

The United States' identification with the Jewish people's struggle for
national revival was demonstrated even before the establishment of the State
of Israel, with its demand to open the gates of the Land of Israel to
Holocaust survivors. Precisely sixty years ago, just a few minutes after
the State of Israel's declaration of independence, the United States was the
first country to grant us recognition. When the nascent, indigent nation
took upon itself the challenge of absorbing hundreds of thousands of
destitute Israeli refugees from Europe and Arab states, your country lent a
hand and provided loans and financial aid. Later, when the Soviet Union was
arming Israel's enemies who conspired to destroy us, the United States
supplied Israel with the means to defend itself. When the courageous outcry
was heard from behind the Iron Curtain "let my people go!", it was American
pressure which led to the opening of the gates for the mass immigration of
our brothers from the Soviet Union to Israel. And of course, it was
American President George Bush Sr. who acted to bring to Israel the masses
of Ethiopian Jews in the operation later known as Operation Moshe.

In the international arena, the UN General Assembly, the Security Council,
and on countless other occasions, the United States consistently stood by
Israel, often in splendid isolation, and in the face of a malicious, biased,
automatic bloc, comprised mostly of totalitarian countries and

Today, on your visit to Israel, allow me to express the appreciation and
gratitude of the people of Israel for your nation's leadership and for its
dedication to its moral, historic and universal role as the torchbearer of
democracy, justice, freedom and peace.

Mr. President,

The United States and Israel have a long-standing strategic alliance. This
alliance also encompassed the economic relations between our two countries.
In the first decades following the establishment of the state, the economic
aid was unilateral, and was undoubtedly an important component in
strengthening the Israeli economy.

However, today I can proudly say that the relations are no longer based
merely on dependence, but rather on cooperation and mutual benefit. In the
fields of trade, technology, research and development there is a true
partnership between our countries, a partnership founded on economic
considerations, but also on shared values and a worldview which attributes
great value to the Israeli entrepreneurship and ingenuity.

The United States and Israel also share the concept that democracy and
market economy walk hand in hand and that this combination is the winning
recipe for growth and welfare. The United States opened its gates for
Israel's entrepreneurial forces, so that they can thrive in the vibrant
economic framework which America leads. Numerous Israeli companies are
traded on the New York Stock Exchange, and cooperation in the field of
hi-tech between Israel and the United States resulted in groundbreaking
successes of international standards.

Dear Friend,

Your visit to Israel on the occasion of Israel's 60th anniversary
celebrations is a wonderful gesture of personal and inter-state friendship.
However, it is not only a courtesy visit. This visit provided another
important opportunity for us to discuss the advancement of a peaceful
solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, in accordance with your
vision, Mr. President, of two states for two peoples. Your personal
involvement, and the commendable efforts of the Secretary of State, Ms.
Condoleezza Rice, is vital for the success of the intensive negotiations
taking place between us and the Palestinians.

When, eventually, we reach with the help of G-d an historic peace treaty
between us and our Palestinian neighbors, it will be submitted for the
approval of this House, which represents the entire spectrum of opinions in
the State of Israel. Knowing the differing views in this House and the
sentiments of the citizens of Israel, I am convinced that a peace agreement
which fully reflects the vision which you introduced to the world in June
2002, and which is based on two states for two peoples - a Jewish state and
a Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security - will be
approved by a vast majority of the Knesset members and will be supported by
an overwhelming majority of the Israeli public.

Mr. President,

The Middle East is a region fraught with danger. The firm actions taken by
the United States throughout the years against sources of aggression,
violence and terrorism are aimed at defending the justice and preventing a
fundamental undermining of stability in our region - stability which is so
vital for world peace, the international energy market and the global

There is not the slightest shadow of doubt that confronting the murderous,
fundamentalist threat of terror, which is devoid of any moral inhibitions,
is the most important challenge currently facing democratic societies across
the globe. We had a reminder of this only yesterday afternoon, when a
rocket struck a mall in Ashkelon and injured innocent citizens.

The outcome of this confrontation will have far-reaching repercussions on
the future and way of life of the Free World. You, Mr. President, will be
remembered as the one who courageously, and without hesitation, took the
reigns of leadership and stood firmly and determinedly against this
formidable challenge.

The most severe source of threat currently to the stability of the Middle
East and to world peace is, as you know, Iran. The danger lies in the
pretentious ambition of the regime in Tehran to achieve regional hegemony,
its cynical use of terror and religious hatred to further its aims, and its
obvious pursuit of nuclear capabilities. The Iranian President's threats to
wipe Israel off the map, and the preparations he makes to carry this out
through long-range missiles and nuclear capabilities, compel us to be ready
to defend ourselves. But the threat is not aimed at Israel alone, and the
majority of countries in the region also see themselves threatened.

Israel believes that while the severity of the Iranian threat forces us not
to rule out any other course of action, presenting a united international,
political and economic front against Iran, and more severe and effective
sanctions, is a necessary, even if not final, step on the right path to
curbing the Iranian threat.

Mr. President,

On its 60th anniversary, Israel has no stronger desire than to achieve peace
with its Palestinian neighbors and other Arab states. Your continued
support of the effort to achieve peace and security in our region is
America's greatest gift to the State of Israel on its 60th anniversary.

Allow me please to convey through you to the American people, to both Houses
of Congress and to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who, throughout all
these years, persevered in their bipartisan support of Israel, our
tremendous gratitude for the generous and vital political, economic and
security aid that they have given us.

Prophet Isaiah, son of Amotz, whose voice and universal vision of peace and
justice were heard here, in the eternal capital, in Jerusalem, 2,700 years
ago, called in his prophecy for the opening of the gates of the city for the
entry of a "righteous nation": "Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation
that keepeth faithfulness may enter in".

The gates of Jerusalem, the gates of the State of Israel and the gates of
the hearts of the people of Israel are open to you, Mr. President, as the
head of a great nation and friend, which seeks justice, freedom and peace.

Welcome, and welcome to all those who accompany you on this important visit,
which symbolizes, more than anything else, the spirit and depth of the
special alliance between our peoples and countries.

And on a more personal note: it may not always be acceptable on these
official occasions, which are often subject to quite a few strict rules of
protocol, but I fear that such an occasion will not repeat itself in your
capacity as President of the United States. So, I wish to say to you
personally, from one person to another, one father to another, one son of
great parents to another, and to a warm and sensitive family man such as
yourself: political life provides all of us with many occasions in which
statements are made, registered in the protocol, echo in the air and later
fade away as if they were never made.

What you heard today, with your lovely wife and supportive team, is the
truth. It will not fade away and disappear. Not necessarily because it is
registered in the Knesset records, but because it comes from the heart - my
own personal heart, the heart of the entire Knesset and the heart of the
people of Israel.

Today, more than any other day, the Knesset gives an accurate, true and deep
expression to the entire people of Israel, and all this is thanks to you and
for you.

May you be blessed.




President Bush Addresses Members of the Knesset

For Immediate Release
Office of the White House Press Secretary
May 15, 2008
President Bush Addresses Members of the Knesset
The Knesset

2:55 P.M. (Local)
THE PRESIDENT: President Peres and Mr. Prime Minister, Madam Speaker, thank
very much for hosting this special session. President Beinish, Leader of the
Opposition Netanyahu, Ministers, members of the Knesset, distinguished
guests: Shalom. Laura and I are thrilled to be back in Israel. We have been
deeply moved by the celebrations of the past two days. And this afternoon, I
am honored to stand before one of the world's great democratic assemblies
and convey the wishes of the American people with these words: Yom
Ha'atzmaut Sameach. (Applause.)

It is a rare privilege for the American President to speak to the Knesset.
(Laughter.) Although the Prime Minister told me there is something even
rarer -- to have just one person in this chamber speaking at a time.
(Laughter.) My only regret is that one of Israel's greatest leaders is not
here to share this moment. He is a warrior for the ages, a man of peace, a
friend. The prayers of the American people are with Ariel Sharon.

We gather to mark a momentous occasion. Sixty years ago in Tel Aviv, David
Ben-Gurion proclaimed Israel's independence, founded on the "natural right
of the Jewish people to be masters of their own fate." What followed was
more than the establishment of a new country. It was the redemption of an
ancient promise given to Abraham and Moses and David -- a homeland for the
chosen people Eretz Yisrael.

Eleven minutes later, on the orders of President Harry Truman, the United
States was proud to be the first nation to recognize Israel's independence.
And on this landmark anniversary, America is proud to be Israel's closest
ally and best friend in the world.

The alliance between our governments is unbreakable, yet the source of our
friendship runs deeper than any treaty. It is grounded in the shared spirit
of our people, the bonds of the Book, the ties of the soul. When William
Bradford stepped off the Mayflower in 1620, he quoted the words of Jeremiah:
"Come let us declare in Zion the word of God." The founders of my country
saw a new promised land and bestowed upon their towns names like Bethlehem
and New Canaan. And in time, many Americans became passionate advocates for
a Jewish state.

Centuries of suffering and sacrifice would pass before the dream was
fulfilled. The Jewish people endured the agony of the pogroms, the tragedy
of the Great War, and the horror of the Holocaust -- what Elie Wiesel called
"the kingdom of the night." Soulless men took away lives and broke apart
families. Yet they could not take away the spirit of the Jewish people, and
they could not break the promise of God. (Applause.) When news of Israel's
freedom finally arrived, Golda Meir, a fearless woman raised in Wisconsin,
could summon only tears. She later said: "For two thousand years we have
waited for our deliverance. Now that it is here it is so great and wonderful
that it surpasses human words."

The joy of independence was tempered by the outbreak of battle, a struggle
that has continued for six decades. Yet in spite of the violence, in
defiance of the threats, Israel has built a thriving democracy in the heart
of the Holy Land. You have welcomed immigrants from the four corners of the
Earth. You have forged a free and modern society based on the love of
liberty, a passion for justice, and a respect for human dignity. You have
worked tirelessly for peace. You have fought valiantly for freedom.

My country's admiration for Israel does not end there. When Americans look
at Israel, we see a pioneer spirit that worked an agricultural miracle and
now leads a high-tech revolution. We see world-class universities and a
global leader in business and innovation and the arts. We see a resource
more valuable than oil or gold: the talent and determination of a free
people who refuse to let any obstacle stand in the way of their destiny.

I have been fortunate to see the character of Israel up close. I have
touched the Western Wall, seen the sun reflected in the Sea of Galilee, I
have prayed at Yad Vashem. And earlier today, I visited Masada, an inspiring
monument to courage and sacrifice. At this historic site, Israeli soldiers
swear an oath: "Masada shall never fall again." Citizens of Israel: Masada
shall never fall again, and America will be at your side.

This anniversary is a time to reflect on the past. It's also an opportunity
to look to the future. As we go forward, our alliance will be guided by
clear principles -- shared convictions rooted in moral clarity and unswayed
by popularity polls or the shifting opinions of international elites.

We believe in the matchless value of every man, woman, and child. So we
insist that the people of Israel have the right to a decent, normal, and
peaceful life, just like the citizens of every other nation. (Applause.)

We believe that democracy is the only way to ensure human rights. So we
consider it a source of shame that the United Nations routinely passes more
human rights resolutions against the freest democracy in the Middle East
than any other nation in the world. (Applause.)

We believe that religious liberty is fundamental to a civilized society. So
we condemn anti-Semitism in all forms -- whether by those who openly
question Israel's right to exist, or by others who quietly excuse them.

We believe that free people should strive and sacrifice for peace. So we
applaud the courageous choices Israeli's leaders have made. We also believe
that nations have a right to defend themselves and that no nation should
ever be forced to negotiate with killers pledged to its destruction.

We believe that targeting innocent lives to achieve political objectives is
always and everywhere wrong. So we stand together against terror and
extremism, and we will never let down our guard or lose our resolve.

The fight against terror and extremism is the defining challenge of our
time. It is more than a clash of arms. It is a clash of visions, a great
ideological struggle. On the one side are those who defend the ideals of
justice and dignity with the power of reason and truth. On the other side
are those who pursue a narrow vision of cruelty and control by committing
murder, inciting fear, and spreading lies.

This struggle is waged with the technology of the 21st century, but at its
core it is an ancient battle between good and evil. The killers claim the
mantle of Islam, but they are not religious men. No one who prays to the God
of Abraham could strap a suicide vest to an innocent child, or blow up
guiltless guests at a Passover Seder, or fly planes into office buildings
filled with unsuspecting workers. In truth, the men who carry out these
savage acts serve no higher goal than their own desire for power. They
accept no God before themselves. And they reserve a special hatred for the
most ardent defenders of liberty, including Americans and Israelis.

And that is why the founding charter of Hamas calls for the "elimination" of
Israel. And that is why the followers of Hezbollah chant "Death to Israel,
Death to America!" That is why Osama bin Laden teaches that "the killing of
Jews and Americans is one of the biggest duties." And that is why the
President of Iran dreams of returning the Middle East to the Middle Ages and
calls for Israel to be wiped off the map.

There are good and decent people who cannot fathom the darkness in these men
and try to explain away their words. It's natural, but it is deadly wrong.
As witnesses to evil in the past, we carry a solemn responsibility to take
these words seriously. Jews and Americans have seen the consequences of
disregarding the words of leaders who espouse hatred. And that is a mistake
the world must not repeat in the 21st century.

Some seem to believe that we should negotiate with the terrorists and
radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been
wrong all along. We have heard this foolish delusion before. As Nazi tanks
crossed into Poland in 1939, an American senator declared: "Lord, if I could
only have talked to Hitler, all this might have been avoided." We have an
obligation to call this what it is -- the false comfort of appeasement,
which has been repeatedly discredited by history. (Applause.)

Some people suggest if the United States would just break ties with Israel,
all our problems in the Middle East would go away. This is a tired argument
that buys into the propaganda of the enemies of peace, and America utterly
rejects it. Israel's population may be just over 7 million. But when you
confront terror and evil, you are 307 million strong, because the United
States of America stands with you. (Applause.)

America stands with you in breaking up terrorist networks and denying the
extremists sanctuary. America stands with you in firmly opposing Iran's
nuclear weapons ambitions. Permitting the world's leading sponsor of terror
to possess the world's deadliest weapons would be an unforgivable betrayal
for future generations. For the sake of peace, the world must not allow Iran
to have a nuclear weapon. (Applause.)

Ultimately, to prevail in this struggle, we must offer an alternative to the
ideology of the extremists by extending our vision of justice and tolerance
and freedom and hope. These values are the self-evident right of all people,
of all religions, in all the world because they are a gift from the Almighty
God. Securing these rights is also the surest way to secure peace. Leaders
who are accountable to their people will not pursue endless confrontation
and bloodshed. Young people with a place in their society and a voice in
their future are less likely to search for meaning in radicalism. Societies
where citizens can express their conscience and worship their God will not
export violence, they will be partners in peace.

The fundamental insight, that freedom yields peace, is the great lesson of
the 20th century. Now our task is to apply it to the 21st. Nowhere is this
work more urgent than here in the Middle East. We must stand with the
reformers working to break the old patterns of tyranny and despair. We must
give voice to millions of ordinary people who dream of a better life in a
free society. We must confront the moral relativism that views all forms of
government as equally acceptable and thereby consigns whole societies to
slavery. Above all, we must have faith in our values and ourselves and
confidently pursue the expansion of liberty as the path to a peaceful

That future will be a dramatic departure from the Middle East of today. So
as we mark 60 years from Israel's founding, let us try to envision the
region 60 years from now. This vision is not going to arrive easily or
overnight; it will encounter violent resistance. But if we and future
Presidents and future Knessets maintain our resolve and have faith in our
ideals, here is the Middle East that we can see:

Israel will be celebrating the 120th anniversary as one of the world's great
democracies, a secure and flourishing homeland for the Jewish people. The
Palestinian people will have the homeland they have long dreamed of and
deserved -- a democratic state that is governed by law, and respects human
rights, and rejects terror. From Cairo to Riyadh to Baghdad and Beirut,
people will live in free and independent societies, where a desire for peace
is reinforced by ties of diplomacy and tourism and trade. Iran and Syria
will be peaceful nations, with today's oppression a distant memory and where
people are free to speak their minds and develop their God-given talents. Al
Qaeda and Hezbollah and Hamas will be defeated, as Muslims across the region
recognize the emptiness of the terrorists' vision and the injustice of their

Overall, the Middle East will be characterized by a new period of tolerance
and integration. And this doesn't mean that Israel and its neighbors will be
best of friends. But when leaders across the region answer to their people,
they will focus their energies on schools and jobs, not on rocket attacks
and suicide bombings. With this change, Israel will open a new hopeful
chapter in which its people can live a normal life, and the dream of Herzl
and the founders of 1948 can be fully and finally realized.

This is a bold vision, and some will say it can never be achieved. But think
about what we have witnessed in our own time. When Europe was destroying
itself through total war and genocide, it was difficult to envision a
continent that six decades later would be free and at peace. When Japanese
pilots were flying suicide missions into American battleships, it seemed
impossible that six decades later Japan would be a democracy, a lynchpin of
security in Asia, and one of America's closest friends. And when waves of
refugees arrived here in the desert with nothing, surrounded by hostile
armies, it was almost unimaginable that Israel would grow into one of the
freest and most successful nations on the earth.

Yet each one of these transformations took place. And a future of
transformation is possible in the Middle East, so long as a new generation
of leaders has the courage to defeat the enemies of freedom, to make the
hard choices necessary for peace, and stand firm on the solid rock of
universal values.

Sixty years ago, on the eve of Israel's independence, the last British
soldiers departing Jerusalem stopped at a building in the Jewish quarter of
the Old City. An officer knocked on the door and met a senior rabbi. The
officer presented him with a short iron bar -- the key to the Zion Gate --
and said it was the first time in 18 centuries that a key to the gates of
Jerusalem had belonged to a Jew. His hands trembling, the rabbi offered a
prayer of thanksgiving to God, "Who had granted us life and permitted us to
reach this day." Then he turned to the officer, and uttered the words Jews
had awaited for so long: "I accept this key in the name of my people."

Over the past six decades, the Jewish people have established a state that
would make that humble rabbi proud. You have raised a modern society in the
Promised Land, a light unto the nations that preserves the legacy of Abraham
and Isaac and Jacob. And you have built a mighty democracy that will endure
forever and can always count on the United States of America to be at your
side. God bless. (Applause.)


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Israel; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: 60thanniversary; israel; presbushknesset08; presidentbush; transcript
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1 posted on 05/15/2008 10:50:27 AM PDT by SJackson
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To: dennisw; Cachelot; Nix 2; veronica; Catspaw; knighthawk; Alouette; Optimist; weikel; Lent; GregB; ..
If you'd like to be on this middle east/political ping list, please FR mail me.

High volume. Articles on Israel can also be found by clicking on the Topic or Keyword Israel, WOT


Good and Evil, God, a bit politically incorrect.

at its core it is an ancient battle between good and evil. The killers claim the mantle of Islam, but they are not religious men. No one who prays to the God of Abraham could strap a suicide vest to an innocent child, or blow up guiltless guests at a Passover Seder, or fly planes into office buildings filled with unsuspecting workers. In truth, the men who carry out these savage acts serve no higher goal than their own desire for power. They accept no God before themselves. And they reserve a special hatred for the most ardent defenders of liberty, including Americans and Israelis.

2 posted on 05/15/2008 10:55:18 AM PDT by SJackson (It is impossible to build a peace process based on blood, Natan Sharansky)
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To: SJackson
The president was right on. Here is his press sec's statement about Obama's outrageous complaint:

" I understand when you're running for office you sometimes think the world revolves around you. That is not always true. And it is not true in this case."

Absolutely right on!

3 posted on 05/15/2008 10:59:48 AM PDT by Williams
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To: SJackson
"Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!" --Isaiah 5:20
4 posted on 05/15/2008 11:09:42 AM PDT by onedoug
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To: SJackson

It sure is funny hearing the Democrats claiming that “politics stops at the water’s edge” even though they have no problems in engaging in their own shadow foreign policy in opposition to Bush.

5 posted on 05/15/2008 11:15:17 AM PDT by pnh102 (Save America - Ban Ethanol Now!)
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To: Williams

GOD BLESS PRESIDENT BUSH! He tells the world like it is and not the fantasy that the Dim’s want you to beleive...

President Bush’s comment:

Obama =Ob(H)ama(S)

6 posted on 05/15/2008 11:16:11 AM PDT by ncfool (Savage said that Islam is a Peaceful religion. Your very peaceful after they slit your throat!)
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Two Questions for Obama about his “outrage” at the speech:

Which part refers to you?

Which part do you disagree with?

7 posted on 05/15/2008 11:24:41 AM PDT by D-fendr (Deus non alligatur sacramentis sed nos alligamur.)
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To: SJackson

Sounds like about the best speech W has made since his “axis of evil” speech to Congress shortly after 9/11.

8 posted on 05/15/2008 11:28:16 AM PDT by justiceseeker93
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To: SJackson

Did Obama have a specific response to this speech?

9 posted on 05/15/2008 11:31:18 AM PDT by justiceseeker93
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To: Williams

Can you possibly link us to Obama’s “complaint”?

10 posted on 05/15/2008 11:33:16 AM PDT by justiceseeker93
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To: SJackson
11 posted on 05/15/2008 11:33:24 AM PDT by steel_resolve (We are living in the post-rational world where being a moron is an asset)
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To: justiceseeker93

It was an excellent speech. To my knowledge Obama hasn’t had anything to stay, he’s still upset the President spoke out on appeasement.

12 posted on 05/15/2008 11:37:42 AM PDT by SJackson (It is impossible to build a peace process based on blood, Natan Sharansky)
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To: justiceseeker93
Obama blasts Bush over 'Nazi' comments (Bush invokes Nazis in apparent hit on Obama)
13 posted on 05/15/2008 11:40:16 AM PDT by SJackson (It is impossible to build a peace process based on blood, Natan Sharansky)
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To: SJackson; All

If Obama can’t handle a speech that was not talking about him, then he can’t handle being a Commander in Chief...

14 posted on 05/15/2008 11:41:36 AM PDT by KevinDavis (John McCain "08" If Obama can't handle a speech that was not talking about him, then he can't handle)
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To: justiceseeker93
BTW you'll note the couple lines that upset Obama

Some seem to believe that we should negotiate with the terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along. We have heard this foolish delusion before. As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American senator declared: "Lord, if I could only have talked to Hitler, all this might have been avoided." We have an obligation to call this what it is -- the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history.

are well down into the speech, and certainly not it's prime message. But preceded by lengthy praise for Israel and the US/Israel relationship. Obama may have been upset by the time he got to the offending line.

15 posted on 05/15/2008 11:44:29 AM PDT by SJackson (It is impossible to build a peace process based on blood, Natan Sharansky)
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To: Williams

The president was right on. Here is his press sec’s statement about Obama’s outrageous complaint:

” I understand when you’re running for office you sometimes think the world revolves around you. That is not always true. And it is not true in this case.”

Did Dana say that, or one of her assistants? Snap!!!

16 posted on 05/15/2008 11:44:32 AM PDT by Christian4Bush (Listening to this year's crop of presidential candidates makes me envy the dead.)
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To: KevinDavis
If Obama can’t handle a speech that was not talking about him, then he can’t handle being a Commander in Chief...

And a non-political speech, in a foreign country, addressing non-voters. Wonder what Obama was thinking?

17 posted on 05/15/2008 11:46:40 AM PDT by SJackson (It is impossible to build a peace process based on blood, Natan Sharansky)
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To: SJackson; Alouette; Salem; SunkenCiv

Bibi isn’t perfect, but I’d rather have him as P.M. of Israel than Tweedledee Olmerde. Of course, if I had my druthers, I want King David send down from Heaven and be Israel’s leader right now. (hey, I can dream, can’t i?!)

18 posted on 05/15/2008 11:46:48 AM PDT by Convert from ECUSA (Hillary, Obama, McCain. Curley, Larry, Moe. Decisions, decisions,)
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To: justiceseeker93
We have several threads going...I posted this from the BBC:

Obama attacks Bush over Iran barb

19 posted on 05/15/2008 11:49:24 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (No Burkas for my Grandaughters!)
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To: SJackson
Thanks for posting this. Great reading. Classic Bush. I'm very proud that he chose to go to Israel for the anniversary of her declaration of independence.

How telling, not to mention utterly damning, is it that the Obama and his own supporters see Bush's remarks about the delusion of appeasers as being about him?

20 posted on 05/15/2008 11:52:20 AM PDT by AHerald ("Be faithful to God ... do not bother about the ridicule of the foolish." - St. Pio of Pietrelcina)
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