The U.S.-Israel alliance is greatly important for both nations.
Israel is a strong and reliable friend of the United States. As a democracy in a region that is unstable and where rogue countries continue to be hostile to America, Israel is also a strategically located ally. U.S. support of Israel through economic and military aid is both necessary and deserved. Since the United States is now a declared target of terrorists, we can draw on Israel's unique experience in battling terrorism domestically, militarily, and diplomatically.
Jerusalem is the capital city of Israel and should be officially recognized as such by the United States. The city must remain undivided and the rights of every ethnic and religious group continue to be protected as they have been by Israel during the past 40 years.
The peace process between Israel and its neighbors is difficult and dangerous. The recognition of Israel's right to exist by all nations must be the initial part of the process. Israel has already taken great risks in an attempt to forge peace. The U.S. should continue to support Israel in seeking a peace that will be stable, long-term, and beneficial for the entire region. This includes increased U.S. support for Israel in the development of Israel's defense capabilities and additional areas of aid. Ultimately, Israel must make the final determination about its own national security.
A security area of joint concern for the United States and Israel is the specter of a nuclear Iran. Iran continues to defy and ignore commitments it has made to the international community. Its leaders flaunt their defiance and threaten peaceful nations. The United States can continue to do its part by enforcing existing laws that prevent investment in Iran and establishing sanctions on the Central Bank of Iran, which allows Iran to conduct international business.
I have visited Israel and other countries in the Middle East. Both the challenges and the opportunities are immense. As a partner and ally it is important for the United States to continue to work with Israel to meet its goals for strength and security.