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Public Statements

Issue Position: The U.S.- Israel Relationship

Issue Position

By:
Date:
Location: Unknown

My categorical support for the nation of Israel is based on family, the Bible, friendships, and the vital national security interests of the United States. Since the creation of the modern State of Israel in 1948, it has been a shining beacon of democracy and freedom in the Middle East, and a key ally and friend of the United States. As the next United States Senator from Texas, I would continue my long record of admiration and support for Israel and for the work our two countries have done together to protect freedom.

Israel is a stable democratic ally in a region of unrest and uncertainty. Israel has set an example for the region- and the world- of democracy and the many benefits that accrue a free and just society. In addition to supporting liberty, Israel has also condemned tyranny and oppression. She has defended liberty and free expression even at great cost to her safety and security. In asymmetrical wars of self-defense, Israeli soldiers adhere to the highest of moral standards, even while engaged with an enemy that holds themselves to no such standards.

As a country with very limited natural resources, Israel has had to rely on its own human resources. Israel has in fact become "The Start Up Nation," producing some of the most significant innovations in biotechnology, agriculture, medical devices and weaponry. Israeli technology has saved American lives on the battlefield. Israeli reactive armor is used on American Bradley fighting vehicles to direct the force of IEDs away from the soldiers inside the vehicles. Blood loss from injuries sustained by soldiers in the field is a major contributor to loss of life. The "Israeli bandage" significantly reduces blood loss and has become standard issue for U.S. soldiers. It was the "Israeli bandage" that was used to stem the bleeding from the injuries sustained during the horrible attack on Congresswoman Gabby Giffords. This bandage was credited for helping to save lives in that attack. Israel's innovations continue to make significant contributions to all of society.

An essential part of our countries' relationship with one another is our economic cooperation. I have helped organize, participate in and speak at Israeli-American investment conferences. I have personally bought Israeli bonds and encouraged support of Israel's economy, and I would continue to do so as a Senator. I also believe there are many opportunities for Israeli and American businesses to work together. As the Lieutenant Governor of Texas, I encouraged Texas companies to invest and trade with Israeli businesses. As a Senator, I would strongly support companies across the country to do the same. Israel's steady economy strengthens the region as a whole. I believe the growing and prosperous Israeli economy is a sound investment and a model for countries around the world.

Qualitative Military Edge

I believe an essential part of U.S.-Israeli relations is our security relationship. As a Senator, I would strongly support significant efforts to maintain and increase protection of Israel against its enemies. Making available to Israel our most advanced weapons systems is essential. A strong Israel discourages aggression from neighboring hostile states in the region.

Israel's border with Syria has been quiet for decades. However, recent unrest in Syria reminds us of the need to be vigilant. In the face of the increased challenges Israel faces today, it is imperative that we ensure the Jewish State maintain its qualitative military edge in the region.

Iran

As a U.S. Senator, I would help lead the effort to ensure America's continued partnership with Israel. Israel has stood with America in crucial operations to prevent nuclear weapon systems development in both Iran and Syria. I believe the United States should stand with Israel against its enemies, most notably a nuclear Iran. I see an Iranian nuclear weapon as a fundamental threat to Israel's existence and to the safety of the world, and believe the United States should be prepared to do whatever is necessary to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear capabilities. I would support all options in regard to Iran being on the table.

I support a range of options to thwart Iran's nuclear activities including increased economic sanctions, political isolation, covert action, and military action if necessary. I would support legislation such as the Comprehensive Iran Sanction Accountability and Divestment Act, and I support sanctions on the Central Bank of Iran. I believe deterring Iran's nuclear ambitions peacefully is best accomplished by making clear, unequivocal statements to the Iranian leadership that we will take all actions necessary to ensure it does not acquire nuclear capabilities.

Iran's nuclear ambitions are a threat to the global community. As such, I believe all countries have a moral obligation to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability and I would state so clearly.

Israel's Security Assistance

The most tangible expression of U.S. support for Israel is our foreign assistance. I support fulfilling our aid and funding obligations under the U.S.--Israel 10-year Memorandum of Understanding that provides the necessary funds to Israel to ensure her security in the region. As a United States Senator, I would vote to continue a high level of military assistance to Israel.

Peace Process

As one of the only functioning democracies in the Middle East, I also believe Israel's sovereignty and territory needs to be protected. Peace between Israel and the Palestinians can only be achieved by direct, bilateral negotiations between the two parties.

Hamas is a terrorist organization that continues to call for the destruction of Israel and advocates violence. Hamas is not a partner for peace until it meets the conditions set forth by the international community: Hamas must recognize Israel's right to exist, disavow terror, dismantle its terrorist infrastructure and honor all past agreements.

Israel is a Jewish state and must remain so. I would support moving the United States embassy to an undivided Israeli capitol in Jerusalem. I would also encourage full Israeli acceptance by and participation in the United Nations. As a Senator, I would continue my strong support for these policies.

I believe strongly that Israel has a right to protect its borders and territories from attack, just as the United States would. Israel must have secure borders and the ability to defend itself against bombings, rockets, terror and other attacks against Israeli land and citizens, which very often have led to the tragic death of Israeli citizens and visitors to the country.

Terrorism

Israel is a very close and effective ally in the fight against terror. Israel has shared the knowledge she has gained in fighting terror with us. This knowledge has helped to improve our effectiveness in the war against terrorism. Israel's cooperation with the United States makes us safer.

Egypt

While I support the desire of the Egyptian people for democracy and individual liberty, I am particularly concerned about the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamic extremists, which threaten both U.S. and Israeli interests. It is imperative that Egypt honors its peace treaty with Israel. I would support conditioning American aid to Egypt on its fully meeting treaty obligations to Israel and its commitment to democracy.

Conclusion

On a personal note, I have proudly been an AIPAC member and have spoken at state conventions. I have served on the Board of Directors of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs for the past two decades. I am proud of my involvement with these groups, and have been personally interested in the important relationship between the U.S. and Israel since I served in the U.S. Air Force and CIA.

For over 60 years, Israel has been a lynchpin ally of the United States. Our two countries share a commitment to fundamental values such as respect for the rule of law, protection of individual freedom and hope for peace. As the next United States Senator from Texas, I would continue to support policies that will further expand our relationship and solidify our friendship. In my view, Israel is one of the few beacons of hope in the region, and I will do everything within my power to ensure and protect Israel's existence.


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