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Public Statements

Issue Position: Israel

Issue Position

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Date:
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During my more than twenty years in Congress, I have been a staunch defender of the State of Israel. I oppose any and all attempts by Palestinians to unilaterally declare statehood, circumvent the peace process or pressure Israel into making concessions that would jeopardize its security. While the United States can use its good offices, peace can only be achieved through direct, bilateral negotiations.

As unrest continues to rock the Middle East, it is more important than ever that the United States steadfastly support the Jewish State's right to defend itself. The volatility in Syria presents substantial security risks to Israel and the world, particularly in terms of the power vacuum and the country's weapons stockpiles. On the Egyptian border, there is instability in the Sinai and a stream of weapons smuggling into Gaza. Moreover, President Morsi has made disgusting comments about Jews. I will remain vigilant in monitoring the various regime changes in the Middle East and their impact on Israel.

The most significant threat facing Israel remains the prospect of a nuclear armed Iran. President Ahmadinejad has repeatedly called for Israel to be wiped off the map as it continues its pursuit of nuclear weapons capability. The United States must work with Israel and our allies around the world to thwart Iran's dangerous ambitions. All options should remain on the table.

It is essential that the United States provide Israel with the tools it needs to defend itself and maintain its Qualitative Military Edge (QME) over its adversaries. Consistent with the 2008 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), I am supporting $3.1 billion in security assistance to Israel for FY 2014. I have also been a strong supporter of Israel's various Missile Defense Systems. I am a cosponsor of The Iron Dome Support Act, which authorizes further assistance to Israel for the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system.

I have also endorsed these items:

* The United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act--This legislation reaffirms the United States' commitment to providing Israel with the tools it needs to defend itself and to preserve its qualitative military edge (QME). It also includes measures to strengthen collaboration on missile defense, cyber-security, intelligence and homeland security.
* H. Res. 268--This legislation reaffirms the United States' commitment to a negotiated settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations
* H. Con. Res. 59--This bill declares that it is the policy of the United States to support and facilitate Israel in maintaining defensible borders and that it is contrary to United States policy and national security to have the borders of Israel return to the armistice lines that existed on June 4, 1967
* On 12/21/12, I cosigned a letter to President Obama asking that his Administration respond strongly to the Palestinian leadership's decision to pursue non-member state observer status at the United Nations


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