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United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act of 2012

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

Mr. CHABOT. Thank you very much, Madam Chair.

I really do appreciate the great leadership Chairwoman Ros-Lehtinen has shown on this issue and on so many issues around the world. I appreciate as well the great leadership of Mr. Berman, the ranking member. Together, in a bipartisan manner, both have really done a great job for our country, and we appreciate that.

Despite the tremendous progress that has been made toward ensuring Israel's continued security, critical challenges still remain. Now, perhaps more than at any time since the 1973 Yom Kippur War, Israel faces real and direct threats to its very homeland. Although the so-called Arab Spring has raised hopes that with time and hard work democracy may take hold in Arab lands, it has also ushered in what will, no doubt, be a period of profound and prolonged instability.

And while we most certainly should be working with Arab countries in this time of transition, we must not forget Israel, the Middle East's only established democracy and our friend and ally, which faces unprecedented threats to its security. Some of these are threats that Israel has not had to deal with in a very long time.

To the west, Israel faces new and untested Egyptian leadership, which has sent some troubling messages about its intentions for Egyptian-Israeli bilateral relations. To the north, fighting in Syria is continuing to intensify, and all signs suggest that the country may collapse into full-scale civil war. Other threats are sadly perennial. To Israel's north and west, terrorists remain poised to attack and otherwise disrupt normal life for millions of Israeli citizens. To the east, the Iranian threat looms large on the horizon, and they threaten Israel and the entire region with the prospect of a nuclear weapon's capable radical regime right next door.

There is no question that the illicit Iranian nuclear program must remain at the very top of our priority list. It's certainly at the top of Israel's priority list. The nuclear program is, however, a symptom of the disease rather than the disease itself. The nuclear program is a paramount challenge to U.S. core national security interests, as well as those of our allies, and it must be addressed. As long as this regime is in power and the region continues to experience the kind of instability we're now witnessing, we must commit ourselves fully to doing everything we can to help aid Israel in securing itself.

I urge the adoption of this very important resolution.

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