Address to the AIPAC Conference

Benjamin Netanyahu

Washington, D.C.

My friends, before I talk about things about Israel, I want to say something about the scenes on television that I saw today and you have been seeing as well. When tragedy strikes America, Israel - Israel feels an immediate identification. And tragedy has struck America. In recent days floods and tornadoes have claimed the lives of hundreds of Americans, including today in Joplin, Missouri. All I can say is, America, we're with you on this day, on every day.

And that's very evident from the things I just heard from my two close friends. Speaker of the House John Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, you lead the many friends who are here today, the distinguished senators and congressmen and congresswomen of the United States of America.

I want to greet AIPAC President Lee Rosenberg. Rosy, I learned the other day that if I take you on, it's not going to be in basketball. It will be in soccer. And Executive Director Howard Kohr - Howard, you I'm not going to take on in anything.

I want to welcome here also the representatives of the Government of Israel, Members of Knesset, U.S. Ambassador to Israel Jim Cunningham, Ambassador-designate Dan Shapiro, my beloved wife and the mother of our two boys, Sara, and finally, our terrific Ambassador to the United States, a man who knows a few things about the U.S.-Israel alliance, Michael Oren.

To all our supporters in this great hall and to the millions of supporters across this great land, the people of Israel thank you. Thank you for your staunch commitment to Israel's security. Thank you for defending Israel's right to defend itself. Thank you for standing by Israel as it seeks a secure peace.

Now, I heard tonight from all the speakers something that you know - that Israel is America's indispensable ally. You understand that Israel and America stand shoulder to shoulder fighting common enemies, protecting common interests. You know that Israeli innovators help power computers, fight disease, conserve water, clean the planet. Your support for Israel flows from the heart.

You see, it's not just what Israel does. It's what Israel is. Now, let me explain that. Yesterday I had a great day. They let me out. Sara and I could actually go for a walk. And I have to congratulate the American security services. They're a little more generous than ours. So we walked along the Potomac and we got to visit Washington's majestic memorials. I read Jefferson's timeless words, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal." I read Lincoln's immortal address, "government of the people, for the people, by the people."

Now, let me tell you why these words resonate so powerfully with me and with all Israelis - because they're rooted in ideas first championed by our people, the Jewish people, the idea that all men are created in God's image, that no ruler is above the law, that everyone is entitled to justice. These are revolutionary Jewish ideas, and they were spoken thousands of years ago - when vast empires ruled the earth, vast slave empires ruled the world. And the Jews spoke these truths.

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Benjamin Netanyahu is the Prime Minister of Israel.

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Benjamin Netanyahu