REP ROB ANDREWS (D, NJ-1), Member House Committees on Armed Services and Education,has been a long time supporter of Israel as an ally that shares basic values with the U.S. and because Israel has taken the lead in the struggle against Islamist terrorism. He agrees that Israel, as a state under siege since its inception has a right to defend itself and to define its own security borders, opposing the notion that it should agree to suicide borders. In a 2011 speech to Congress he stated that the vast majority of Israelis who live outside the 1949 cease fire lines are suburbanites of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and that they will be incorporated into any negotiated final borders of Israel. In the same speech he opposed what he saw as an Administration “tilt” toward Hamas, something the great majority of Congress could not abide. As early as 1995 he called for the U.S. embassy in Israel to be relocated to Jerusalem.
Andrews is outspoken on the connection between Islamic radicalism, terrorism and Iran’s drive to nuclear weaponry. He notes that while Israel may be threatened in its immediate neighborhood, the U.S. is clearly a target of treachery and overt terrorism. “. . . it is irrefutable that there is a force present in the world, a small but malignant force present in the world, that wishes to do us grave harm, that wishes to destroy our way of life and destroy the chance to spread our way of life to those in all corners of the world who would wish to enjoy it, and that force calls itself radical Islam.” Terrorists “will start with the Israelis. They always do. But they will eventually get to the United States of America.”
As early as March 2004, addressing Congress he stated, “Iran is a place where terrorist organizations who disrupt the Palestinian-Israeli negotiations find refuge, find weaponry, find cash. . . Is the present leadership of Iran capable of placing a small nuclear bomb on a cargo ship in a container and floating it into the harbor of a major American city. . . Should we wait and see? Should it be our policy to take an educated guess and find out? Regime change in Iran should be the policy of the United States of America; not negotiation, not cooperation, regime change.
REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R-MN, 6th ), House Committee on Financial Services, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, is one of the most outspoken voices for the U.S.-Israel relationship in D.C. Her commitment to the safety and security of Israel is unquestionable. With regard to Ahmadenijad, Bachmann said, "If we've learned anything over the last 100 years, it is that when a madman threatens the annihilation of the Jewish people, we have to listen to him, to pay attention and to take action." She is adamant that the U.S. never demonstrate weakness on the Iranian nuclear issue. On the Palestinian issue, she does not equivocate. She believes that the U.S. unwavering support for Israel means withholding U.S. tax support of the Palestinian Authority until is renounces terrorism and cuts ties with Hamas, whose constitution calls for the murder of all Jews. As for Jerusalem, Bachmann states, “…we tell the world, that never, ever will the eternal capital of the Jewish people become the capital of Egypt. [or any other nation."
REP. JUDY BIGGERT (R-IL-13) is a committed supporter of the strong “special” relationship between the US and Israel, our “closest ally.” Her “personal approach to foreign policy is based on a fundamental belief in the right of free peoples to govern themselves, the right of nations to ensure the security of their borders, and the value to the US in promoting and respecting democracy throughout the world. The State of Israel embodies these fundamentals. . .”
Biggert agrees that Israel’s concerns about a nuclear armed Iran “aren’t just “’noise.’” The prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran – a major sponsor of international terrorism – threatens regional and even global stability. Dismissing these legitimate concerns about Iranian ambitions suggests that we don’t understand the gravity of the situation, and threatens to undermine our critical alliance with Israel. Biggert contends that no option can be left off the table to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. In an effort to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, she has cosponsored the Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act of 2012, that imposed additional, serious economic sanctions on Iran. She also sponsored H.Res. 568, "Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives regarding the importance of preventing the Government of Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability."
Biggert states “Israel’s interests are our interests.” The US must support stable democracies around the world, and especially in the Middle East, especially in light of the degeneration of the Arab Spring. The unbreakable alliance with Israel should be reinforced in these dangerous times and Israel’s neighbors should be made to understand that they will not enjoy internal tranquility and prosperity until they are willing to make a genuine peace with the State of Israel.
(RABBI SHMUELY BOTEACH (candidate R, NJ-9th), is a prolific writer and teacher. In deciding to run for Congress he recognized that “we Jews are, after all, Americans participating in a polarized political discourse” and urges that “we can find a way for Jewish values to speak to our broader aspirations. Jewish values should be ideas that define the parameters of public discourse,. . . the key Jewish value is the civility itself and the mutual affirmation that . . . both are not just legitimate views, but even clear articulations of the living words of God. “
Understanding the desire for peace and conciliation, he nevertheless urges holding fast to the principle of the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish state. He admires former Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir who would make no territorial compromises that would endanger Israel's security and in doing so to arm its most professed enemies. He has told key Administration officials that untimely negotiations are counter-productive. “When you give the Palestinians hope that the United States will do its negotiating for them, they are not going to sit down and talk.” The U.S. should not push Israel until the Palestinians are prepared to make the psychological and physical compromises necessary for peace.
Son of a father born in Iran, Rabbi Shmuley does not doubt the genocidal intent of the Iranian regime and will not criticize the Israeli government for pushing hard for American red lines in the Iranian nuclear program. He reminds us that it is the United States of America that Khamenei and his cabal hates above all others. It is the United States whose freedom and liberty that Iran so fanatically hates that is the foremost target of an Iranian nuclear program
REP. ERIC CANTOR (R-VA 7th), House Majority Leader, a consistent and outspoken leader on the importance of the US-Israel relationship, continues to advocate for a strong and unified stance against the growing threat of Iranian nuclear terrorism. In light of recent Administration statements that appear to minimize Israel’s significance to our alliance as well as downplay the threat to Israel’s very existence, he responded “. . . I think clearly most Americans would say that Israel is undoubtedly our best ally in the region, the one that stands for the same things we do, that is human progress, universal rights, rights of the minority, rights of free speech, and downright democracy and freedom in a region where that is in very short supply.” To ensure the qualitative superiority of Israel’s military capability in light of dire domestic economic circumstances, he has led the movement to separate military aid to Israel from the foreign aid appropriations process, recognizing that Israel’s ability to defend itself is cost-effective for the US and that the funds are almost entirely spent with US companies. With the Arab Spring deteriorating into increasing turmoil and animosity toward America, Cantor advocates for a more assertive policy in support of US interests throughout the Middle East, among other things, by sponsoring H.R. 4133, the United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act of 2012.
REP. MIKE COFFMAN (R-CO, 6th) House Armed Services Committee, Natural Resources Committee, Small Business Committee, is an officer in the Marine Corps and served in both the first Gulf War and in the Iraq War. He brings his extensive military background to the Armed Services Committee policies. Coffman co-authored a letter that expressed disappointment with the President’s actions in defining (without negotiations of the parties involved) of the borders between Israel and “Palestine.” The letter, signed by representatives from both parties, emphasized “The U.S. role should be one of a mediator that seeks to help resolve this conflict but not declare a winner or a loser and does not further compromise security in an already volatile region.” He signed the Hoyer-Cantor letter to Secretary Clinton reaffirming the U.S. commitment to the unbreakable bond between our country and Israel.
Coffman is also a co-sponsor of House Resolution 630 that expresses support for Israel and its right to self-defense against the illegal nuclear program by the Islamic Republic of Iran. He gained a first-hand perspective on his visits to Israel.
TOM COTTON (R-candidate AR, 4th) is a combat veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, an Army Ranger, and a Bronze Star and Combat Infantryman Badge recipient and a graduate of Harvard and Harvard Law School. His understanding of the complex issues confronting Israel and the many critical fronts in our global war against Islamic terrorists is very high. “When countries such as Israel share American principles and support American interests, we should support those allies in their struggles against the forces of evil. When countries such as Iran and North Korea declare themselves to be our mortal enemies, we should treat them as enemies and use every instrument of national power to undermine their regimes.”
REP. CHIP CRAVAACK (R- MN, 8th), House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Vice Chair Aviation Subcommittee – the Homeland Security Committee, and the Science, Space and Technology Committee, upset the pundits in 2010 by defeating a long-term congressman who was one of the 54 members of Congress to sign the notorious Gaza Letter that blamed Israel for its incursion into Gaza to stop incessant rocket attacks on civilian Israeli territory. A former Navy pilot, Cravaack understands the importance of stopping the radical terrorists who attacked our country on September 11 and "the necessity of sustained vigilance."
REP.MARK CRITZ (D-PA, 12th) House Committees on Armed Services and Small Business, cosponsored House Resolution 568 aimed at preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability. He also cosponsored the United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act of 2012, as well as the Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act of 2012 to strengthen sanctions against. Rep. Critz cosponsored the Jerusalem Embassy and Recognition Act of 2011 and House Resolution 268, reaffirming the United States’ commitment to a negotiated settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations and opposing the unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state.
TED DEUTCH (D-FL,19th), House Foreign Affairs Committee, Subcommittee on the Middle East, House Judiciary Committee,
Latino-Jewish Congressional Caucus, holds Israel-related issues as central to his mission in D.C. He has led bipartisan congressional delegations to Israel to meet with PM Netanyahu and to gain first-hand insight into how "The recent upheavals across the Middle East will pose new challenges to the mutual security interests of the United States and Israel" and to have " frank discussions about Israel’s safety and security and the ever-present threat posed by Iran’s nuclear weapons program.”
The first votes of this self-described "lifelong activist in the pro-Israel community" helped propel legislation strengthening Israel’s security. He voted to move the Iran Sanctions Act to conference with the United States Senate, making stringent sanctions on the Iranian regime one step closer to becoming law. Hd also voted to authorize President Obama’s request to increase funding for Israel’s Iron Dome project, a short range missile defense system that will protect innocent Israeli citizens from rockets and mortars.
He firmly believe that security is paramount to any hope for a peaceful Middle East. "It is critical that the Palestinian Authority and other Arab nations end incitement, stop delegitimizing Israel, end their illegal economic embargos, normalize diplomatic relations, and reject the use of terror as a negotiating tool. The Israeli government, including current Prime Minister Netanyahu, has shown clear signs of wishing to achieve a lasting peace through a two-state solution with a demilitarized Palestinian territory. It is now time for Palestine and other Arab nations to meet Israel’s sacrifice and efforts to achieve Middle East peace."
REP.ROBERT DOLD (R- IL, 10th) House Financial Services Committee, House Republican Israel Caucus, The Israel Project Board of Advisors, is a trusted voice, a loyal friend, and an outspoken leader for the safety and security of America’s most steadfast ally, Israel. Congressman Dold understands that the US-Israel relationship is based not only on shared values, but on common interests and that a safe and secure Israel increases the safety and security of the United States. Bob Dold has spoken up boldly and clearly to combat efforts to delegitimize, isolate, and destroy Israel.
He has made it his top priority to reach across the aisle to co-sponsor critical legislation because he knows that “the U.S.-Israel relationship is not a left vs. right issue; it is a right vs. wrong issue.” Among the numerous pieces of bi-partisan legislation/letters Rep. Dold authored/co-sponsored are:
The bipartisan letter with Congressman Peters (D-MI) to the Appropriations Committee, calling for fully funding our security commitment to Israel for FY11
The United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act of 2012 (H.R. 4133), sanctioning the Central Bank of Iran –with Rep. Deutsch (D-FL), urging the inclusion of sanctions to Iran’s Central Bank in this year’s Defense Authorization bill.
The Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act (H.R. 1905) blacklisting Iran’s energy,
banking, and transportation sectors, and targeting those who enable Iran’s attempted evasions of sanctions.
House Resolution 270, which earned 42 bipartisan co-sponsors, reaffirms the bipartisan principles underlying U.S. security commitments to Israel in the 2004 Bush-Sharon letters, reiterating that the U.S. remains committed to Israel’s “secure, recognized, and defensible borders.”
House Resolution 268, that (1) reaffirms the U.S. commitment to direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations as the only way to settle the conflict; (2) denounces the recent Fatah unity agreement with Hamas and reiterates the firm belief that any Palestinian unity government must renounce terrorism, publicly recognize Israel’s right to exist, and reaffirm previous agreements made with Israel; (3) urges the U.S. to veto Palestinian efforts to unilaterally declare statehood at the UN; and (4) supports ending U.S. aid to a Hamas-affiliated Palestinian government.
ELIOT ENGEL (D-NY,17th),House Committees on Foreign Affairs and Energy and Commerce, believes that the U.S. “must stand with our ally, Israel, as it faces a variety of threats and challenges.”
On Iran: “Today, the most serious danger Israel must confront emanates from Iran. It is simply unacceptable that a country with a history of supporting terrorism and calling for the destruction of Israel could have a nuclear weapon.”
On Hamas and Hezbollah: He expresses his opposition to supporting Israel’s right to self defense. “Israel should not have to live under the constant menace that thousands of unguided rockets could again rain down on the Jewish state. That is why I was the lead Democratic sponsor of a resolution condemning Hamas rocket attacks on Israel and why I have strongly supported American assistance to Israel to expand the effective Iron Dome and other missile defense systems.”
On Syria: Rep. Engel was the author of the Syria Accountability Act, which imposed sanctions on Syria in 2003.
On Israel and the Palestinians: In 2011 Congressman Eliot Engel called Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s speech to a joint meeting of Congress “exceptional” and that it spelled out the reality of what is holding back peace in the Middle East.
“As Prime Minister Netanyahu pointed out, the question is not whether Israel will agree to a Palestinian state; it already has. The real question is whether the Palestinians will agree to recognize a Jewish State of Israel and sign a peace agreement which puts all claims and disputes to rest once and for all.”
“The Palestinians must also realize they can never establish a state with terror as its foundation…, As long as Hamas refuses to recognize Israel’s right to exist, renounce terrorism and abide by all previous agreements signed by Israel and the Palestinians, then they cannot be treated as a serious partner for peace by Israel, the United States, or the rest of the world.”
“If there are two states – Palestinian and Jewish – then Palestinians would have the right of return to a Palestinian homeland, and not have thousands, if not millions of Palestinians settle in Israel… a real and lasting peace means that a future Palestinian state must be completely demilitarized, and Israel’s unique security needs must be met so that Iran does not arm a new Palestinian state, where every Israeli city and village would be vulnerable to attack. “
On Jerusalem: Rep. Eliot Engel called this year’s omission of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital “a grievous mistake [that] should be rectified.”
REP. ADAM HASNER (R-FL,22) is unreserved committed to a strong US-Israel partnership, “. . . in good times andly bad, an alliance with America meant that even at the cost of blood and treasure, our allies could count on this nation to honor its commitments.” Continuous rejection by the Arab world and an enmity is as virulent as ever makes the Administration’s arm’s length treatment of Israel “putting our closest ally at existential risk.” Demeaning and diminishing Israel in order to placate Islamist states have not induced the Palestinians to negotiate or to prepare their constituents for the realities of a settlement. Because the Administration does not consider the superiority of Jewish legal, religious, historical, and moral rights to the Land, Hasner criticizes a policy of tolerating ongoing incitement to violence, glorification of terrorism, anti-Semitic indoctrination and unprovoked rocket and missile attacks. Pressuring only Israel has stopped the peace process in its tracks and has emboldened radical Islamists of all stripes. Hasner wants to be a leader in a Congress that will stand up for US and Israel interests, including the elimination of all American funding of the Palestinian Authority and ending our financial support for corrupt United Nations operations that are at variance with our strategic interests.
Hasner is on record opposing efforts to adopt shari`a into US law. "Sharia law is not compatible with the constitution of the United States of America." ". . . we cannot allow political correctness, multiculturalism or appeasement to cripple our defenses at home or abroad. Because this is a threat that not only exists on foreign soil, this is also a threat that exists from those who seek to destroy us from within."