As a member of Congress, I will work hard to protect the long-standing relationship between the United States and Israel. Israel shares our values and has been our most steadfast ally in the Middle East. Our relationship enables mutual growth, greater strength, and enhanced democracy in a turbulent world.
Israel stands apart in the Middle East in supporting and promoting important democratic values, including free elections, women's rights, freedom of speech, and freedom of all religions. As a member of Congress, I will endorse measures that reinforce President John F. Kennedy's statement that "This nation, from the time of President Woodrow Wilson, has established and continued a tradition of friendship with Israel because we are committed to all free societies that seek a path to peace and honor individual right."
In Congress, I will fight to uphold and extend America's commitment to our 10-year agreement with Israel, which provides for vital security assistance, shared efforts to develop defense and alternative energy technology, and support for development of Israel's defensive missile shield. Although we face tough economic challenges as a country, support for Israel must continue to be a priority. Israel is a force for greater democracy and stability in the Middle East, and we must support its right to exist in peace and security.
Israel shares our concern about a nuclear Iran and is prepared to stand behind effective measures to address this threat. To prevent Iran from getting a weapon we must continue to impose tough economic sanctions against Iran. This includes strong implementation of the legislation signed by President Obama targeting the Central Bank of Iran, which is used by Iran to funnel money to its weapons program. It also means we must be willing to leave all options on the table.
Israel has taken great strides towards peace with the Palestinians, and I believe we must support the Israeli government's commitment to a peaceful two-state solution through negotiations without preconditions. We recognize Israel's right to exist in peace and with security, and we must work to prevent terrorist groups like Hamas and Hezbollah from interfering with democratic efforts in the region, and to ensure that any efforts by a terrorist organization to threaten security in Israel or around the world must be halted completely. In Congress, I will urge the Administration to demand that all countries in the region -- including Egypt's new government and any other governments that are established over time -- honor existing peace or diplomatic treaties and agreements with Israel. As more countries in the region turn towards democracy, we must encourage them to recognize the State of Israel and work to establish diplomatic relations and peaceful agreements with it. We must continue to veto any anti-Israel action in the UN.
Beyond the common security concerns that allow for cooperation on intelligence gathering, fighting terrorism and enhancing stability in the region, Israel is an important partner in strengthening our economy. A healthy partnership with a strong Israel is vitally important to the economic health of the United States, and I will support trade policies that enhance this important relationship.
Given America's long-lasting diplomatic relations, history of cooperation, shared values, and economic ties, Israel is a crucial and natural ally, and it is vitally important that we remain strong partners.