I believe a strong U.S.-Israel alliance is integral for the safety and security of the United States, Israel, and the world at large. Let’s first recognize that as a sovereign country, Israel has the right to defend itself by itself. Its geographic location uniquely positions us to extend, when necessary, our own military might and gives us the leverage to utilize diplomatic solutions because our enemies know that we do not have to mobilize from half way around the world to project our power. A strong Israel is essential to stability in the region. If Israel were to be perceived as weak it would be attacked by its enemies. Israel’s military superiority prevents war and promotes stability in the region through strength. It is in our best interests to have a free and strong Israel with deep ties to the United States. Our alliance is very much a two-way street and the United States has benefited from this relationship in multiple ways. Some examples of this are the sharing of intelligence information regarding terrorist activity, U.S. military and law enforcement groups learning counterterrorism tactics from Israel, and that a vast majority of the aid that we give Israel annually is spent within the U.S. leading directly to American jobs and stimulating our economy. Our alliance should be a natural one as both of our countries are built on the same values. Israel and the United States are both strong, vibrant democracies with shared values.
Let’s discuss how I view some of the larger issues facing Israel.
Peace with the Arab world – I believe that, ultimately, a two-state solution is where a lasting peace will be found. However, you can only make peace with people who are willing to make peace with you. It’s a two-way street. You cannot make peace when the other group does not believe that you have the right to exist and wants you destroyed. Unfortunately, as long as the West Bank and Gaza is controlled by groups like Hamas and Palestinian Authority officials who have refused peace with the Jewish state, I cannot see a path to comprehensive peace in the region. However, peace is only possible through direct bilateral negotiations with no preconditions and I disagree with any unilateral acts by the UN or any other country or people. The path to peace may be hastened by putting pressure on these terrorist groups to change and to isolate them until they have done so. This will only be effective if their fellow Arabs states are the ones to apply this pressure through a three-pronged approach: 1) recognize Israel’s fundamental right to exist, 2) normalize relations with Israel, and 3) refuse to support terrorist groups until they change. This important work continued with the Abraham Accords, which led to peace with Morocco, Bahrain, the UAE, and Sudan. All of these countries have recognized Israel’s fundamental right to exist. As Israel successfully continues its efforts to engage the remaining members of the Arab world, there will be fewer and fewer states on the side of the terrorists. When the terrorists are standing alone, it is my hope, they will gain the clarity that the only way forward is through peace.
Continuation of supporting aid to Israel – Each year we should continue to pass the foreign operations spending bill and honor the Memorandum of Understanding that exists between our two countries without attaching any stipulations on Israel. It is through these methods that the 117th Congress appropriated $3.3 billion in security assistance and an additional $500 million in cooperative missile defense funding. I think that it was a wonderful sign of solidarity that the 117th Congress passed a bill, by a vote of 420-9, to send an additional $1 Billion in supplemental Iron Dome aid in the aftermath of the May 2021 conflict with Hamas. The Iron Dome should categorically be funded and I will oppose any legislation that tries to undermine this. There should be no conditions attached to this funding. The Iron dome is purely a defensive system and its existence and effectiveness allow Israel the leeway in how aggressively it needs to act towards threats. This latitude increases stability in the region and decreases civilian casualties.
Iran - Iran and its proxies pose an existential threat to Israel and the world through Iran’s terror network. Iran’s goal is to destroy Israel and subjugate the world under the Sunni version of Shia law. They believe in convert or die and there is no negotiating with that kind of philosophy. It is evil and it must be confronted. They have publicly stated that as soon as they have a nuclear weapon, they will deploy it on Israel. They say that they want to destroy the great Satan – America. They are testing ballistic missiles which will give them the range to strike the United States. When someone says that they are your enemy and they want to destroy you should believe them. This truth may necessitate taking appropriate, even proactive, actions to defend yourself. Iran can NEVER be allowed to get a nuclear weapon and they must be stopped by any means necessary. I support maximum pressure economic sanctions on Iran and sanctions on anyone country found to be violating the sanctions. If that fails, then I support either independent or joint action from any of the following entities to ensure that Iran does not obtain a nuclear weapon: the U.S., NATO, and/or Israel. Let me be clear; Israel has the fundamental right to exist and solely has the right to determine and carry out any and all measures it feels are necessary to ensure the safety of its people. Israel should be able to unequivocally count on the United States’ backing of these decisions.
United Nations – Anti-Semitism is on the rise in the UN. It continuously holds Israel to different standards than other nations. The false moral equivalency that the UN routinely engages in helps to normalize Anti-Semitism and gives legitimacy to terrorist groups. steps should be taken to disavow the ongoing commission of inquiry at the UN on Israel. This bias attempts to criminalize Israel, with no inquiry into Hamas, shows the blatant hypocrisy and double standard the UNHRC has towards the Jewish State. I would support a severe reduction in the Unites States’ funding of this organizations and its subsidiaries.
The Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) Movement – I categorically condemn it as fundamentally Anti-Semitic movement. This is a global attempt to normalize Anti-Semitism through economic means. The Democrats in the United States have normalized this practice amongst their followers by hiding its Anti-Semitism beneath the veneer of being ‘woke’. This should not be a surprise to anyone as the Democratic Party has had racism and Anti-Semitism at its core since its founding. America needs to lead the movement against BDS by calling it out where it is found and naming it for what it is: hate.
Terrorism – We need to maintain and strengthen our strategic alliance on this issue. A good example of what is needed is the Taylor Force Act which was passed by the 115th Congress. It decreases US financial support to the Palestinian Authority, dollar for dollar, for any money spent in their evil pay to slay program. We must go after and dismantle the funding of terrorism and seek and destroy terrorists wherever they are in order to keep both of our countries safe. They are a mutual enemy.
Anti-Semitism in the U.S. Congress – Unfortunately, there are members of the U.S. Congress that are clearly Anti-Semitic, engage in moral equivalency against Israel, and are trying to normalize Anti-Semitic behavior. Anyone practicing Anti-Semitism must be called out and confronted where ever they are.
My last point is more of a statement. I wholeheartedly agreed with the decision to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem and to have recognized that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. It should not have taken as long as it did.