Joined U.S. Delegation to Israel for Funeral of Shimon Peres
With the passing of former Israeli President and Prime Minister Shimon Peres, I joined a delegation of Congressional leaders attending his funeral. Following that moving ceremony, during which President Obama spoke eloquently about the life and legacy of Shimon Peres, I wanted to share a few of my own thoughts:
From Israel’s formation in 1948, Shimon Peres was a central figure and leading visionary in establishing the State, ensuring its security, and pushing for peace. He is respected the world over for his courage, his wisdom, and his humanity, and leaves behind a lasting legacy as a hero of Jewish history and of the Israeli people.
A founding father and iconic statesman, Shimon Peres has been a constant force in the history of the State of Israel and the Jewish people for more than seven decades. Universally, Shimon Peres has loomed large as a great champion of peace and of Israel – a giant whose influence will never leave us, and whose memory will always be present.
Shimon Peres’ intellect, energy and passion highlighted a statesman who expertly combined mind, body and heart in his life’s work. He was a prime minister and a president, a fighter and a Nobel Peace Prize winner, an author and a farmer, someone who lost his family in the Holocaust and built a nation as one of Israel’s founding fathers. Through these roles, Shimon Peres perfectly represented the people and the country he so loved. The impact of his contributions is felt on a daily basis by so many, and will continue to inspire future generations.
Announcing $750,000 in Federal Funding to Help the NYC Anti-Violence Project Combat Intimate Partner Violence
Last week, I was happy to announce $750,000 in federal funding for the New York City Anti-Violence Project (AVP) to continue providing vital support services to LGBTQ and HIV-affected survivors of intimate partner violence. Over the next three years, $600,000 will go into providing free legal representation and into supporting advocacy efforts for domestic violence survivors, which will enhance victim safety and autonomy. The remaining $150,000 in federal funding will allow AVP to continue sharing its expertise in LGBTQ cultural competency through training and technical assistance to other organizations.
Be Bold, End Hyde!!
In September, we regrettably marked the 40th anniversary of the Hyde Amendment. Hyde has never been about health: it is about subverting women's reproductive healthcare rights. Every woman has the right to access the healthcare that she needs, regardless of where she lives or how much money she has. It is time for Congress to act. That is why I am a proud supporter of the EACH Woman Act, which would ensure that federal, state, and local legislators cannot interfere with a woman’s private reproductive health choices. #BeBoldEndHyde
Anti-Semitism at the UN and UNESCO
I was outraged by the actions of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Executive Board last week when it passed a resolution that is blatantly anti-Semitic and obviously revisionist as it seeks to eliminate all Jewish ties to the holiest site in Judaism, the Temple Mount.
By declaring the site as solely sacred for Muslims, and utterly ignoring the indisputable Jewish and Christian ties, this resolution is fundamentally ahistorical. It willfully disregards historical facts in the pursuit of an anti-Semitic agenda from a body that routinely demonstrates an unfair bias against Israel. Without consideration for the Temple Mount’s significance in Judaism, UNESCO has engaged in an outrageous assault on the history of the Jewish people and the history of Jerusalem, and for that matter, the origins of Christianity.
I applaud the United States for leading the opposition to this resolution, and for demonstrating—yet again—the importance of America’s leadership on the international stage in standing against such attacks.
To read my full statement on the UNESCO resolution, Click Here