Rep. Ritchie Torres, NY-D. (AP/Richard Drew, File) (AP/Richard Drew, File)
Ritchie Torres

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‘Israel reminds us that it is possible to overcome’: Ritchie Torres gives Israeli Independence Day speech from House floor.

By Algemeiner Staff

U.S. Congressman Ritchie Torres took to the floor of the US House of Representatives Thursday to mark Israel’s Independence Day.

“Israel embodies the resilience, the ingenuity, the can-do come back spirit of humanity at its best,” said the New York Democrat in remarks from the House floor, at the end of a day marking Israel’s 73rd year of independence.

“One need not be Israeli to be inspired by the survival and success of Israel, which has persisted in the face of improbable odds. One need not be Jewish to be inspired by a Jewish state, whose rebirth and resilience and resourcefulness is one of the greatest success stories the world has ever seen,” he said.

Torres — a progressive Democrat who was elected to represent New York’s 15th Congressional district in 2020 — has cast himself as part of the “long tradition of Zionism on the left,” and cautioned against “deep strain of anti-Semitism” found in some left-wing quarters.

“A tiny nation the size of New Jersey has emerged in the span of a few decades as a global power and a global innovator, as a startup nation and as a water superpower,” he said during the Thursday speech.

“The story of Israel’s renaissance takes on special meaning in our present moment; at a time when our own country is reeling from the cataclysm of COVID-19, Israel reminds us that it is possible to overcome. It is possible to emerge stronger than ever. And it is possible, in the words of President Joe Biden, to build back better.”

“Israel has endured for more than seven decades, and by the grace of God made it endure for many more,” he concluded.