tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN March 2, 2015 9:00pm-11:01pm EST
the former prime minister of spain. and former canadian former -- foreign minister john baird. thank you both for your unwavering support. you are true champions of israel, and you are true champions of the truth. [applause] i also want to recognize u.s. ambassador to israel dan schapiro for your friendship and
for the great job you are doing representing the united states and the state of israel. [applause] i want to recognize that two rons. i want to thank him for helping us in a very difficult for him. i want to recognize the other ron, a man who knows how to take each, israel's ambassador to the u.s., ron dermer. [applause]
ron, i could not have you -- i could not be prouder to have you representing israel in washington. and finally, i want to recognize my wife, whose courage in the face of adversity is an inspiration to me. [applause] sarah divides her time as a child psychologist, as a loving mother and the public duties of the wife of the prime minister. sarah, i am so proud to have you here with me today, to have you at my side always. my friends, i bring greetings to you from jerusalem our eternal undivided capital. [applause]
but, i do want to say a few words about the purpose of that speech. first, let me clarify. what is not the purpose of the speech. my speech is not intended to show disrespect to president obama or the esteemed office he holds. i have great respect for both. [applause] i deeply appreciate all that the president has done for us. security cooperation, intelligence, supporting the u.n. and things that i cannot divulge because it remains in the realm of the confidence is capped between an american president and an israeli prime minister. i am deeply grateful for the
support, and so should you be. [applause] my speech is also not intended to inject israel into the american partisan debate. an important reason why our alliance has grown stronger, decade after decade, is that it has been championed by both parties, and so it must remain. [applause] both democratic and republican presidents have worked together with friends from both sides of the aisles in congress, supporting israel and the alliance between our two countries. working together, they have provided israel with generous military assistance and missile defense funding and spending. we saw how important that was last summer. they have made israel the first
three trade partner of america, 30 years ago, and its first official strategic partner, last year. [applause] they have backed israel into -- in defending ourselves at war and achieving a durable peace with our neighbors. working together has made israel stronger. it has made our alliance stronger. that is why, the last thing that anyone cares about israel, the last thing i would want is for israel to become a partisan issue. i regret that some people miss perceive my visit here this week, as doing that. israel has always been a bipartisan issue. israel should remain a bipartisan issue. [applause]
ladies and gentlemen, the purpose of my address to congress tomorrow is to speak up about a potential deal with iran that could threaten the survival of israel. iran is the foremost state sponsor of terrorism in the world. look at that graph. look at that map. you can see on the wall, it shows iran training armies dispatching terrorists on five continents. iran and bell of the entire world with its tentacles of terror. this is what iran is doing now without nuclear weapons. imagine what iran would do with nuclear weapons.
this same iran vows to annihilate israel if it develops nuclear weapons it would have been mean to achieve -- it would have the means to achieve that goal. we must not let that happen. [applause] as prime minister of israel, i have a moral obligation to speak up in the face of these dangers while there is still time to avert them. for 2000 years, my people, the jewish people, were stateless, defenseless, voiceless. we were utterly powerless against our enemies, who swore to destroy us. we suffered relentless
persecution and her rhythmic attacks. we could never speak on our own behalf. we could not defend ourselves. well, no more. no more. the days when the jewish people are passive in the face of threats to annihilate us, those days are over. [applause] today and our sovereign state of israel, we defend ourselves. and, being able to defend ourselves, we ally with others most importantly the united states of america, to defend our common civilization against, and threats.
-- against common threats. in our part of the world, and increasingly in every part of the world no one makes alliances with the week. to seek out to those who have strength, those who have resolved, those who have determination to fight or themselves, that is how alliances are formed. so, we defend ourselves, and in so doing, create the basis of a broader alliance. and today, we are no longer silent. today, we have a voice. [applause] and tomorrow tomorrow, as i minister of the only jewish state, i plan to use that voice.
-- as prime minister of the only jewish state, i plan to use that voice. [applause] i plan to speak about the irani and regime that is threatening to destroy israel, that is devouring country after country in the middle east. that is exporting terror throughout the world and that is developing, as we speak, the capacity to make nuclear, lots of them. -- nuclear weapons, lots of them. ladies and gentlemen we agree that it iran should not have nuclear weapons. but, we disagree on the best way to prevent iran from developing
those weapons. disagreements among allies, only natural from time to time, it even among the closest allies. because there are important differences tween america and israel. america is a large country, one of the largest. israel is a small country. one of the smallest. america lives in one of the world's safest neighborhoods. israel lives in the world's most dangerous neighborhood. america is the strongest power in the world. israel is strong, but it is much more vulnerable. america -- america's leaders worry about the security of their country. israeli leaders worry about the survival of their country. [applause]
i think that encapsulates the difference. i have been prime minister for nine years. there is not a single day, not one day, that i did not inc. about the survival of my country, and the actions i take to ensure that survival. not one day. [applause] and, because of these differences, america and israel have had serious disagreements over the course of our nearly 70-year-old friendship. that started with the beginning. in 1948, secretary of state george marshall opposed the intention to declare statehood. he vehemently opposed it. but then goren, understanding what was at stake, declared israel's independence. in 1967, as an arab noose was
tightening around israel's net, the u.s. warmed the prime minister -- warned the prime minister that if israel acted alone, it would be alone. but israel did act, acted alone to defend itself. in 1981, under the leadership of prime minister, israel destroyed the nuclear reactor. [applause] the united states criticized israel, and suspended arms transfers for three months. in 2002, after the worst wave of palestinian terror attacks in israel's history, the prime minister launched operation defensive shield. the u.s. demanded that israel withdraw troops immediately that the prime minister continued until the operation
was completed. there is a reason i mention all these. i mention them to make a point. despite occasional disagreements, the friendship between america and israel grew stronger and stronger, decade after decade. [applause] and our friendship will weather the current disagreement as well, to grow even stronger in the future. [applause] i will tell you why. because we share the same dreams . because we pray and hope and a spier for that same better world. because the values that unite us are much stronger than the differences that divide us. [applause]
values like liberty, equality justice, tolerance compassion. as our region to send into medial barbarism -- made evil -- medieval barbarism, israel is the one that upholds these values. as bombs are dropped, israeli doctors treated victims in the goal on heights. -- the golan heights. as christians in the middle east are beheaded, israel passed christian community is growing and thriving, the only such community in the middle east. [applause]
as women in the region are oppressed and enslaved and raped, women in israel serve as chief justices, fighter pilots two women chief justices in a row. well, not in a row. but, in succession. that is pretty good. in a dark and savage and desperate middle east, israel is a beacon of humanity, of light and of hope. [applause] ladies and gentlemen, israel and the u.s. will continue to stand together because america and israel are more than friends. we are like family. we are practically [yiddish]
disagreements in the family are always uncomfortable. but we'll must always remember that we are family. rooted in a common heritage, upholding common values, sharing a common destiny. that is the message i came to tell you today. our friendship is strong, and with your efforts, it will get even stronger in the years to come. thank you, aipac. thank you, america. bless you all. >> we will have live coverage of prime minister netanyahu's's speech to a joint meeting of congress tomorrow at 11 :00 a.m. eastern on c-span. now, remarks from ambassador samantha power, who also spoke at the meeting. her remarks are 30 minutes.
>> thank you all, and thank you michael. it is a great honor to be here. before i begin, i want to thank howard for the invitation, and congratulate lillian on her selection. i would also like to give a shout out to bob, who has done so much for this organization, and for the u.s.-israel partnership. in 1942, at -- a 28-year-old polish diplomat disguised
himself as a jew, donning an armband with the star of david and smuggled himself through a tunnel into the warsaw ghetto. later, posing as a militia man he infiltrated the not see death camp -- the not see -- the nazi death camp. his -- he made his way to london, and he showed his documents. they immediately sent the following table to the world jewish congress in new york. jews in poland, almost completely annihilated. stop. read report. 10,000 jews death. stop. forced to dig their own grave.
hundreds of children thrown, alive, into gutters. death camps. treblinka district. thousands dead. mass graves. murdered pregnant women. stop. jews, dragged into get -- death payments -- death chambers. thousands, daily victims throughout poland. stop. believe the unbelievable. stop. six years later on may 14, 1948 the declaration was issued that state -- began the state of israel. jews had dreamed of being a free nation in their own land. a vision articulated by theodore hurts all in -- theodore hertzel .
the declarations authors called this dream a greater urgency. the savagery he'd witnessed was an impetus behind the creation of the institution where i represent the u.s., the united nations. i begin my career as a journalist. moved by the harrowing images of prisoners in concentration camps, i traveled to the balkans, where i covered the horrors of a war in which kids were kicked up their bicycles by snipers. bosnian-muslim women were raped and some 8000 unarmed men and boys were murdered. the largest massacre in europe since world war ii. i also saw the citizens of osmium -- bosnia look to you and peacekeepers to protect them. they found rescue only from a u.s.-led coalition that finally intervened to stop the slaughter.
[applause] i was chilled by what i saw and chilled equally by the slowness of the world's response. i did not understand how the world could say we had learned the lessons of the holocaust and never again, only to witness sorry ebro, the rwandan genocide -- sorry ebro -- saraj evo and rwanda. so much of what i saw left and enduring impression, but nothing so much as the children's memorial. the dissent into a dark cavern illuminated by candles, paying tribute to the memories of 1.5 million children murdered by the not cease. projected in the darkness, a
stream of photographs of individual faces of the children killed as their names, countries, and ages ago in the void implanting themselves and one's consciousness and into one's conscience. you do not need to be jewish to feel the searing loss held by that darkness. a loss, like the tiny specks of light reflected in the cavernous room, that is him or -- in measurable, infinite. of course, the story of the creation of israel and the u.n. is about more than a reaction against the evils of the holocaust. the story is also the story of thousands of years of jews your earning for a homeland, and it is the story of a set of principles reflected in israel's founding document, which envisaged a state based on freedom, justice, and peace, as envisaged by the prophets of israel. a state that would be faithful
to the principles of the charter of the united nations,". it is bitterly unjust that the u.n., an institution founded on the idea that all nations should be treated equally, is so often used cynically by member states to treat israel unequally. [applause] these attacks on israel's legitimacy are biased, they are ugly and the united states of america will not rest until they stop. [applause] now, as a few of you may have heard, the prime minister of israel is in town. [applause]
rumor has it, he may be giving a couple speeches backup? you may also heard about tension in the relationship between the u.s. and israel. let's separate a few different issues. politics policy, and what the u.s. does each and every day to combat anti-semitism around the world, and fight attacks against israel at the united nations. [applause] we believe firmly that israel's security and the u.s.-israel partnership transcends politics, and it always will. [applause]
that is a very important statement you have all made. it was the same bond that led president truman to make the u.s. the first country to recognize israel. 11 minutes after it declared its existence in 1948. and, it is why we have stood by israel's side every minute since. our commitments to our partnership with israel are bedrock commitments, rooted in shared fundamental values must amended through decades of bipartisan reinforcement. this partnership should never be politicized. it cannot and will not be tarnished or broken. [applause]
now, debating the most effective policy within our respective democracies, and among partners, is more than useful. it is a necessary part of arriving at informed decisions. politicizing that process is not. the stakes are too high for that. [applause] on a policy, the negotiations that we and our partners have entered into with iran negotiations aimed centrally at denying iran a nuclear weapon, have generated reasonable debate. my colleague and your -- dear friend susan rice will speak about iran later tonight. i am struck, when i read about alleged policy differences on the iran nuclear negotiations, i really see mentioned the foundational strategic agreement between the u.s. and israel. an agreement that undergirds our
entire engagement with iran. the u.s. will not allow iran to obtain a nuclear weapon, period. [applause] now, let me put president obama's commitment to denying iran in nuclear weapon in context. the obama administration has invested more than $20 billion in foreign military financing for israel, far more than for any other country, and more than at any previous time in the history of the u.s.-israel relationship. and, and, the president not only committed to denying iran a nuclear weapon before negotiations with iran began he has reiterated the same commitment during negotiations and he will keep his commitment
whether negotiations collapse or, for it is a diplomatic solution that meets our bottom line. maybe the president has made this point so often, that it is not heard in the same way anymore. but we have to keep repeating it. talks, no talks. agreements, no agreements. the u.s. will take whatever steps are necessary to protect our national security, and that of our closest allies. [applause] we believe that diplomacy is the preferred route to secure our shared aims, but if diplomacy should fail, we know the stakes of a nuclear armed iran as well as anyone here. we will not let it happen. there will never be a sunset on america's commitment to israel's security.
never. [applause] now, let me turn to aspects of the u.s.-israel partnership that get less attention. what the united states is doing every day to combat anti-semitism around the world into have israel's back at the united nations. we are living in an era when anti-semitism is searching. we should -- is surging. we should all be discerned to -- we should all be discouraged. we saw rallies in paris where protesters marched on a synagogue saying " jews to the oven." we see congregants forced to walk through metal detectors to enter their synagogue.
we have seen murders. the attack on the jewish school in to lose -- jewish school in toulouse. then there are the signs that we cannot see, but are no less chilling. jews thinking twice before shopping in a kosher supermarket. in 2004, all 55 countries in the organization for security and cooperation in europe convened in berlin to make an historic pledge to combat all forms of anti-semitism. when the countries reassembled last year, president obama asked me to lead the presidential delegation to the meeting. what i told the leaders gathered there is what you are you know. anti-somatic attacks are not only an attack to the jewish community, but the european
liberalism and pluralism. i told the european gathering that while freedom of expression is a sacred right, criticism of israel can never be used as a justification of incitement to violence. [applause] and i told them that when leaders speak up, nations take notice. unfortunately, president obama was one of the few leaders to send cabinet level representatives to this important conference. even more alarming, only two thirds of the country's that participated in 2004 were represented in 2014. given that the situation has only gotten worse, i asked the policymakers, doesn't this issue merit the same show of solidarity and commitment from governments today as it did a decade ago? i believe -- we believe it
deserves that and more. that is why in recent years, the united states has been working relentlessly to take robust steps from developing hate crime legislation to prosecuting perpetrators of anti-semitic acts. the last place that you might expect meaningful action to come back anti-semitism -- to combat anti-semitism is at the united nations. as you all know, it was 40 years ago, in 1975, that the un's general assembly adopted a resolution with the support of 75 amber states which determined -- 75 member states which determined that zionism is a form of racism.
when the u.s. ambassador to the u.n. at the time passionately objected -- [applause] when he passionately objected to the resolution, he told the general assembly, the abomination of anti-semitism has been given the appearance of international sanction. what we have here is a lie. it was precisely because of this lie and the fact that the general assembly does not act fairly toward israel, that we worked over the last year to convene the first ever meeting on anti-semitism in the very same un's general assembly that gave us zionism as racism. moynihan would not have believed the scene when many countries
and people of all faiths took the podium not only to attack anti-semitism, but also to commit their countries to take concrete steps to stop its alarming rise. going forward, all countries now need to be held to those pledges. [applause] let me give you a sampling of what we have done across the u.n. system to defend israel's right to be treated like any other nation. we opposed everyone of them. when the u.n. human rights council held a session last july to inquire about human rights
violations in the palestinian territories, we cast the soul no vote -- the sole no vote on a resolution that did not mention hamas even wants -- mention hamas even once. [applause] and this is after hamas had fired proximally 4000 rockets on israel last year. in 2009, more than half of the resolutions adopted on the human rights council focused on israel. today, we have lowered that proportion to a third. but still, the human rights council has adopted more resolutions criticizing israel than it has for north korea where children are forced to witness the execution of their parents. at the security council, we have
also guarded vigilantly against any resolution that goes against israel's authority or undermines peace. in december, we successfully rallied other countries to go against the resolution on palestinian statehood. i recognized at the time that a two state system is vital and we stand ready as we always have to support and engage with the parties in working toward that two state solution. progress will require brave leadership and tough decisions. israeli settlement activity damages the prospects for peace.
nor will actions against israel at the icc help us get to a negotiated solution. it is a false choice to tell israel that it has to choose between piece on the one hand and security on the other. the united nations would not ask any other country to make that choice, and it should not ask it of israel. [applause] we have pressed the un security council to respond when israelis are victims of terror. or seven years, leading up to 2012, the council would not issue a single press statement condemning an attack on israel. last year it released three including one about the kidnapping and killing of three israeli teenagers.
day in and day out, we fight for israel's full participation in a nations bodies -- in u.n. bodies. four years --for years, israel was the only group that had no group to caucus with in the general assembly committee that addresses human rights. i was determined to change this, and we did. in january 2014, we help secure for israel permanent membership in what is called the western european and others group, the group that we belong to. and we secured israel's membership in the like-minded human rights caucus. now no one will have to fight those battles again.
unfortunately, there are so many more battles. confronting anti-israel bias is part of a long bipartisan tradition at the u.n.. it is part of the legacy of every single u.s. ambassador to the united nations that has come before me, from my predecessor susan wright -- predecessor susan rice to diplomats are both parties. why does the u.s. would so much into this effort? i would borrow the explanation that president johnson gave shortly after the six-day war when the soviet premier asked him why the united states was supporting israel, a nation so vastly outnumbered. president johnson said, "numbers do not determine what is right."
that was true in 1967 and it is true today. and the reason it is right, as johnson said, is because we believe in israel. we believe in the values of pluralism, freedom, and democracy that it represents, and we believe that the jewish people should always have a homeland that is safe and secure. [applause] but there is another reason that we put so much into ensuring israel gets a seat that deserves every table and can take part in the great challenges of our time. given the equal opportunity to can -- to contribute, israel has shown time and time again what it can do. look at its contributions to the ebola outbreak, where it
contributed large money -- large amounts of money and resources. or think about its deployment to haiti after the earthquake in 2010 of a field hospital, within four days of the earthquake. if those are not modern day embodiments of [indiscernible] i don't know what is. there is a broader reason for why we fight for israel at the u.n.. that is to bring the u.n. closer to meeting the goals of its charter. i am under no illusions of the flaws and contradictions within the u.n. but we do not have the option of walking away. whether bringing countries
together for a coalition against isil or combating atrocities, the u.n. can advance america or israel's shared interests. these problems do not exist because of the u.n. organization, per se, but the u.n. is the venue where countries -- where countries' opinions are aired. we must commit ourselves to the world that we seek. that is what moynahan saw so clearly in 1975, when he told the u.n., "what we have at stake here is not only the honor and legitimacy of the state of israel. a challenge on to arouse -- a
challenge on to arouse vigilance. but at issue is the integrity of the whole body and the moral and legal precepts that we know as human rights." today's threats, from terrorists to diseases to poverty, we need more countries that can share our commitments and values so that we can make the -- make the world more just and secure. let me conclude. for israel, too often, the right to be treated equally or to exist at all, has been challenged. the history of israel is the story of perpetually overcoming these challenges. it is a story that is still being written as the ox -- as the obstacles still exist.
throughout the shared history the united states has stood shoulder to shoulder with our partner through thick and thin. several decades ago when, like today, some were citing tensions in the ties between the united states and israel, a wise senator from massachusetts said, "it is worth remembering that israel is a cause that stands beyond the ordinary changes of american life. in our pluralistic site -- our pluralistic society, it has not been a jewish cause as irish independence was not solely a concern of irish-americans. friendship for israel is not a partisan matter it is a national commitment."
[applause] that year was 1960 and the senator was john f. kennedy. his words hold true today. the bond between the united states and israel is still a national commitment. the bond runs much deeper than anyone issue or generation. now, as then, we cannot and will not lose sight of that. thank you so much. [applause] ♪ >> now, national security advisor susan writes -- advisor susan rice talks about u.s. israel relations and the nuclear negotiations with iran. rice: good evening everyone.
it is great to be back at aipac. thank you so much for your warm introduction. i also want to thank howard core, bob:, lillian pincus -- bob cohen, and all of aipac's board and members. i also want to thank the members of congress, who represents america's strong, bipartisan support for the state of israel. and all of the young people here today, some 3000, who represents -- [applause]
some 3000 young people who represent the bright future of the u.s.-israel special relationship. i brought one of those young people with me tonight. my 17-year-old son jake, who insisted he had to come to aipac . but i want to take a moment before i begin to remember three young men who aren't with us here today. i want to call us back to those terrible days last summer when we were united in grief over the horrifying kidnapping and murder of three israeli teenagers.
as a mother, my heart breaks for such unspeakable loss. we continue to mourn their tragic loss. the last time i spoke at aipac it was at the synagogue initiative lunch. this group tonight is a little bit larger. but when i finished that speech, more than 400 rabbis thanked me in hebrew. that is something i will never forget. the words of their song reflect spirit that brings me here
tonight. [speaking hebrew] [applause] how good it is and how pleasant when we sit together in brotherhood. i admit, where i first encountered it in church, it was not in the original hebrew. that song always reminds me how much we can do together when we unite in common purpose. it goes to the heart of what aipac is all about. what the relationship between israel and the united states is all about. brotherhood, togetherness,
unity. that is because the u.s.-israel alliance is not just rooted in our mutual interests, vital as they are. it is also rooted in the values of freedom and democracy that we share. and, it is in the friendship and fellowship between ordinary israelis and american. for me personally, it is a warmth that is rooted in my very first visit to israel. i was just 14, traveling with my younger brother and my beloved late father. my dad was on the board of twa. some of you are old enough to member that once great airline. we arrived in one of the first ever flights from egypt to
israel just after the camp david accords were signed. we had an unforgettable visit. the power of which has stayed with me all my life. we bowed our heads in sorrow, we walked the lanes of the old city climbed masada, floated in the dead sea, and picked fruit at a table it's -- picked fruit at a kibbutz. my first memories of israel remain etched in my soul. put simply, the relationship between the states and israel is not just one between states, it is one between two peoples and the millions of personal, intimate connections that bind
us all stop -- that bind us. [applause] our relationship has deepened and grown through different presidents and prime ministers for nearly 70 years. it was president truman, a democrat who, just 11 minutes after israel declared its independence, made the united states the first country to recognize the state of israel. it was president nick's and, a republican -- president richard nixon, a republican, who made sure the united states stuck with israel as it fought force survival -- as it fought for survival on one terrible yom kippur.
the people of israel live. it was president carter who helped israel forge an historic peace with egypt that endures to this day. and it was president clinton and president george w. bush, who backed israel as it took more brave steps for peace. and as it endured terrorist attacks from hezbollah and hamas. the relationship between the united states and the state of israel is not a partnership between individual leaders or political parties, it is an alliance between two nations rooted in the unbreakable friendship between our two peoples. [applause]
it is not negotiable and it never will be. our alliance grows from generation to generation. that is what counts. that is what we have to protect. as john f. kennedy said back in 1960 "friendship for israel is not a partisan matter, it is a national commitment." [applause] no one knows this debtor then all of you. -- no one knows this that are then all of you.
for decades, there has been bipartisan support for america's special relationship with israel. that is why every president from harry truman to barack obama has begun with a fundamental premise, that is that strengthening the security of israel is in the national interest of the united states. [applause] president obama's commitment to israel is deep and personal. i know because i see it every day. i first saw it when i accompanied then senator obama to israel in 2008. i saw it when he surveyed with horror the stacks of charred rockets that hamas had fired on israel, and when he walked
through hollow down homes. -- hollowed out homes. that same year, he came to this meeting still as a senator and he made a promise. he said that israel's security is sacrosanct. and each day over the past six years, president obama has cap that promise. -- has kept that promise. [applause] the president is profoundly committed to ensuring that israel is never alone. [applause] that is why today, security cooperation between our two countries is not just strong, it is stronger than it has ever
been. [applause] both president obama and prime minister netanyahu have called it unprecedented and that is the way it is going to stay. [applause] president obama has met with prime minister netanyahu more times than with almost any other world leader. as national security advisor, i am in nearly constant communication with my friend and israeli counterpart, who i am so please is here tonight -- i am so i also want to thank his predecessor, who is also here tonight and was kind enough to
greet me backstage. [applause] and i have to say hello to my dear friend, who served together with me for many years at the u.n. [applause] together, he and i host the u.s.-israel consulted in group to ensure we are working closely across the highest levels of our government. our armed forces conduct extensive exercises together and our military and intelligence leaders consult continually. under this administration,, in times of tight budgets, our security assistance to israel has increased. since the president took office the united states has provided israel with more than $20 billion in foreign military financing. [applause]
last year, we provided israel with the largest package of security assistance ever. [applause] and that is money very well spent. because it goes directly to bolstering israel's ability to defend itself, by itself, in a very tough neighborhood. [applause] it goes to protecting israeli citizens, and to strengthening a vital american ally. we are maintaining israel's qualitative military edge, with new defense technologies and access to the most advanced military equipment in the world. president obama is determined to
ensure that israel -- i'm sorry so when israel receives the f-15 joint strike fighter next year it will be the only nation in the middle east with a fifth-generation aircraft. [applause] since 2000 nine, we have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in developing and producing the david sling missile-defense process -- program and an antimissile program. we have invested more than $1 billion in the iron dome system. [applause] when i visited israel last may, i saw this technology firsthand
at an air force base. last summer, as hamas terrorist rockets rained down on israeli cities, the world saw how iron dome saved lives, literally every day. [applause] during the height of the conflict, the sirens wailing israeli civilians hobbling in bomb shelters -- huddling in bomb shelters, the u.s. stood up for israel's right to defense -- defend itself against rocket attacks. even as we work to find a diplomatic solution to the conflict. when the israeli government made an urgent request for an additional $225 million to support iron dome batteries, president obama's response was immediate and clear.
he said, let's do it. [applause] within days, legislation was drafted, past or congress with over mold -- overwhelming bipartisan support, and president obama signed it into law. at that critical moment, we replenished israel's arsenal of iron dome interceptor missiles. that is what it means to be an ally. [applause] our unwavering commitment to israel's security is why we will also never give up on a just and comprehensive peace between israelis and palestinians. [applause]
it will require our -- hard decisions, but the u.s. will remain a steadfast partner. like past administrations, republican and democratic, we believe that it truly -- a truly lasting peace can only be forged by direct talks between the two parties. [applause] like past administrations, we are concerned by unilateral action that a rhodes trust and assault israel's legit -- legitimacy. [applause] like every administration, republican and democratic, since the six-day war, we opposed israeli settlement activity, and we oppose palestinian steps to throw up further obstacles to peace, including actions against
israel at the international criminal court. [applause] the only path to ensure israel's long-term security is to bring about a viable sovereign palestinian state, living side-by-side in peace and security with a democratic jewish state of israel. [applause] israel's security, our mutual security, is also at the heart of one of president obama's most important foreign-policy objectives. ensuring that iran does not get a nuclear weapon. [applause]
as president obama has repeated many times we are keeping all options on the table to prevent iran from developing a nuclear weapon. [applause] as he said in jerusalem, and i quote, iran must not get a nuclear weapon. this is not a danger that can be contained. he added america will do what we must to prevent a nuclear armed iran. [applause] president obama said it, he meant it, and those are his orders to us all. [applause] that is still the way we see the danger of a nuclear iran today.
given iran's support to terrorism, the risk of a nuclear arms race in the region, and the danger to the entire global nonproliferation regime, and iran with a nuclear weapon would not just the a threat to israel. it is also an unacceptable threat to the united states of america. [applause] we understand the unique concerns of our israel he friends and partners. in jerusalem, president obama made plain, and i quote again, when i considered israel's security, i also think about a people who have a living memory of the holocaust. taste with the prospect of a nuclear armed irani and government that has called for
there will be no deal. [applause] now, negotiations continue. and nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. as of today, significant gaps remain between the international community and iran. i am not going to get into the details about ongoing negotiations. nor should sensitive details of such negotiations be discussed in public. but, i do want to make a few points about our approach to the negotiations. first, with the joint plan of action, we have already succeeded in halting iran's nuclear program, and rolling it back in key respect.
-- respects. let's recall what has been achieved over the last year. iran is doing away with its existing stock while of its most highly enriched uranium. -- stockpile of its most highly enriched uranium. iran has cap its stockpile of low enriched uranium. they have not constructed additional enrichment facilities. they have not installed or operated new centrifuges including its next-generation models. iran has stopped construction of its potential plutonium reactor in iraq. in short iran is further away from a nuclear weapon than it was a year ago. [applause]
and that makes the world safer including israel. moreover, we are not taking anything on trust. what matters are iran's actions not its words. [applause] that is why it is part of the joint plan of action, we have insisted upon and achieved unprecedented access to iran's nuclear program. before the joint plan of action inspections happened only every few weeks. sometimes, every few months. today, the international atomic energy agency has daily access, and iran's key nuclear facility. verifying that iran is meeting its commitments.
if i can paraphrase president reagan with a twist. our approach is distrust, but verify. [applause] second, we have kept the pressure on iran. i know this firsthand, because when i was u.n. ambassador, president obama personally directed me to make sure that the security council's sanctions had bite. and they do. today, even with limited sanctions iran's economy remains isolated from the international financial system. cut off from the vast majority of its foreign curis -- currency reserves. oil exports have dropped almost 60% since 2012.
the rial has appreciated -- depreciated. iran's overall gdp has shrunk by almost 10%. all told, sanctions have deprived iran of more than $200 billion in lost revenue. [applause] i should be precise and say that is oil revenue not all revenue. but, sanctions are a tool. not an end in themselves. the question now, after the pressure that we and our partners have brought to their -- bear, is whether we can verify that iran cannot pursue a nuclear weapon. the question now is whether we can achieve a comprehensive
deal, a good deal. this is my third point. a good deal is one that would verifiably cut off every pathway for iran to produce enough material for a single nuclear weapon. [applause] every single pathway. any deal must prevent iran from developing weapons-grade plutonium in iraq or anywhere else. [applause] any deal must prevent iran from enriching uranium at its nuclear facility. that is a site we uncovered deep underground, and revealed to the world in 2009.
any deal must increase the time it takes iran to reach breakout capacity. that is, as you know, the time it would take to produce a single bomb's worth of weapons grade uranium. today, experts suggest iran's breakout window is just too-three months. we seek to extend that to at least one year. any deal must ensure frequent and intrusive inspections at iran's nuclear site, including a uranium mill that produced the material sent into iran's enrichment and conversion facility. to create a multilayered transparency regime that provides the international community with the confidence
its demands. that is the best way to prevent iran from pursuing a covert path to a nuclear weapon. to stop iran from working towards a bomb in secret. any deal must also address a possible military dimension of iran's military program -- nuclear program. [applause] going forward, we will not accept a deal that -- fails to provide the access we need to ensure that iran's program is peaceful. and, any deal must last more than a decade, with additional provisions ensuring greater transparency into iran's programs or and even longer period of time.
that is what we are working towards. a good, long-term, comprehensive deal that verifiably prevents iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. [applause] that brings me to my fourth point. we cannot let a totally unachievable ideal stand in the way of a good deal. i know that some of you will be urging congress to insist that iran forgo its domestic enrichment capacity entirely. [applause]
but, as desirable as that would be, it is neither realistic, nor achievable. even our closest international partners in the p5 plus one do not support denying iran the ability to produce peaceful nuclear energy. if that is our goal, our partners will abandon us, and undermine the very sanctions we have imposed so effectively together. simply put, that is not a viable negotiating position. nor is it even attainable. the plain fact is, no one can make iran unlearn the scientific
and nuclear expertise it already possesses. we must also understand what will happen if these negotiations collapse. i know some would argue that we should impose sanctions and walk away. but let's remember -- [applause] my friends, let's remember that sanctions, unfortunately, have never stop iran from advancing its program. so here is what is likely to happen without a deal. iran will install and operate advanced centrifuges. iran will seek to fuel its
reactor in iraq. iran will rebuild its uranium stock file. -- stockpile. and we will lose the unprecedented inspections and transparency we have today. congress has played a hugely important role in helping build our sanctions on iran. but they shouldn't play the spoiler now. additional sanctions or restrictive legislation enacted during negotiations would blow up the talks divide the international community, and cause the united states to be blamed for the failure to reach a deal. putting us in a much weaker position, and endangering the sanctions regime itself. meanwhile, the iranians are well aware that if they walk away from the deal, congress will cast new sanctions immediately.
president obama will support them. [applause] if iran refuses to resolve this matter diplomatically, and is clearly to blame for the failure, its isolation will only increase. the costs will continue to grow. finally, i know that some question a deal of any duration. but it has always been clear that the pursuit of an indefinite -- and it really meant of indefinite duration would result in no agreement at all. the question is, what is the best way to prevent iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon? a deal that extends for a decade or more what accomplish this goal better than any other course of action. longer, by far, then military
strikes, which would only set back iran's program for a fraction of that time. at the end of any deal, iran would still be required to provide comprehensive access to its nuclear facilities, and to provide the international community the assurance that it was not pursuing nuclear weapons. and, if it failed to do so, we would have the ability to make our own decisions about how to move forward. just as we do today. there is simply no alternative that prevents iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon better or longer than the type of comprehensive deal we seek. we can always bring consequences to bear.
for the sake of our shared security. harsh consequences. but, precisely because this is such a serious issue, we must weigh the different options before us. we must choose the best one. soundbites will not stop iran from getting a nuclear weapon. strong diplomacy backed by pressure, can. [applause] and, if diplomacy fails, let's make it clear to the world that it is iran's responsibility. one final word on iran. even if we succeed in
neutralizing the nuclear threat from iran, we will still face other threats. iran's sponsorship of terrorism. it's gross human rights abuses. its efforts to destabilize neighboring states. its support for a side and hamas and hezbollah. and it's threats against israel. our sanctions against iran on all these issues will remain in place. we will count -- counter iran and the full range of threats it poses. tehran must understand, the united states will never, ever waiver in the defense of our security, or the security of our allies and partners, including israel. [applause]
the bottom line is simple. we have israel's back, come hell or high water. [applause] i have been with you all right there through some pretty high waters. i was proud to fight again and again, for israel's security and its basic legitimacy at the united nations. [applause] from leading the charge against a deeply flawed goldstone report, to casting this administration's only veto in the security council to block a counterproductive resolution.
[applause] as ambassador power described to you this morning, when it comes to combating the shameful bias against israel at the united nations, israel has no better friend than the united states. [applause] last march, we were the sole know vote -- no vote in the council against anti-israel measures five separate times. [applause] earlier today, secretary kerry went into the belly of the beast and told the human rights council in geneva, point-blank that its obsession with israel risks undermining the credibility of the entire
organization. [applause] and last month, with israel and the european union, the united states organized the first united nations general assembly meeting to combat anti-semitism. [applause] >> no country is immune from criticism. take it from this former u.n. ambassador. but when it comes to criticism, and when criticism singles out one country unfairly, bitterly,
viciously, over and over, that is just wrong. and we all know it. [applause] when one democracy's legitimacy is attacked, over and over, uniquely among the united nations member states, that's ugly. and we all know it. [applause] and when anti-semitism rears its head around the world when jews in a kosher superare singled out -- are singled out and murdered when synagogues are attacked and cemeteries defaced, we have to call it by its name. it's hate! [applause] it's anti-semitism.
it reminds us of the most terrible chapters of human history. it has no place in a civilized world. and we have to fight it. [applause] these, ladies and gentlemen, are big challenges. but the united states and israel have mastered plenty of big challenges before. israel and the united states are sister democracies, built on the bedrock value that we are all created in the image of god. [applause]
and like the psalm says, how good it is when we sit together in brotherhood. but god calls us to do more than just sit. god calls us to stand up, to act. this weekend, president obama will travel to selma alabama to mark the 50th anniversary of the historic marches there. [applause] he'll pay tribute to those brave souls who took enormous risks for civil rights, including jews and rabbis from across this country.
from st. louis to san francisco and the northeast and the deep south, they faced tear gas and billy clubs torahs in hand. they were jailed. they conducted services behind bars and they sang songs, to the tune of "we shall overcome." [applause] they broke the fast in prison. some black marchers, moved by the solidarity of their jewish brethren started wearing
yamakas. they called them freedom caps. as you recalled last night one of those on the front lines, in selma, was the great teacher rabbi abraham joshua heschel. [applause] after marching across the edmund bridge with dr. martin luther king, he reflected, quote, our legs uttered songs. even without words, our march was worship. our march was worship. the jewish community amplified the rightness and the urgency of the civil rights movement with its own unassailable moral compass, guided by the basic principal that people should be free in their own land.
[applause] and i stand before you, knowing that i and many others would not be here today without all of those who fought for equal rights. african-americans and white americans, including so many jewish americans. [applause] as we mark that selma anniversary, as we gather here to celebrate an improbable dream that grew into the great state of israel, we remember what we can accomplish together, when we're at our best. in the spirit of brotherhood, we
have overcome so many trials to reach where we are, as nations, as peoples, in a spirit of brotherhood, inspired by all those who marched and struggled and sacrificed before us. let us continue the work. let us never succumb to hopelessness or cynicism, to division or despair. let our legs utter songs. and let our hands reach out together. that is how we fulfill our common commitment to mend our imperfect world, to do the holy
work. [applause] and as we do, at home and around the world the united states will always stand with our israeli friends and allies. [applause] that is our enduring commitment. that is our sacred duty. that's the hope and the future for our children. so let us keep marching, arm in arm, together. thank you very much. [applause] ♪[music]♪
>> more now from the american israel public affairs committee. next remarks from senator bob menendez of new jersey, who serves as ranking member on the foreign relations committee. ♪[music]♪ >> thank you very much. [applause] let me thank my good friend, lonnie kaplan, and all of aipac's leaders and members. and this is not in my remarks but let me just say i listening to these parents, was so moved. we must make sure that no child in israel ever loses their life in a situation like this and no parent ever has to come before you as an audience again. [applause]
as i look out at this sea of fellow americans, i want to recognize the new jersey delegation. this year, almost 500 strong, and to all of you from new jersey and across the nation, welcome to washington! my name is bob menendez. and anyone who knows me knows three things. i believe it is in the national security and interests of the united states to have a strong unwavering relationship with the state of israel. [applause] [cheering and applause] i have always stood for the israeli people's right to defend themselves and live in peace in the land of their ancestors!
[applause] and when it comes to defending the u.s.-israel relationship, i am not intimidated by anyone not israel's political enemies and not my political friends when i believe they're wrong. [cheering] [applause] now, i agree with some democrats that the political timing of prime minister netanyahu's invitation to speak to congress tomorrow may have been unfortunate and that we must work fervently to keep the u.s.-israel relationship a strong bipartisan endeavor. [applause] but i must disagree with those who say the prime minister's visit to the united states is
destructive to u.s.-israel relations. and tomorrow i will be proud when i escort the prime minister to the house chamber to give his speech. [cheering] to show him the respect he deserves from every american who cares about our relationship with the only true democracy in the middle east. the only vibrant democracy with a dynamic economy. a proud strong, responsible military. home to activists intellectuals, artists and scientists, and a model for the region and the world. prime minister cameron of great britain came to washington in january and he lobbied congress against iran sanctions. well, it seems to me that if it's okay for one prime minister to express his views, it should be good for all prime ministers. [cheering]
[applause] the fact is... the fact is, is that the u.s.-israel relationship and security of the israeli people is much more important than any one person or any speech to congress. it is sacrosanct, untouchable. it transcends face and party affiliation or political philosophy. and that's why we are here at aipac. it's why all of us, democrats, republicans, christians and jews, come together at one of the largest assemblies washington hosts every year, to exercise our constitutional rights -- [applause] -- to advocate with our governments, to stand up for israel and to stand against anyone who would dare challenge israel's fundamental right to
exist. [cheering] now, i know that there are more than a few people here in washington who say that i am outspoken in my defense of israel. and frankly i'm not only proud of it, i'm fully prepared to stand on this stage today or any stage, anywhere, anytime, to carry that message to both the friends and enemies of israel around the world! [cheering] now... [applause] when it comes to iran, i say to the ayatollah and president
rouhani that any deal to be a good deal has to be built on more than mock balling iran's program, more than an inspection and verification regime focused on monitoring a one-year breakout capacity. you can be certain, the mullahs are not going to call us in washington when they decide to breach the agreement. they are going to sneak out covertly, gradually, over time when they think we're not looking. just as they have in the past. and they are going to parse the words of this agreement and argue, as they have already about whether a nuclear advancement technically violates the agreement. i have to be honest with you. as someone who has followed this for well over 20 years, from my days in the house of representatives, that simply is not good enough. it is not a good deal if it
leaves iran as a threshold nuclear state or if iran decides to kick out inspectors. it's not a good deal if iran proceeds on a covert path and we have no more than a year to respond. it's not enough time for us to do anything other than exercise a military option. so let us do all we can now to get an agreement that dismantles iran's illicit program and ensures that it will not have to be a military response. [cheering] a good deal. not just any deal is what we need. [cheering] [applause] now, if -- and i underline "if" -- if what the published reports describe are true and it
is a deal where iran remains a threshhold nuclear power for the next ten years with the potential to build up its nuclear infrastructure, in exchange for large-scale sanctions relief and asks access to currently frozen assets, especially in the last five years of those 10 years, well, that essentially makes this a five-year deal, not a ten-year deal, let alone the twenty years we were originally seeking. if that's the case, then we have gone too far towards iran's positions. so here we are. [applause] here we are, near the end of the negotiations to have a framework document. and the goal posts have moved, from dismantlement to reconfiguration, from a peaceful nuclear program to just enough to detect breakout. from no right to enrichment to
getting an alarm system. now, i have agreed to wait until after march 25, before supporting a vote on prospective, prospective new tighter sanctions, before voting on the new sanctions bill that i authored with senator kirk. but iran needs to understand that there are consequences to an impasse. and those consequences are additional consequential sanctions. [applause] iran's leaders must make up their mind about what is more important. a nuclear weapons program or the welfare of its people. [applause] now, until now, until now, iran has not been motivated sufficiently to make that decision. and if we do reach an agreement,
and i certainly pray that we reach an agreement that we can all embrace. that's what i have been working for, for the better part of the last nearly two decades. i have joined, however, if we do get an agreement i have joined the chairman, and senators graham and cain, along with donley and nelson, rubio mccain, in introducing bipartisan oversight legislation to ensure that congress has a chance to review the legislation before it goes into effect and to oversee its compliance after it goes into effect. [cheering] it was congress that was responsible for bringing iran to the table. and it is congress that should have a role in deciding whether to provide sanctions relief, based on their compliance or noncompliance with an agreement. [applause]
a deal cannot be built on trust alone. it cannot be built on hope. it cannot be built on aspirations or good intentions like the north korea deal. not when iran still holds nuclear aspirations. not as it continues to sponsor terrorism. and not while it asserts hegemonic interests from yemen to bahrain, iraq and lebanon not as events in syria worsen, a human tragedy of now unimaginable proportions supported, encouraged and financed by tehran. and not while iran's fingerprints remain in the dust of argentina's israel embassy and jewish community, even as it seeks to bargain with that country's leader. that cannot be the case!
[applause] this -- this is iran. this is the state we are negotiating with. there can be little doubt that under a flawed deal that fails to roll back iran's nuclear program, that every extra one would go directly towards iran's nefarious adventures that threaten israel, the region and are diametrically opposed to the natural interests and security of the united states, our friends and allies. and i can tell you one thing. as long as i have an ounce of fight left in me, as long as i have a vote and a say and a chance to protect the interests of israel, the region, and the national security interests of the united states, iran will
never have a pathway to a weapon! it will never threaten israel or its neighbors! and it will never be in a position to start a nuclear arms race in the middle east! not on my watch! [cheering] [applause] now, israel is a country a government, and a people that loves peace and values life. last summer, israel, under assault from hasms's campaign -- hamas's campaign and terror tunnels from the ground, stood by its inalienable right to self-defense. but forced to take on an enemy who doesn't celebrate life but celebrates death hides rockets in mosque, schools and hospitals, and shield them with
women and children what did israel do, given this range of impossible options? it choose to distribute flyers and warn innocent citizens that the idf is coming. it said, leave, go now! it made phone calls and said leave, go now! it made radio announcements and it said, leave go now! what other army in the world tells you "we are coming"? [applause] as a result, israeli soldiers were put at risk, but israel did it anyway. why? because it was right to protect innocent palestinians who should not have to suffer more than they already have. [applause] now, for the past year, the united states has actively sought to bring israeli and palestinian leaders together, to directly negotiate for peace and
security in the context of a two-state solution. unfortunately, palestinian authorities, the president rather than face the hard work of building domestic support for compromise has turned to international yeun unilateralism. he ran to new york, with a lopsided resolution that was so egregiously imbalanced, it failed without a veto. he ran to rome, despite the fact that he is not a president of a state. here is the tough reality that the president must accept. a palestinian state will only come through the hard work of direct negotiations. it will only come with a commitment to build up noncorrupt government institutions. and it will only come through economic development, education and responsible security. these are the realities he has
yet to face. [applause] and i think a continuous effort to pursue unilateralism is diminished in international support. so i want to, this night, renew my call for the palestinian authority to end its pact with hamas, a recognized terror organization that is committed to israel's destruction and whose charter calls for the murder of jews. as i have said before, the president's actions cannot stand. assistance is not a blank check. and u.s. support is not unconditional. [applause] now, we hope and pray [applause] for peace. but we must always have israel's back. and having israel's back means
fighting back against efforts by any nation or any anti-semitic terrorist group any haters or holocaust deniers who try to de- legitimize israel. the holocaust was the most sinister possible reminder that the jewish people in exile lived in constant jeopardy. but while it is central to israel's identity, it was never the reason behind its founding. and it is not the main justification for israel's existence today. [cheering] the true justification is written in thousands of years of undenial history that leads to an undenial conclusion. [applause] the reestablishment of the state of israel in modern times is the
result of a political reality that has grown from strong, deep roots, going back to the time of abraham and sarah. [cheering] the argument... the argument for israel's existence, the argument for its legitimacy, does not depend on what we may say in speeches. it has been forged by the fires of history. it has been nurtured by the blood, sweat, tears and suffering of the jewish people, by the courage of generations of men and women who made the desert green, by nobel prizes earned by ground-breaking innovations and enviable institutions by lives saved democracy defended, peace made and battles won. there can be no denying the history, or the courage of the
jewish people. and i know there can be no denying the jewish people, their legitimate right to live in peace and security on a homeland for which they have a connection for thousands of years! that is why you are in washington! and that is why i will not yield to those who wish to break me for so long as i have a voice and a vote, i will not yield to those who wish to break my resolve. i'm stopping iran's illicit nuclear program or i'm preserving the unshakeable bond between israel and the united states. thank you and shalom! [cheering] ♪[music]♪
>> israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu will address a joint meeting of congress tomorrow. prime minister netanyahu has been critical of the ongoing negotiations with iran over its nuclear program. watch live coverage of the speech at 11 a.m. eastern here on c-span. later, on c-span 3, newly sworn in defense sector ashton carter will testify about the pentagon's 2016 budget request. he's be joined by martin dempsey. we'll have live coverage at 2:30 eastern. up next on c-span, former british defense minister liam fox talks about u.s.-u.k. relations. then florida senator marco rubio campaigns in new hampshire. we've received more than 2200
entries from 400 schools across the country in this year's competition on the theme "the three branches and you." wednesday morning, we'll announce the grand prize winner. following the announcement, you can see all 150 winning documentaries at studentcam.org. next former british defense secretary liam fox talks about u.s.-u.k. relations. mr. fox also spoke about nuclear relations with iran and global relations with russia. this one-hour event was hosted by the center for strategic and international studies in washington. >> good morning everyone! welcome to the -- the center for strategic and international studies. i'm senior vice president here.
>> many of us know dr. fox as being the former secretary of state for defense, who was named by prime minister cameron from 2010 to 2011. and they -- we claim dr. fox as one of our own, for coming last year for a conversation we held in williamsburg, virginia on the future of europe. and i assure you that dr. fox gave us a very lively and spirited debate about what the future of europe will look like. and i'm sure some of that will be reprised for us this morning. prior to former secretary of state for defense, dr. fox served as many shadow secretaries while in opposition for health for foreign secretary as well as secretary
of defense. he can also give us insight on health and health care issues as they relate to the united kingdom. i'm also delighted to welcome general skokroft with us and the former f.b.i. and c.i.a. director. we're delighted to have you both with us. and dr. fox, i think that gives you a sense of the importance that we subscribe to this conversation. and we look forward to your remarks. dr. fox will give us opening remarks. then we'll transition into a discussion and welcome our audience today for a lively q&a on the future of the u.s.-u.k. special relation shch. shch -- relationship but i think we'll have a broader conversation about the variety of international challenges we face. with that, please join me in welcoming dr. liam fox. [applause]