McCain began his speech by praising one of the architects of the America-Israel alliance, Senator Henry "Scoop" Jackson. Senator Jackson represented the State of Washington, a western state with few Jews. Throughout his career, and at the peak of his power in the 1970s, Jackson defended the Jewish State not because it was the politic thing to do, but because it was the right thing to do. Jackson also worked hard to save Soviet Jews, another cause without an obvious Washington State constituency - but with a compelling moral rationale.
Senator Jackson understood that Israel was an essential ally in fighting America's greatest threat in the 1970s, Soviet Communism. Jackson was the kind of bighearted visionary who could champion Soviet Jewry and Israel in such a way that he never appeared to be using the plight of Soviet Jews or Israel's needs as mere tools against Soviet Russia. Rather, he showed how the universal moral cause and America's strategic needs converged and reinforced each other.
"Scoop" McCain is following that approach in fighting the Islamist scourge. He appreciates the way Israeli and American needs harmonize - and a righteous American-Israeli friendship consecrates and cements the strategic American-Israeli alliance. "My friends," McCain proclaimed, "as the people of Israel know better than most, the safety of free people can never be taken for granted. And in a world full of dangers, Israel and the United States must always stand together."