The United States' support of Israel is growing exponentially as Israel faces increased threats from all her borders and even from the UN. In Washington, Republicans and Democrats are standing together for Israel, and the bipartisanism of this effort is critical. In late 2015, and now in 2016, bipartisan actions have been taken despite the contentious political environment.
In late April 2016 letters signed by a large majority of the House and Senate were sent to the President making clear, as Representatives of the people, that the United States is standing with Israel.
In the House of Representatives, 394 members, in bipartisan fashion, signed a letter to President Obama opposing the Palestinian efforts to get statehood recognition from the United Nations, diverting away from direct negotiation with Israel for a two state solution. Palestinian Authority President Abbas is seeking a new UN Security Council Resolution that would mandate terms of an Israel-Palestinian accord. Congress has taken a strong stand that the President should veto any such effort. The letter also condemns Hamas until it renounces terror and accepts Israel’s right to exist.
In the Senate, 83 Republicans and Democrats signed a letter to President Obama proclaiming their intent to increase security aid to Israel.
Congress also stood firmly on record opposing it the international Boycott, Divest and Sanctions movement which continues to unjustly attack Israel economically. The Customs Bill now includes a new trade provision protecting American companies doing business in Israel and requires the administration to report on foreign companies that may be politically boycotting Israel. This puts into law firm anti-BDS negotiating rules for trade negotiators, especially in trade with the EU where the BDS movement is gaining a stronghold.
Partners in National Security
The 10 year Memorandum of Understanding is a long standing promise of the United States to assist with Israel’s defense programs. It is back up for negotiations in 2017-18 and Congress is clear they want to not only renew the pledge, but increase it.
The Armed Services Committee in the House of Representatives marked up and passed the Fiscal Year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) with a bipartisan 60-2 vote. It is a good start to what will soon be in the budget. It is important to remember that by law, 75% of all security assistance funds to Israel comes back to America in contracts, providing jobs as we assist in developing and building Israeli defense technologies. This is critical not only for Israel’s defense, but will be used for defense of America as well.
The NDAA includes:
• $600.8 million authorized in cooperative missile defense programs
• $25 million authorized in directed energy activities (these include lasers
and other technologies used to combat ballistic missiles, IEDs and more)
• $10 million authorized in additional funding for anti-tunnel cooperation
• Plus, a provision directing the Secretary of Defense to provide a briefing
on the status of anti-tunnel cooperation between the United States and
In 2015 the Omnibus Appropriations bill included increase of over 20% in proposed funding for Israel’s missile defense programs.
Watch the below video to see how our security assistance to Israel works
To ensure that the security assistance continues, candidates runnign for the House and Senate need to be educated and understand the dangers Israel is facing and how it is tied to US national security. Everyone can ask questions of candidates to make sure they are knowledgeable and supportive of this issue.
Partners in Technology for Water
As California and other western states are dealing with devastating droughts, Israel, the nation that “made the desert bloom,” is sharing its critical water technologies with the US. The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee passed The Water Resources Development Act of 2016 which includes foreign water resource projects that could “significantly improve water resource development in the United States.” This brings cooperation with Israel in research, development and technology transfer, strengthening the partnership that was started with the passing of the US-Israel Strategic Partnership Act in 2015.
Partners in Business
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the American pro-Israel lobby, says it best;
"The United States and Israel share a culture of innovation. American heavyweights such as Intel, Motorola and Google have capitalized on Israel’s entrepreneurial spirit and world-class talent pool, establishing major R&D centers throughout the country. With the most Ph.D.s and published scientific papers per capita in the world, Israel has become the preeminent foreign outpost for computer technology, telecommunications and software industries, with roughly 100 U.S. companies active in Israel. More Israeli companies are traded on the NASDAQ than any country outside the United States and China."
It is critical for the future of the US-Israel relationship that the candidates for all national office are educated on the truth of Israel and the partnership and support the US shares with Israel. It is up to the citizens, the voters, to speak up and make sure the candidates are on the right side, and understand the facts, of our relationship with Israel.
Former Editor in Chief of Conservative Truth, Robin Rowan is a recipient of the 'Secretary of Defense Medal for the Global War on Terrorism;" served in Iraq and Washington, DC as an inspector and auditor with the Special Inspector General for Iraq, also formerly with the Department of Homeland Security Office of the Inspector General. She is founder of Church4Israel, an online educational ministry fighting anti-semitism. An ordained Minister under MorningStar Fellowship of Ministries, Ms. Rowan is also a political and Middle East analyst, public speaker and a political activist for the US-Israel relationship. She has several presentations on the Middle East and Israel, and Political Activism, available for churches and secular groups. She can be contacted at Church4Israel@gmail.com.