Proud to Support the U.S.-Israel Relationship
“When I visited Israel, I was moved by the spirit of strength and perseverance displayed by its people. As a Mayor, I understand the challenges that local leaders face in creating jobs and delivering services for their communities. In Israel, Mayors not only face these same challenges, they also have to contend with the constant threat of terrorist attacks. Israel is and always will be one of our strongest allies. In Congress, I will work to strengthen the special relationship our nations share.”
In May of 2006, I had the honor of participating in a United States Conference of Mayors trip to Israel that showed me the true meaning of the shared values that bring Americans and Israelis so close together. My experiences in Israel solidified my longstanding personal commitment to the enduring strength of the U.S.-Israel relationship. As a Member of Congress, I will work to further expand and enhance relations between the United States and the Jewish State.
During my visit to Israel, I saw first-hand how our shared values of freedom and democracy and seeking peace and prosperity make the U.S.-Israel relationship a strategic asset to the U.S. I saw the strength of the Israeli people while staying at a kibbutz on the Lebanese border. Years later, when I found out that the area had been attacked by rockets, the fundamental moral and human importance of standing shoulder to shoulder with our Israeli partners came even more clearly into focus.
When I am elected to Congress, I will proudly support the U.S.-Israel relationship. From facing common threats to collaborating on high-technology innovation to the types of informal people-to-people level connections between our two countries, Israel is a strategic partner of the U.S.
The U.S. and Israel both face a host of threats and challenges in the Middle East that require the U.S. to maintain its unflinching commitment to Israel's security. Chief among these threats is the existential danger posed by the Holocaust denying Iranian regime of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, which is actively seeking nuclear weapons at the same time that it calls for the destruction of the Jewish State. Iran's efforts to develop a nuclear weapon threaten Israel, our European allies, and the United States. Simply put, Iran must not be allowed to develop a nuclear weapon. I strongly support the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act that was recently signed into law, and hope that this robust sanctions package will change the thinking of the Iranian regime in a fundamental way: Iran must not see a nuclear weapon as the key to its strength and stability; rather, Iran must be made to see that its continued pursuit of a nuclear weapon has debilitating costs to the Iranian regime. If these efforts are not successful, I would consider stronger measures - no conventional method should be taken off the table when we are talking about preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.
The Peace Process
I believe that the United States must play a central role in working to establish a peaceful resolution to the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinians that results in two states living side-by-side in peace and security. Peace in the Middle East requires the acknowledgement of Israel's right to exist and an end to incitement and terrorism. While the United States can help to facilitate peace negotiations, only the parties themselves can resolve their outstanding issues.
I believe that because of Israel's history, size and status as the only Jewish State and democracy in the Middle East, its security requirements are unlike any other nation in the world. Because of this, Israel needs to be able to respond to the unique set of potential threats it faces. Given Israel's integral role as a cornerstone of U.S. foreign policy in a vital region, I strongly support the bipartisan consensus that the U.S. must always help Israel to maintain a qualitative military advantage that allows Israel, by itself, to address any threats to its security. Over several decades of close collaboration, the U.S.-Israel security partnership has resulted in the development of a wide range of technologies and techniques that the U.S. armed forces and our first responders use to keep us safe.
For me, the issue is simple: Israel, like any member of the global community, has the right to exist and defend its people from hostile attacks. The U.S.-Israel relationship is based upon decades of deeply shared values, and as a Member of Congress, I will be a strong supporter of the strategic partnership between our two countries and our two peoples.