US Senator John Cornyn
US Senator John CornynReuters

Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX) praised Israeli democracy in a speech Sunday at the annual AIPAC conference in Washington. 

Cornyn recalled a time in 2001 when former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was heckled by Arab MKs while giving a speech at the Knesset upon being elected prime minister, and recalled a second time one year later when Sharon was again jeered by Arab MKs, this time after a Palestinian-Arab suicide bombing killed 30 Israelis during Passover.

"I've always remembered that because I thought it told us something significant about the nature of Israeli society," said Cornyn.

"Despite the numerous wars that have been launched against it, despite living under the constant threat of terrorism Israel remains a country where Arabs can serve in parliament and heckle the prime minister," he said.

"Can anyone imagine Jewish legislators being allowed to heckle a Palestinian prime minister? Me neither."

"That, to me, goes a long way to explain why Americans stand with Israel," he added.