This evening, I had the privilege of attending a reception hosted by the Israeli embassy in Washington in honor of the 58th anniversary of Israel’s independence. Senator Norm Coleman gave a rousing speech in which he reminded the audience that our relationship with Israel, which began 11 minutes after the Israelis declared independence when President Truman recognized the new state, rests not on pragmatic concerns but on a covenant based on shared values and a shared vision. At root, the relationship is the product of idealism, just as the founding of Israel was. In that regard, Sen. Coleman quoted David Ben-Gurion who said that, in Israel, if you don’t believe in miracles you’re not a realist.
UPDATE: I should also note that two Democrats — Sen. Lautenberg and House Minority Whip Hoyer — also gave strong pro-Israeli speeches. Lautenberg said he’s visited Israel 80 times. Without wanting to underestimate former New York Mayor Robert Wagner Jr., that may be a record for a politician.