Colorado Legislature leadership honors Israel

Colorado’s legislative leaders from both sides of the aisle came together on March 18 to honor the nation of Israel with Senate Joint Resolution 11-027 that proclaims “continued support by the Colorado General Assembly for a strong relationship between the United States and Israel.”

Rabbi Stephen Foster and Ambassador Michael Oren focus in the midst of the crowd at breakfast.
Photo by John Schoenwalter/The Colorado Statesman
A joyful Larry Mizel, whose family foundation helped organize the event, meets and greets at the breakfast for the Ambassador.
Photo by John Schoenwalter/The Colorado Statesman
Senator Joyce Foster adds her statement following the reading of the Senate Resolution.
Photo by John Schoenwalter/The Colorado Statesman
Senate President Brandon Shaffer and Ambassador Michael Oren, with Senator Evie Hudak in the huddle.
Photo by John Schoenwalter/The Colorado Statesman
Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren is greeted at the press conference by Senate Minority Leader Mike Kopp.
Photo by John Schoenwalter/The Colorado Statesman
Ambassador Michael Oren and pro-Israel activist Herb Buchwald enjoy a laugh together in the Senate Chamber before the resolution is introduced.
Photo by John Schoenwalter/The Colorado Statesman
Howard Boigon sports a Carol Boigon for Mayor campaign button, naturally.
Photo by John Schoenwalter/The Colorado Statesman
A gift of Colorado distilled bourbon awaits Ambassador Oren at the Senate.
Photo by John Schoenwalter/The Colorado Statesman

Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, Dr. Michael Oren, stopped in both chambers of the Legislature to witness the reading and passage of the resolution.

Oren, a graduate of Princeton and Columbia, was introduced at the legislative reception beforehand by Larry Mizel, businessman and founder of the Denver museum which bears his name. The Ambassador, in addressing the large crowd gathered in the Capitol rotunda, said that his country and Colorado share a lot in common. Both are frontier societies, he suggested. And both Israel and Colorado share mutual problems such as water storage on their arid land. Oren talked about Israel’s advanced technology that allows residents in their deserts to grow tomatoes and other products and also highlighted high tech advances being made in his country.

Senate President Brandon Shaffer, D-Longmont, said, it was an honor to have Ambassador Oren at the Capitol. “We share with Israel not only a mutual friendship, but mutual economic and trade interests. Today, Colorado boasts more than $36 million in annual exports to Israel. Tomorrow, and in the years ahead we hope to grow this trade relationship many times over. It was wonderful to hear Democrats and Republicans share their fond stories and feelings about Israel, and we look forward to growing our friendship.”

Senate Republican Leader Mike Kopp, R-Littleton, said it was very appropriate for the Colorado General Assembly to honor Israel with the resolution. “Citizens of our state and those across the nation share a bond with the Israeli people through shared values of promoting democracy, offering educational opportunities and advocating for free-market principles.”

Speaker of the House Frank McNulty, R-Highlands Ranch, said, “Since 1948, the United States and Israel have developed a close and committed friendship that has lasted through times of war and times of peace, times of economic vitality and times of recession. Through it all, we have worked together and learned from each other. It’s an honor to recognize Israel’s steadfastness and commitment to furthering democracy and freedom, as well as the deep friendship and respect between the people of Colorado and Israel.”

And Pueblo Democrat Sal Pace, the House Minority Leader said, “I’m proud to join the rest of the leadership in the Colorado General Assembly to cosponsor this resolution. Israel is an important partner and a good friend, and I’m glad to have the privilege of honoring them today.”