“We have never had a better defender of Israel and a better defender of the truth,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told outgoing Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen.
By Joseph Wolkin, World Israel News
Preparing for her retirement from Congress, Florida Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen could not ride off into the sunset without taking one last official trip to the Holy Land.
In Israel this week, the Republican congresswoman’s dedication to the Jewish state did not go unrecognized.
“I have said, and I’ll say it again, we have never had a better defender of Israel and a better defender of the truth,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Ros-Lehtinen.
“Mr. Prime Minister, it has been the joy of my professional life to be the advocate for a strong U.S.-Israel relationship,” she responded.
Ros-Lehtinen’s maternal grandfather was a Sephardic Jew. He and his family left the city of Kirklareli for Cuba in 1913 after the First Balkan War.
Her father brought her to America in 1960, after the Communist regime took over the island state.
Since 1989, Ros-Lehtinen, 66, has served in the United States House of Representatives, where she made sure to add Israel to her list of priorities.
Throughout the mid-2000s, she introduced several bills to detract funding from the Palestinians as long as their leadership continued to promote terrorism.
She is also the first woman to lead the House Foreign Affairs Committee, taking over the role in 2011. A Republican, she has also managed to work closely with Democrats who are pro-Israel.
Ros-Lehtinen made the decision not to seek re-election after concluding that a Democratic takeover of her district was likely.