U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) addressed the national convention of Christians United for Israel in Washington, DC on Tuesday, July 17th. The remarks as prepared for delivery are below.

“Thank you for the honor of speaking before this gathering, and thank you for the work you do in support of the State of Israel. Your efforts are needed today more than ever, as it is harder to think of a time in recent memory when Israel’s national security has faced so many varied challenges.

“The Jewish state has, of course, experienced tough times before – indeed, they have perhaps been the norm rather than the exception. When one thinks back over the conflicts – 1948, the Six Day War, Yom Kippur, Lebanon, the first Gulf War, two intifadas and Lebanon again – it is clear that Israel has been challenged more, in less time, than any nation on earth. Survival in the face of such trials would be impressive; flourishing would seem out of the question.

“Yet Israel has thrived. I would like to believe that Israel’s success has been aided by America, Israel’s natural partner and ally, and by its supporters here and the world over – several thousand of which are here today. But the tests continue – with Hamas and Hezbollah, in the anti-Semitism so pervasive in the Arab press, in the restive violence in Iraq and elsewhere, and in the vile threats issued routinely by the Iranian president.

“But Israel will survive. Just as it has thrived in the face of armies and terrorists, just as it has prospered in the most dangerous neighborhood on earth, so will it succeed in the face of today’s threats. There will always, always be an Israel.

“And just as there will always be a proud, strong Israel, so too will there always be a close and enduring U.S.-Israel relationship. When it comes to the defense of Israel, we simply cannot compromise. In view of the increased threats to Israeli security, American support for Israel should intensify – to include providing needed military equipment and technology and ensuring that Israel maintains its qualitative military edge. Israel’s enemies are too numerous, its margin of error too small, and our shared interests and values too great for any other position.


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