Congresswoman Ann Marie Buerkle (NY-25), Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and United States Congressional Representative to the United Nations, today voted in favor of H.R. 4133, the United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act of 2012. Rep. Buerkle released the following statement regarding the legislation, which she cosponsored.
"I want to thank my colleagues from both sides of the aisle for their strong support of this legislation, which affirms the importance of our relationship with Israel. The State of Israel is one of our closest and most important allies. Israel is a beacon of democracy and free society in the Middle East; we share the same interests and we share the same values.
"It is essential that the United States continue to express strong support for Israel and pledge our support for their endeavors, especially regarding defense and military measures. Both America and Israel face threats from the same anti-West groups and Israel is our first line of defense. It is all the more important that the United States work with its most important ally in the Middle East with the current instability in the region and the threat of a nuclear Iran.
"The United States also must not allow Israel to be isolated and demonized in international organizations, such as the United Nations. I am pleased that this legislation seeks to counter the consistent disrespect of Israel present in international forums.
"H.R. 4133 continues the joint efforts by the United States and Israel to stop the challenges posed by the Iranian and Syrian regimes and by violent extremists like Hezbollah and Hamas. I am proud that today the House of Representatives overwhelmingly reaffirmed the United States' unequivocal support for Israel and for the right of Israelis to defend themselves."
The United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act is a bipartisan measure that reaffirms and strengthens the U.S. commitment to Israel. The bill enhances U.S. support for providing Israel with defensive military capabilities, seeks to prevent Israel-bashing at international organizations, and guarantees loan assistance to Israel at no expense to American taxpayers. It passed the House by a vote of 411-2.