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Public Statements

Regarding May 9, 2012 "Present" Vote on H.R. 4133

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Ms. LEE of California. Mr. Speaker, I strongly support Israel, its rights as a nation, and its unequivocal right to defend itself. I fully support the provisions of this resolution aimed at strengthening Israel's defensive military capabilities. Unfortunately, this resolution also contains overly broad provisions that go well beyond support for those defensive capabilities. Specifically, I am concerned about provisions that include the terms ``defensive articles'' and ``defensive services'' and ``specialized munitions,'' which security experts understand to include a vast array of offensive weapons, including bunker buster bombs. The increased militarization of the Middle East could endanger Israel's security and is a source of regional and global instability. While the bill enumerated ways the U.S. can lend military support to Israel, there was not an emphasis on achieving a negotiated peace with its neighbors. No amount of American military assistance will fully compensate for the lack of a productive and effective peace process. This bill was a missed opportunity for Congress to show balanced support for a comprehensive peace plan. The neglected Israeli Palestinian peace process must be given stronger support by the United States, and this bill reflects the lack of U.S. leadership in achieving a lasting peace. Because of these flawed provisions, I voted present on H.R. 4133.

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