Supporting Candidates who Support a Strong U.S./Israel relationship
To Protect Our Heritage is the Midwest's oldest and largest pro-Israel PAC. Our members, Democrats, Republicans and Independents, Orthodox, Conservative, Reform and Secular, with diverse backgrounds and ages, share one common mission: assuring Israel's security and existence as a Jewish state by maintaining unwavering bipartisan support for the U.S.-Israel relationship. More about us.
CANDIDATE ENDORSEMENTS 2014 SENATE
Senator Mark Begich(D-AK) has an excellent voting record on Israel-related issues, including: (1) S. R. 138, calling on the United Nations to rescind the Goldstone report on the Gaza flotilla incident, formally known as the U.N. Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict, which accused the Israeli government of targeting Palestinian civilians; (2) S.R. 185, reaffirming the commitment of the U.S. to a negotiated settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and calling for a US veto of any U.N. resolution on Palestinian statehood without a settlement; and (3) S. R. 23, supporting Israel in maintaining defensible borders, and against Israel returning to the armistice lines that existed on June 4, 1967.
Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) defends Israel forcefully and passionately. Listen to Senator Booker, in his own words, speaking about the situation during the latest war with Hamas. He also courageously joined 16 Democratic senators to cosponsor new legislation that would would increase sanctions against Iran, should they fail to follow through on their pledges to halt uranium enrichment. He is one of the sponsors of the U.S.-Israel Strategic Partnership Act "an updated version of the bipartisan legislation introduced in March 2013 that would help strengthen economic and security cooperation between the two countries. The measure is supported by 79 Senators. The legislation reaffirms the United States’ unwavering commitment to Israel’s security and the strong, historic U.S.-Israel relationship. It supports efforts to deepen U.S.-Israeli cooperation on defense, including continued U.S. assistance to Israel for the Iron Dome Missile Defense System, while also reiterating U.S. support for a negotiated political settlement between the Israelis and Palestinians that results in two states living side-by-side in peace and security. Senator Booker has had a unique and special relationship with the Jewish community, serving as president of the Oxford L’Chaim society, where he arguably became the first African-American/Christian head of a major Jewish organization in history.
Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), who has served in Congress more than 14 years, is now running for the Senate seat vacated by the retiring Sen. Jay Rockefeller. Rep Capito has been a strong supporter and leader for Israel in the House. Shelley believes that “the United States must maintain a strong military to protect our national security and America’s interests at home and abroad.” She emphasizes how proud she is to stand with Israel, “our strongest ally in the Middle East, to foster peace and security in that vital region.” She has a strong voting record on Israel, including signing the Commitment to Unbreakable U.S.-Israel Bond letter. She sponsored or cosponsored measures including: Reaffirming Unequivocal Support for the Alliance and Friendship between the United States and Israel; Condemning Unilateral Measures to Declare or Recognize a Palestinian State; Condemning the Ongoing Palestinian Rocket Attacks on Israeli Civilians by Hamas and other Palestinian Terrorist Organizations.
Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) has served in the Senate since 2002 and all that time been a staunch supporter of Israel including leadership recently in cosponsoring the United States-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2013, declaring Israel a Major Strategic Partner of the United States, authorizing an increase in U.S. defense stockpiles in and the transfer of surplus military equipment to Israel, and taking steps to include Israel in the visa waiver program. He also sponsored S.1001, the Iran Export Embargo Act, expanding existing U.S. sanctions by prohibiting the purchase or transfer of goods and services from any entity owned or controlled by the government of Iran and banning all transactions on behalf of such entities for the purpose of exports from Iran. In addition, Senator Cornyn cosponsored S.1881, the Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act of 2013, which would impose additional sanctions to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapon capabilities. In 2010 he introduced legislation supporting Israel's right to self defense against the attempted entrance of extremists via Mavi Marmara and other ships on a flotilla into Israeli waters.
Rep.Tom Cotton (R-AR), currently a House member, has served on the battlefields in Iraq and Afghanistan. Protect Our Heritage PAC has had several opportunities to meet with him and conclude that his understanding of the Middle East is deep and his support for a strong U.S.-Israel relationship is unwavering. He has spoken out forcefully on behalf of Israel in the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
Lt. Col. Joni Ernst(R-IA),
a soldier who has commanded an Army unit in the Middle East in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and a current Lt. Colonel in the Iowa National Guard, looks at the U.S.-Israeli relationship not only through the standard foreign policy and national security prism, but also from an on-the-ground, military readiness and capabilities standpoint. She promises that as a senator, she will "enthusiastically fight to expand the bond that exists between these two partners while prioritizing efforts aimed at strengthening the only democracy in the Middle East with a recognition that doing so will preserve the safety and security of both America and Israel for generations to come." She acknowledges that America has no better friend or more loyal ally than Israel. In her White Paper on Israel, she states, "While over the last few years there has been an unfortunate slight uptick in misguided rhetoric coming from Washington concerning matters related to Israel and her self-interest and security, [she] believes the United States must remain committed to growing and nurturing this relationship in a host of ways, including the continuation of aid programs, sharing of intelligence, close coordination on foreign policy relating to strategic international and regional importance, and extension of a mutually-beneficial and growing trade relationship."
Ernst's opponent does not share her pro-Israel views. In 2010, he sent a letter to President Obama urging a lifting of the blockade of Gaza. Considering how many secret terrorist tunnels and rockets were found in Gaza this summer, his position looks even more irresponsible in hindsight. Ernst maintains, "With so many emerging threats around the world, we must stand with allies like Israel."
Rep. Cory Gardner(R-CO) differs from his opponent in a clear understanding of the threat posed by terror groups such as ISIS, Hamas, and Hezbollah. It is problematic that his opponent, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and Select Committee on Intelligence, stated that “ISIL (ISIS) does not present an imminent threat to this nation.” Gardner cosponsored legislation condemning Hamas for its actions against Israel this past summer when it fired rockets into Israel and strongly defends Israel’s right to secure borders, not the armistice lines set in 1967. Gardner also voted to withhold funding any U.N. entity that recognizes a Palestinian state or upgrades the status of the Palestinian observer mission at the U.N. Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC) is an outspoken Pro-Israel leader. He has protested the U.N. becoming more anti-Israel and leads the efforts in supporting Israel against Iran's nuclear threat. He spoke up for Israel’s right to defend her citizens against Hamas aggression and warned the United States against pressuring Israel to make concessions to Hamas. He is a leading member of the Senate Appropriations, Armed Services, and Budget Committees.
Senator Kay Hagan(D-NC) has called on the U.N. to rescind the Goldstone Report on the Gaza flotilla incident which accused the Israeli government of targeting Palestinian civilians. She re-affirmed the U.S. commitment to a negotiated settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and called on the U.S. to veto any U.N. resolution on Palestinian statehood without a settlement. She has supported Israel in maintaining defensible borders and not returning to the June 4, 1967 armistice lines. She cosponsored the Resolution for Israeli Self-Defense (SR 599/HR 813), which expresses an unwavering commitment to the security of the State of Israel and reiterates that Hamas must end its terrorist rocket attacks, recognize Israel’s right to exist and accept previous agreements between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
Rep. James Lankford (R-OK) is a strong defender of the U.S.-Israel relationship. He understands that any ambiguity in that relationship, "... creates a destabilizing effect on the region and increases the possibility of aggression." He is committed to peace in the region and knows that "Peace will develop when the Islamic nations around Israel see that Israel stands strong and does not stand alone...Peace cannot be imposed from any outside party, including the United States." Protect Our Heritage PAC has met with Rep. Lankford and is impressed with his knowledge of the region, the challenges and the opportunities.
Senator Mitch McConnell(R-KY) is a staunch supporter of Israel. He was instrumental in passing bipartisan legislation to secure unanimous consent to grant Israel $225 million extra aid during the most recent Gaza War. He introduced legislation to provide funding for Israel's Iron Dome System. McConnell garnered bipartisan support to pass resolutions condemning UN Human Rights Council for launching investigation into alleged Israel "War Crimes."
Senator James Risch (R-ID), a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, cosponsored the Resolution for Israeli Self-Defense that expressed unwavering commitment to the welfare, security, and survival of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state with secure borders. In addition to supporting resolutions dealing with the threats from Hamas and Iran, the senator was one of four from both parties who released a statement calling for the presidents of five Latin American countries to restore diplomatic relations with Israel during Hamas' conflict with Israel.
Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS) has actively supported Israel by working to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability and opposing the Palestinian Authority’s unilateral declaration of statehood. This past June, he co-authored a letter to the President urging him to pressure Mahmoud Abbas to cease the PA’s alliance with Hamas and return to negotiations with Israel. In January, he cosponsored Senate Resolution 328, demanding that Iran publicly voice its acceptance of the State of Israel as one of the conditions for further negotiations. Earlier, he cosponsored a resolution condemning Hezbollah and Hamas and supporting Israel’s exercise of its right to self-defense.
Governor Mike Rounds (R-SD) believes the United States
has no greater ally than Israel and that Israel deserves our country’s
unwavering support. He has also stated that the United States should aid Israel in demilitarizing Gaza and comply with
the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 by relocating its embassy to Jerusalem. In
May 2013, Governor Rounds visited Israel and then issued an extraordinary position paper on Israel, Iran and anti-Semitism. As a Christian, he needed to see the Holy Land for himself and recognized that "Israel is not just a place. It is a Holy Land where the Holiest of men walked and our allies remain. It must be defended, secured and supported."
Ben Sasse (R-NE) currently serves as president of Midland University, which was on the verge of closing when he arrived, but has now been Nebraska’s fastest-growing college. Ben Sasse is a strong supporter of the U.S.-Israel relationship. He states that “The United States’ commitment to Israel is grounded in our countries’ shared commitment to the twin values of democracy and freedom. Since the creation of the State of Israel in 1948, the United States and Israel have stood firm, shoulder-to-shoulder, through changing geopolitical circumstances and threats. This steadfast relationship has bolstered the national and economic security of both countries and has demonstrated to the world that the United States stands by its allies and has an undying commitment to defending democracy and extending freedom. My commitment to Israel stems not only from my firm belief in the national and economic security brought about by our countries’ close relationship, but also from my faith. As a committed Christian, I respect Israel’s commitment to the freedom of religion.”
Rodney Davis (R-IL 13th) serves on the House Republican Israel Caucus. During the recent Gaza war, he stated, “I strongly support Israel’s right to defend itself from the terrorist organization Hamas, which is firing rockets aimed at civilian populations. I would like to see an end to the bloodshed and a de-escalation of this conflict, but will continue to stand with Israel until Hamas agrees to put a stop to this." He is committed to educating his constituents to the importance of the U.S.-Israel relationship and spoke at the University of Illinois American-Israeli Student Coalition leadership event to celebrate and understand the importance of the relationship between the United States and Israel.
Hon. Bob Dold(R-IL 10th) is recognized as a champion for the U.S.-Israel relationship. He was a voice, not just a vote, in the 112th Congress. He initiated, authored and built support for the Dold-Scott letter, signed by 67 House freshmen, stating their commitment to fully funding our aid to Israel, including for the Iron Dome Rocket Defense System. He introduced the bipartisan Iran Human Rights and Democracy Promotion Act (H.R. 1714), a bill to sanction Iran's crackdown on demonstrations and to create a Special U.S. Representative in charge of democracy promotion inside Iran. Some of these principles were rolled into the House’s comprehensive Iran bill. He also cosponsored the Iran Threat Reduction Act (H.R. 1905) and the Iran, North Korea, & Syria Nonproliferation Reform and Modernization Act (H.R. 2105). Bob Dold believes Israel has a fundamental right to protect its citizens when its security is threatened, and has spoken up for Israel when the world was condemning it. During the Palestinian Authority's unilateral bid for statehood at the United Nations in September 2011, Bob gave a speech against that effort on the House floor and sent a letter to 84 U.N. Ambassadors asking their countries to protect the prospects for a peace agreement by opposing the Palestinian effort.
Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY 16th) has traveled to Israel many times and remains committed to the unbreakable bond between the United States and Israel. He understands that not only are the United States and Israel close strategic allies in the dangerous Middle East, but that both countries have a great deal in common. He believes we must stand with our ally, Israel, as it faces a variety of threats and challenges. Today, the most serious danger Israel confronts emanates from Iran. It is unacceptable that a country with a history of supporting terrorism and that calls for the destruction of Israel is developing a nuclear weapon. He is deeply concerned by the dangers of terrorism from Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon and was the lead Democrat sponsor of a resolution condemning Hamas rocket attacks on Israel and strongly supported American assistance to Israel to expand the effective Iron Dome and other missile defense systems. He also advocates a tougher policy toward Syria and is the author of the Syria Accountability Act, which imposed sanctions on Syria in 2003.
Rep. Trent Franks(R-AZ 8th) is Chairman of the Israel Allies Caucus, the only official pro-Israel caucus in Congress. Franks believes the nation of Israel is the greatest friend and ally America has the world. He is deeply committed to the security and success of the Jewish state. His vote always reflects that commitment. Franks understands that the alliance between America and Israel is not only good for Israel, it is also good for America. Congressman Franks has worked hard to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear weapons capable nation and ensure the U.S. and Israel remain partners in developing and deploying a missile defense system that will defend Israel, the U.S., and our other allies against ballistic missile attack. He is one of six U.S. Republican congressmen who sent a letter to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, calling him “fully responsible for Hamas’s actions" during the recent conflict in Gaza.
Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-IL 14th) is a strong voice for Israel. He is a member of the House Congressional Israel Allies Caucus and strongly condemned the hundreds of rocket attacks on the Israeli civilian population centers by Hamas. His visit to Israel during the bombings provided him with the opportunity to observe the value of the Iron Dome defense system. Upon his return, the Chicago Sun-Times published his full account of his experiences. He concluded by saying "In Israel, I learned that this tiny nation isn’t looking to expand — just to survive."
Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO 5th) is a fervent advocate for Israel. He co-chairs two pro-Israel caucuses: the bipartisan Congressional Israel Allies Caucus and the Republican Israel Caucus. He has visited Israel six times, meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other senior officials. The Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET) has honored Congressman Lamborn with the Speaker of Truth Award for his legislative work supporting a strong U.S.-Israel bond. Those who believe in a strong and safe Israel can be assured of Congressman Lamborn's full support.
Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL 3rd) has taken a leadership role supporting the U.S.-Israel relationship. In addition to an outstanding voting record, he co-sponsored the bipartisan Protect Academic Freedom Act (H.R. 4009) to reverse the growing threat of unjustified boycotts against Israel. This Act is the first legislation that defends Israel against discriminatory boycotts that seek to deny Israelis the right to free speech on American campuses. He also co-sponsored legislation (H.R. 34) recognizing Israel's right to defend itself against attacks from Gaza and reaffirming the United States' strong support for Israel, and supporting the Israeli-Palestinian peace process; H.R. 951 condemning the ongoing Palestinian rocket attacks on Israeli civilians by Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist organizations.This year Rep. Lipinski was honored by the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET) with the Speaker of Truth Award.
Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL 6th) is the Chief Deputy Whip, a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, and co-chair of the Republican Israel caucus. Few in D.C. have taken bolder steps defending the U.S.-Israel relationship. Congressman Roskam has authored/sponsored key legislation including: H.R. 2701, authorizing the president to provide assistance for the procurement of the Iron Dome anti-rocket defense system, as well as sustainment of the David’s Sling, Arrow, and Arrow 3 anti-missile defense systems; H.R. 1130 urging President Abbas to identify figures committed to the peace process with Israel, enact reforms to open the political process: (1) through fair and responsible elections; (2) by ensuring freedom of speech, the press, and political assembly; and (3) by allowing a new generation of leadership to freely express their views, ensure that officials participating in any present or future Palestinian government are committed to the quartet principles, recognition of Israel, renunciation of violence, and adherence to previous diplomatic agreements; H.R. 665 condemning the kidnapping and murder of Naftali Frenkel, Gilad Shaer, and Eyal Yifrach, calling on the Hamas-backed Palestinian Authority (PA) to cooperate with the Israeli government to apprehend the murderers and bring them to justice. It also demands that Hamas halt its attacks on Israel and stop provoking Israel into a conflict and urging the PA to sever ties with Hamas until it recognizes Israel’s right to exist and renounces terrorism. Roskam also introduced bipartisan legislation to Protect Academic Freedom by Preventing Academic Boycott of Israel. This year Rep. Roskam received the pretigious "Speaker of Truth" award for his outspoken leadership on Israel-related issues. Hon. Bobby Schilling (R-IL 17) served as congressmen
from 2011 through 2012.The pertinent committee on which he served was the House Armed Services Committee. Schilling supports Israel as America’s “only friend” in a dangerous region. He supports a two-state solution for Israel and the Palestinian Authority but does not support the President’s plan for Israel to return, with modifications, to its pre-war 1967 borders. The United States should back Israel’s self-defense actions against hostile neighbors. While in Congress, Schilling supported numerous resolutions pertaining to Israel,including: H.R 1006, torecognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israeland to relocate the U.S. Embassy there; H.R. 1501 to withhold contributions to the United Nations until it retracts accusations of Israeli war crimes; H.R. 268 opposing any unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state; and H.R. 2829 defunding the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees. Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL 18th) is a staunch supporter of Israel. He was an early signer of the bipartisan condemnation of the American Studies Association's academic boycott of Israel. He voted to recognize Israel's rights to defend itself from attacks by Hamas inGaza. Congressman Schock cosponsored the following legislation: the Visa Waiver for Israel Act of 2013, the Nuclear Iran Prevention Act of 2013, the United States-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2014, the 2013 Iron Dome Support Act, the United States-Israel Missile Defense Cooperation Act of 2013, and the Hezbollah International Financing Prevention Act of 2014.
Recently, he stated that our national security and the stability of the entire region are dependent on a strong U.S.-Israeli partnership. Congressmen Schock is a member of the House Republican Israel Caucus.
Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-IN 2nd) has emerged as one of Israel's strongest supporters. As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, she has won bipartisan support for new measures increasing the pressures on Iran. Upon returning from Israel last August, Walorski stated “As Israel continues to experience constant terror threats from surrounding countries, the United States recognizes its special bond to Israel and is proud to be a strong ally. As a member of the Armed Services Committee, I believe it is critical that the United States continues to focus on Israel’s security, particularly from the growing nuclear threat in Iran, to help stabilize the region and protect our own national security interests.” We note that her opponent has a history of supporting anti-Israel institutions, including Al-Quds University, Caritas International, and Friends of Sabeel, formulated to poison mainstream Christians against Israel and to institute various Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaigns against Israel.
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