"That the bond between Israel and the United States is rooted in more than our shared national interest; it's rooted in the shared values and shared stories of our people."
President Barack Obama
"The United States and Israel share much in common; we both affirm the innate freedom and dignity of every human life."
Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
"Like America, freedom of speech, assembly, and press are embedded in the very fabric of Israel's society, and these are just a few of the values that hold our two countries so close."
Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY)
"Ours is a relationship of shared values and common aspirations, and of principle and conscience. We are nations of immigrants, safe havens for the oppressed and partners for peace. And we are united in fighting terrorism."
Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD)
"It is the light of civil liberties, a nation where minorities are protected under the law by a fair and independent judicial system ... It is a light of a nation desperately seeking peace that it has wanted and not found since its beginning."
The two countries have developed a resilient friendship, based in large part on an unshakable dedication to common values. Commitment to democracy, the rule of law, freedom of religion and speech and human rights are all core values shared between the United States and Israel.
Both nations were founded by refugees seeking political and religious freedom. Both were forced to fight for independence against foreign powers. Both have absorbed waves of immigrants seeking political freedom and economic well-being. And both have evolved into democracies that respect the rule of law, the will of voters and the rights of minorities.
Similarly, like the United States and in stark contrast to other Middle East nations, Israel has an independent judicial system, which protects the rights of individuals and operates under the principle of “innocent until proven guilty.” Israel also features regularly scheduled elections that are free and fair and open to all its citizens, regardless of religion, race or sex. The independent group Freedom House has consistently classified Israel as “Free” in its rankings of world nations.
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