"'Jerusalem, Israel' is the rallying cry"

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) says that in today's political atmosphere, Israel is one of only two subjects that unite Democrats and Republicans.

Eliran Aharon,

Joe Manchin
Joe Manchin
Eliran Baruch

Speaking at the US Capitol at a special event marking the 50th anniversary of Jerusalem's liberation and unification, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) said that in today's political atmosphere, Israel is one of only two subjects that unite Democrats and Republicans.

Manchin was flanked by Martin Oliner, President of the Center for Unity and of Religious Zionists of America. This is the text of his speech:

Hi, I'm Joe Manchin from West Virginia. I want to say congratulations and happy birthday.

I come from the great state of West Virginia. We don't have a lot of Jewish miners. But by G-d, the ones we have a really, really good!

You know, I keep thinking back to June 5th, 1967. I was in my junior year at WVU. And two of my suite mates at that time were of the Jewish religion. They were just devout Jews who supported Israel. I didn't know a lot about the history, coming from a little coal mining town of 400 people.

I say today, I have Rabbi Urecki. And I call him my rabbi even though I'm a catholic, born and raised and practicing as a catholic, he is truly my spiritual leader, he is my rabbi and I love him. And his daughter works with me and she's been great, but anyway.

I'll never forget talking to the young man I was in school with. I never saw anybody so excited. I never saw this type of excitement from anybody, especially a young person, over their heritage or religion that they believed in. And see the unification and what happened, and how things were brought together. So I've been reminiscing and he explained to me, he gave me a whole history of the Jewish state. He gave me everything and explained to me why it was such a momentous occasion.

He said that on June 5th 1967, in a moment of unwavering bravery, the Israeli Air Force executed an air attack to disrupt the Egyptian Air Force threat. This attack would continue to the less threatening air forces of Jordan and Syria. Through these attacks and a well planned ground offense, the IDF led the other nations to capitulate, earning the most prized unification with the Old City of Jerusalem. Years later, these nations would come to recognize the state of Israel as a sovereign state.

And that is all we've asked for ever since that day, and we will continue to. I want you to know that you have my unwavering support.

The JCPOA, or as you know it, the Iran nuclear deal, it was something I looked at very hard, studied every nook and cranny of it, thinking, "is there a peaceful way forward?" And at the end of the say, there was no way I could vote for it. I could not vote for not holding Iran accountable for the terrorist proliferation, and basically their sponsorship of terrorism around the world. And I think, where I come from, you had to earn rewards with good behavior. And that's really it in a nutshell.

Together, our nations will face the challenges of an unstable global environment, and I pray that we can one day kneel together at the Wall in honor of reunification and a celebration of a peaceful resolution in the Middle East. That's what we will continue to fight for, that's what we believe in, and that's what we want.

So I can tell you you have my unwavering and undying support. "Jerusalem, Israel", brings us all together: Democrats and Republicans. You unify. Still yet, it's the rallying cry. There are two things that do it, in the most dysfunctional political atmosphere that we live in: the support of our military brings us together in the United States of America, Democrats and Republicans, as Americans, and the support of Israel brings us together as Americans.