(New York, NY -- May 19, 2008) -- US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and a bipartisan Congressional leadership delegation visited Hadassah Medical Center last week to learn about their world-class emergency initiatives, information that could be critical to the United States in the event of another attack.
“You are a hospital imbued with Jewish values,” Pelosi said at the Jerusalem hospital Sunday. “It is a meeting of Jewish values and scientific excellence.”
The delegation witnessed examples of Hadassah’s preparedness measures, as well as its philosophy of treating all without regard for race, religion or ethnic origin by visiting the hospital.
“You are truly a bridge to peace,” the speaker said during the tour. “You treat them,” she said, referring to Hadassah’s diverse patient population, “not because they are Jewish, but because you are Jewish.”
Led on the tour by Hadassah National President Nancy Falchuk, the delegation met with hospital leadership and staff.
“We know we won’t bring peace but we make ever effort to touch as many lives in this region as we can,” said Prof. Shlomo Mor-Yosef, Hadassah University Medical Center Director General. “We cross many bridges between nations and even within Palestinian society, in an attempt to fulfill our mission.”
The delegation traveling with Pelosi included House Majority leader Steny Hoyer, Republican Conference Chairman Adam Putnam, Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Henry Waxman, Foreign Affairs Committee member Rep. Ron Klein, Chairman of Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe Alcee Hastings and Appropriations Foreign Operations Subcommittee Chairman Nita Lowey.
“The creation of Israel stands out as one of the greatest achievements of the 20th century and as a beacon of hope to the world,” Pelosi said. “We pay tribute to the many people, who with pioneering spirits, brave determination, and deep commitment, made the modern state of Israel a reality.”
Following her tour of the Hadassah Medical Center, Pelosi met outside with members of the press, reassuring Americans and Israelis that the United States is a strong supporter of Israel, and will continue to be in the future.
“We’re not on the opposite sides as far as Israel is concerned,” she said, referring to President Bush. “There are no divisions between Democrats and Republicans when it comes to support for the state of Israel.”
In addition to visiting the hospital, Speaker Pelosi visited Yad Vashem with her delegation and held meetings with leaders including Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, President Shimon Peres, the Speaker of Knesset Dalia Itzik and the defense and foreign ministers. She also traveled to Iraq for a day to meet with leaders there.
“Your presence here today is more than simply a meeting in Jerusalem of two Nancy’s – one from Boston and one from San Francisco,” said Hadassah National President Nancy Falchuk, thanking Pelosi and the delegation for visiting the world-renowned hospital. “It is a tangible expression of the ties that bind America and Israel. I know that you are deeply concerned about peace in the Middle East. I trust this visit will help you see how peace happens here. It happens when every patient who walks through these doors is not just treated – but treated with dignity.”
The congressional delegation, which arrived in Israel Friday, also included Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel, Democratic Caucus Vice Chair John Larson, Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Howard Berman, Rules Committee Ranking Member David Dreier, Foreign Affairs Middle East Subcommittee Chairman Gary Ackerman, and Homeland Security Intelligence, Information Sharing and Terrorism Risk Assessment Subcommittee Chair Jane Harman.