Thank you for contacting me regarding the United States relationship with Israel.
I believe Israel has the right to exist as a Jewish state and that the Israeli people deserve to live within secure, legally recognized and peaceful borders. As one of our country’s strongest allies, and as the only true democracy in the Middle East, Israel shares our common goals of freedom, democracy and peace. I believe the United States must continually and publicly express our support for the people of Israel.
As you may know, a Palestinian unity government was formed in April of 2011 and it remains as an obstacle in the peace process. I believe Hamas must renounce terrorism, recognize the state of Israel and follow previous negotiations with Israel before acting as a valid member of the Palestinian unity government. The most recent conflict, which witnessed 1,400 mortar and rocket attacks aimed at Israeli civilians, is not a positive step toward lasting peace. Any attempts by Palestine to evade future peace talks will result in negative implications for United States-Palestinian relations in the future.
Israel is our strongest strategic, military and economic ally in the Middle East, as well as a valued friend. During the Soviet reign over Eastern Europe during the post-War period, President Ronald Reagan was the first to recognize the strategic asset Israel had become to America. He understood that the alliance between the two nations had much to do with the shared Judeo-Christian values that both countries were founded upon. President Reagan said “since the rebirth of the State of Israel, there has been an ironclad bond between that democracy and this one.” The United States enjoys a strong friendship with the people of Israel built on trust, and I am committed to supporting policies that strengthen the United States-Israeli relationship. It is crucial that the United States remains actively engaged in all aspects of the peace process.
That is why I am proud to cosponsor H.R. 938, the United States-Israel Strategic Partnership Act. This legislation declares that Israel is a major strategic partner of the United States. In addition to authorizing the Department of Defense to increase arms assistance in the form of technology and weapons systems, it extends several economic partnerships to solidify our relationship. Specifically, it authorizes President Obama to provide assistance and cooperation in energy, water, homeland security, and agriculture technologies. Finally, it would declare that Israel satisfies the Visa Waiver program’s inclusion requirements, easing the travel requirements for one of the United States closest allies. With my support H.R. 938 was passed by the House of Representatives on March 5, 2014 by a vote of 410-1. It has been referred to the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations for further consideration.
Again, thank you for contacting me on this important issue. Hearing the views of all Missourians gives me the opportunity to better understand how important issues could impact the people of the Seventh District and the future interests of the nation.
For additional information regarding current legislation, my representation of the Seventh District, and to sign up to receive my monthly newsletter, I invite you to visit my website at http://long.house.gov .