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The situation in the Middle East is exceedingly complex and instability continues to pose a threat to our security and the security of the entire global community. With an enhanced security threat from Iran, uncertainty in Egypt’s future relationship with Israel, escalating violence in Syria and the Palestinian government’s alliance with the terrorist group Hamas and their attempts to obtain UN recognition of a Palestinian state without seeking a peaceful resolution with Israel first, it is increasingly important that the United States stand firmly with our ally Israel.
Since Israel declared its independence in 1948, the U.S. has developed a positive relationship with Israel based on democratic values and security interests and we want to work to continue this valuable relationship. We must never forget that Israel and the U.S. share many common interests. Unfortunately, despite the increased instability in the region, President Obama and his Administration have sought to distance our ties with the Israeli government. He has called for Israel to make further concessions on its borders and withdraw its sovereign right to defend itself from external threats.
In contrast to the Administration’s recent statements on Israel, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the bipartisan United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act. Over 300 Members of Congress, including myself, are cosponsors of this important legislation which reaffirms America’s enduring commitment to the security of the State of Israel. The legislation ensures that the U.S. will assist in a negotiated settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that results in two states living side by side in peace. It also encourages Israel’s neighbors to recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state. Finally, the legislation directs the President to submit to Congress reports on U.S. actions to enhance this relationship and to assist in the defense of Israel.
The Middle East is an area rich in a history marked by long-standing hatreds and disputed land claims. In the midst of all this unrest, Israel has been defending itself against terrorism for generations. Decades of disputes over occupation of the West Bank have resulted in significant loss of life. In crowded Israeli market places, on city buses, and on bustling streets, Palestinian homicide bombers have destroyed lives and instilled a paralyzing fear among innocent citizens. While the quest for peace is daunting, we must remain steadfast in our pursuit of it and a strong relationship with Israel, our greatest ally in the Middle East, is a key component in promoting peace throughout that region. I have worked diligently as a member of the House Republican Israel Caucus and I intend to continue working to ensure that the United States stands firm in support of Israel.