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URGING MEMBER STATES OF THE UN TO STOP SUP. PORTING RESOLUTIONS THAT UNFAIRLY CASTIGATE ISRAEL AND TO PROMOTE MORE CONSTRUCTIVE APPROACHES TO RESOLVING CONFLICT IN THE MIDDLE EAST; THE EDUCATION CURRICULUM IN THE KINGDOM OF SAUDI ARABIA; HONORING THE LIFE OF ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER YITZHAK RABIN; AND THE 2005 PRESIDENTIAL AND PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS IN EGYPT
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 2005
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
AND CENTRAL ASIA,
Washington, DC. The Subcommittee met, pursuant to call, at 5:32 p.m. in room 2200, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen [Chairwoman of the Subcommittee) presiding:
Ms. Ros-LEHTINEN. The Subcommittee will come to order. We have several noncontroversial measures on the agenda, and it is the intention of the Chair to consider these measures en bloc and, by unanimous consent, order them favorably reported to the Full Committee, as amended.
Before we do so, I would like to recognize Congressman Fortenberry for a statement on one of the bills.
Mr. FORTENBERRY. Thank you, Madam Chair. This is in regard to House Resolution 284.
Madam Chair, first of all, let me take this opportunity to thank you for your tireless and courageous efforts to advance the noble institution of representative democracy. In Berlin, President John F. Kennedy said that “freedom has many difficulties, and democracy is not perfect, but we have never put up a wall to keep our people in and prevent them from leaving us.
None of us would deny the benefits of freedom and democracy or choose another path to justice for our Nation, yet I believe it is important to appropriately recognize the complexity of the cultural, historical, and philosophical foundations which form the critical infrastructure of our own Nation's unique model of self-determination. Egypt has also embarked on a complex journey to democracy, despite many internal and external challenges.
Just recently, I met with Dr. Ismael Serageldin, president of the Alexandria Library. He expressed the universal longing for freedom and self-determination with particular elegance in his essay called “The First Freedom.” Dr. Serageldin writes that “without free speech, no search for truth is possible, no discovery of truth is useful, and no progress is possible. Freedom, as much as imagination
and boldness, is at the heart of the search for the truth and the attainment of knowledge. It is necessary to any viable system of self-government."
As we seek to encourage our friends in Egypt on their path to democracy, let us recall with an appropriate level of humility that our own democratic journey was neither quick nor easy. We would also do well to recall that Egypt has borne significant sacrifices for the cause of peace and freedom in the Middle East. President Saddat paid a very high price for Egypt's rapprochement with Israel. More recently, Ambassador Ilhab Al-Sharif paid with his life for daring to defy the foes of democracy in Iraq.
I do not wish to discount the significant progress that Egypt has made to date as we consider the concerns that motivate our discussion today. Thank you, Madam Chair.
Ms. Ros-LEHTINEN. Thank you. Very well said, and I thank you, Mr. Fortenberry, for your contribution to our Subcommittee and to the Full Committee as well.
All Members are given leave to insert remarks on the measures into the record, should they choose to do so. Accordingly, without objection, the following resolutions will be ordered favorably reported to the Full Committee.
Mr. ACKERMAN. Reserving the right to object.
Mr. ACKERMAN. A good job on all of the resolutions. I withdraw my objection.
Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Thank you so much. Thank you, Mr. Ackerman.
And the amendments to those measures which the Members have before them shall be deemed adopted: House Resolution 438, Urging member states of the United Nations to stop supporting resolutions that unfairly castigate Israel and to promote within the United Nations General Assembly more balanced and constructive approaches to resolving conflict in the Middle East, as amended; H. Con. Res. 275, Expressing the sense of Congress regarding the education curriculum in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; House Resolution 535, Honoring the life, legacy, and example of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin on the tenth anniversary of his death; and H. Con. Resolution 284, Expressing the sense of Congress with respect to the 2005 Presidential and parliamentary elections in Egypt, as amended. [The resolutions and amendments referred to follow:]
H. RES. 438
Urging member states of the United Nations to stop supporting resolutions
that unfairly castigate Israel and to promote within the United Nations General Assembly more balanced and constructive approaches to resolving conflict in the Middle East.
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
SEPTEMBER 14, 2005 Mr. ROTHMAN (for himself and Mr. KIRK) submitted the following resolution;
which was referred to the Committee on International Relations
Urging member states of the United Nations to stop sup
porting resolutions that unfairly castigate Israel and to promote within the United Nations General Assembly more balanced and constructive approaches to resolving conflict in the Middle East.
Whereas the 60th General Assembly of the United Nations
will be held in New York City from September through
December 2005; Whereas the State of Israel is the number one strategic ally
of the United States and the only true democracy in the Middle East;
Whereas 60 years ago the United Nations was founded to
prevent another Holocaust from ever happening again;
Whereas 3 years after its founding, the United Nations
passed General Assembly Resolution 181, which established the State of Israel as a homeland and refuge for Jews around the world;
Whereas in recent years, the United Nations General Assem
bly and United Nations Security Council have engaged in a pattern of introducing and approving hundreds of measures and resolutions that unfairly criticize and condemn Israel;
Whereas despite the myriad of challenges facing the world
community, the United Nations General Assembly has devoted a vastly disproportionate amount of time and resources to castigating Israel;
Whereas for the past 30 years, the United Nations has fund
ed 3 entities that support anti-Israel propaganda, including the Division for Palestinian Rights (DPR), the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP), and the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Human Rights Practices Affecting the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories (SCIIHRP);
Whereas the double standard against the State of Israel that
is perpetrated at the United Nations is pervasive: of 10 emergency special sessions called by the United Nations General Assembly, 6 have been about Israel, and since 1997, at the annual meetings of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in Geneva, only Israel has had its own agenda item (Item 8) dealing with its alleged human rights violations, whereas all other countries are dealt with in a separate agenda item (Item 9);
•HRES 438 IH
Whereas the State of Israel is the only member nation of the
United Nations that has consistently been denied full admission into its regional group, the Asian Regional
Group, which is Israel's natural geopolitical grouping; Whereas as a result of this denial, Israel sought entry into
the United Nations' Western and Others Group (WEOG) and was only granted limited admission to that regional group in May 2000 for activities or meetings held in New York, but was not granted admission in any form to the activities or meetings of the WEOG held in Geneva, Nairobi, or Vienna;
Whereas during the 59th session of the United Nations Gen
eral Assembly, the General Assembly adopted a total of 71 resolutions by roll call vote, 21 of which criticized Israel;
Whereas despite the fact that there are 191 member states
in the United Nations—many of which have abhorrent human rights records, approximately 30 percent of the resolutions voted on annually by the United Nations General Assembly address the actions of one country, the State of Israel;
Whereas many member states of the United Nations General
Assembly continue to engage in a discriminatory campaign against Israel, including adopting a resolution on December 1, 2004, that condemned Israeli security measures without proportional condemnation of Palestinian terrorist attacks launched against Israel;
Whereas as a founding member of the United Nations and
as a constant and true partner for peace to both entities involved in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the United States has a special responsibility to promote fair and eq
•HRES 438 IH