Congress has been a bedrock of support for the U.S.-Israel relationship by supporting aid, helping stop Iran's pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability, supporting Israel's right to defend itself and reinforcing American policy that peace will only be achieved through direct negotiations. Below are the current legislative priorities that will strengthen American and Israeli security and the bonds that unite these two allies.
Congress must send a strong message to the Iranians that the United States will push back if it violates its international obligations. Please urge members of Congress to support the extension of ISA and a tough response to Iran’s ongoing ballistic missile program, including the imposition of tougher sanctions on those responsible for recent missile tests and those entities providing material support to the program.
Israel is committed to a two-state solution—a Jewish state living side-by-side in peace with a demilitarized Palestinian state. For more than two years, however, the Palestinians have refused to negotiate with Israel. Instead, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has launched a campaign to delegitimize Israel in the international arena and has incited violence against Israeli citizens. America must send a clear message that peace can only be achieved through direct bilateral negotiations between the parties.
On Feb. 10, lawmakers in the House and Senate introduced the Combating BDS Act of 2016 (S. 2531 and H.R. 4514), a bipartisan piece of legislation aimed at increasing efforts to combat economic warfare against Israel at the state and local levels. Authored by Sens. Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) in the Senate and Reps. Juan Vargas (D-CA) and Bob Dold (R-IL) in the House, the bipartisan bills will protect state and local governments’ right to disassociate pensions and contracts from entities that boycott, divest from, or sanction Israel.
America must continue to help ensure that Israel has the resources to respond decisively to threats ranging from Hezbollah in the short term, to a potential nuclear armed Iran in the longer term.
On May 13, Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Ted Deutch (D-FL), Kay Granger (R-TX) and Nita Lowey (D-NY) introduced a bipartisan resolution (H. Res. 729) that expresses support for a swift conclusion to a new, expanded MOU. Please urge your representative to support this bipartisan measure. Please also continue to urge your members of Congress to support full funding for security assistance to Israel this year—$3.1 billion—and for an increase in future aid to ensure the Jewish state’s growing defense needs are met.