WASHINGTON—In his first floor remarks of the new Congress, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) spoke in favor of bipartisan legislation condemning the recent anti-Israel resolution passed by the United Nations Security Council. Below are the speaker’s remarks as prepared for delivery:
My colleagues, I’d like to read you a quote:
“Peace is hard work. Peace will not come through statements and resolutions at the United Nations—if it were that easy, it would have been accomplished by now. Ultimately, it is the Israelis and the Palestinians who must live side by side.”
That was President Obama in 2011—and he was right.
I am still stunned by what happened last month. This government—our government—abandoned our ally Israel when she needed us the most.
And do not be fooled. This UN Security Council resolution was not about settlements, and it certainly was not about peace. It was about one thing and one thing only: Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish, democratic state.
These types of one-sided efforts are designed to isolate and delegitimize Israel. They don’t advance peace. They make it more elusive.
The cornerstone of our special relationship with Israel has always been right here in Congress. This institution—the heart of our democracy—has stood by the Jewish state through thick and thin.
We were there for her when rockets rained down on Tel Aviv. We were there for her by passing historic legislation to combat the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement. And we’ve been there for her by ensuring Israel has the tools to defend herself against those who seek her destruction.
And in every one of those instances, Republicans and Democrats have worked together to get these things done. That’s because our historic alliance with Israel transcends party labels and partisan bickering. We see that bipartisanship right here on the House floor today in condemning this anti-Israel resolution.
I want to thank Chairman Royce, Ranking Member Engel, and all of our members on both sides of the aisle who spoke out on this issue and helped assemble this legislation. It sends a powerful message, and it turns a page.
It’s time to repair the damage done by this misguided hit job at the UN. It’s time to rebuild our partnership with Israel and reaffirm our commitment to her security. And it’s time to show all of our allies that, regardless of the shameful events of last month, the United States remains a force for good.
I ask the whole House to support this resolution on behalf of the American people. Thank you, and I yield back.
— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) January 5, 2017