God Bless America: Olmert speaks to Congress

A few days ago, I was fortunate to receive an invitation to hear Israeli Prime minister Ehud Olmert address a rare joint session of Congress. (the full text of the speech can be found here) Occasions that merit a joint session of Congress are very rare: the President's annual State of the Union address and visits by leaders of nations that have special ties to America.  In the past two hundred years, only 100 or so foreign leaders have been graced with an invitation to speak to Congress and to America in that most special of forums: the chambers that form the heart of American democracy, the US Congress. An invitation to speak before America's representatives transcends any mere political or diplomatic calculation but is a rare gesture extended to only the most treasured of allies. Certainly, the symbolism of appearing before Congress is a sign that the American—Israel bond is one of the most special relationships in the world. The applause and standing ovation that...(Read Full Article)