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Israeli PM Ehud Olmert: Tells Joint Session of Congress, ``We will not yield to terror.'' UPDATE: Hastert, Pelosi comments at Olmert lunch.

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After meeting with President Bush on Tuesday, new Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert gets a standing ovation after addressing a joint session of Congress.

``Terrorism is war, a war that must be won everday,'' Olmert said.

more from Olmert speech

``We share the commitment to extract from our grief a renewed dedication
to providing our people with a better future.

Let me state this as clearly as I can: We will not yield to
terror! We will not surrender to terror.
We will not surrender to terror, and we will win the war
on terror and restore peace to our society.

The Palestinian Authority is ruled by Hamas, an organization
committed to vehement anti-Semitism, the glorification of terror and
the total destruction of Israel. As long as these are their guiding
principles, they can never be a partner. Therefore, while Israel
works to ensure that the humanitarian needs of the Palestinian
populations are met, we can never capitulate to terrorists or
terrorism.

I pay tribute to the firmness and the clarity with which the
president and this Congress uphold this crucial principle which we
both firmly share. Israel commends this Congress for initiating the
Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act, which sends a firm, clear message that
the United States of America will not tolerate terrorism in any form.''
==================================================

from House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.)


Speaker Hastert's Remarks at Luncheon

Honoring Israeli Prime Minister

(Washington, D.C.) Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-IL) today made the following comments at a luncheon in honor of Ehud Olmert, prime minister of Israel:

"It's an honor to be here this afternoon. Prime Minister Olmert, I would like to welcome you to the House of Representatives and to our nation on your first official visit to the United States.

Our nations have a rich, shared history. And we are pleased to have you with us today to build on that trusted friendship and to connect over our common goals for peace, stability, and increased democracy in the Middle East.

America is seeking to defeat those who kill and maim for radical and Islamic Jihad and those who seek to destroy our way of life. It is a battle we intend to win. And it's a battle in which we value the critical partnership of Israel.

Our vision of a world with peace, democracy, free commerce and free ideas is the same vision we share for the Middle East.

Already, we are seeing the fruits of our efforts. Elections have been held in Afghanistan and democracy is taking firm hold.

This weekend in Iraq we saw the completion of the first full democratically-elected unity government - an established democracy that by its mere existence has already, and it is our hope will forever, alter the political landscape in the region.

Still, we know that there is much left for America and Israel to do.

Yesterday, this House of Representatives passed legislation that will restrict U.S. funding to the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority until Hamas abandons terrorism and accepts the existence of Israel.

Let me make my views clear: to be credible, a Palestinian government is one that can and will stop terrorism against Israel.

We can achieve a peaceful Middle East. But it will take committed leaders and cooperation from every person in this room.

And so I want to welcome you again, Mr. Prime Minister, as well as the entire Israeli delegation. The United States will continue to work with you and do our part to win this fight.

And now, I would like to welcome our honored guest to make some remarks . . . Please welcome Prime Minister Olmert."

# # # #

from Pelosi

Pelosi: 'A Shining Moment of the 20th Century was the Establishment of Israel'

Washington, D.C. - House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Speaker Dennis Hastert, Senate Majority Leader Frist, and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid welcomed Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to the Capitol today at a luncheon after his address to a joint session of Congress. Below are Pelosi's remarks:

"Thank you Mr. Speaker. I am pleased to join you and the distinguished leadership of the Senate in welcoming Israeli Prime Minister Olmert to the Capitol and to this celebratory lunch.

"We just heard on the floor of the House a speech that was a triumph of hope, optimism, and peace. Mr. Prime Minister, it was sad for us to hear you reflect upon Prime Minister Sharon - our thoughts and prayers are with him; our hopes and dreams are with you.

"And those dreams as you say are not enough. We have to work to make the future better and to continue with what Israel strives for. Many of us believe that in the 20th century, many bad things have happened, but one of the great ones, a shining moment, was the establishment of the state of Israel. In recognizing the state of Israel immediately, President Truman not only identified our country with yours, he brought luster to our great country as well.

"This is a commitment of values, a commonality of interests in terms of peace and democracy. You are a friend in the region, and a friend to the world. The cooperation that you spoke of, the hope, not hate, that you strive for, is a mission that we all share."

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on May 24, 2006 10:52 AM.

Bush and Olmert: Developing relationships. was the previous entry in this blog.

Bush: Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi of Japan to visit is the next entry in this blog.

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