Feb 10, 2011
For Immediate Release
February 10, 2011
Contacts: Rep. Dold- Kelley Folino (224)-688-4201
Rep. Peters- Clark Pettig (202)-225-5802
Reps. Dold and Peters: Final Budget Must Maintain Support for Israel
With Budget Cuts on the Line, Reps. Robert Dold & Gary Peters Call on House Appropriators to Maintain Security Support for America’s Strongest Ally in the Middle East
Washington, DC - As Congress prepares to consider final funding levels for this year’s budget, and with rising uncertainty about the future stability of Egypt, a bipartisan pair of lawmakers are fighting to ensure that America’s support for the State of Israel remains strong.
Earlier this week, Representatives Robert Dold (IL-10) and Gary Peters (MI-09) sent a letter to the top Republicans and Democrats on the House Appropriations Committee calling for Congress to maintain full funding for security assistance to Israel.
“We know that the national security of the United States is directly tied to the strength and security of the State of Israel,” wrote Representatives Dold and Peters in the letter. “As Israel faces threats from renewed instability in Egypt, Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas in Gaza and the existential danger posed by Iran’s nuclear program, U.S. security assistance to Israel, including supporting Israel’s acquisition of the Iron Dome rocket defense system, has never been more important for our own national security interests.”
In addition to the traditional security assistance that the United States provides Israel to help defend against the military threat posed by neighboring states, Dold and Peters also called for support for Israel’s Iron Dome short-range artillery rocket defense system. The Iron Dome batteries are designed to defend against attacks on civilians from short-range missiles, rockets and mortars such as those used by Hamas and Hezbollah. This program was approved by the House last year by an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 410 to 4.
Congressman Dold traveled to Israel in May 2010 in order to see firsthand the critical security challenges the United States and Israel jointly face in the Middle East. As a freshman member, Congressman Dold has committed to leading on issues impacting the U.S.–Israel relationship. Dold’s commitment is rooted in the belief that it is a strategic and moral imperative to preserve the United States close relationship with Israel as we share values that are based on democracy, the rule of law, freedom of religion and freedom of speech.
Since taking office, Rep. Gary Peters has been an outspoken advocate for strengthening America’s relationship with Israel. He traveled to Israel in 2009 shortly after taking office to meet with Israeli leaders and discuss economic and security cooperation. In the aftermath of the flotilla incident in 2010, Peters led the bipartisan effort to affirm Israel’s right to self defense, authoring a letter of support signed by 338 members of Congress.
“As you consider the State-Foreign Operations and Defense Appropriations for Fiscal Year 2011 in the upcoming Continuing Resolution, we urge you to include America’s full commitment for Fiscal Year 2011 under the 10-year U.S.-Israel Memorandum of Understanding,” wrote Dold and Peters. “These measures will ensure our critical democratic ally maintains her qualitative military edge in a dangerous region of the world.”