Senate Endorsements 2012

REP. SHELLEY BERKLEY (D-NV,1st), House Ways and Means Committee, has used her influence and power in the U.S. House of Representatives to ensure the United States continues its steadfast and unwavering support for the State of Israel. From her opposition to the administration’s position on settlements to Iran’s nuclear ambitions, Shelley has always placed the highest priority on the survival and security of the state of Israel and will continue to do as a member of the U.S. Senate.

She has fought tirelessly to ensure the Iranian regime does not obtain nuclear weapons. In the last Congress, she was a lead champion of the Comprehensive Iran Sanction, Accountability, and Divestment Act, and she is now dedicated to making sure that this law is enforced to the fullest extent. Shelley will continue to ensure that the U.S. uses every tool at its disposal to tighten the sanctions against Iran until they give up their pursuit of nuclear weapons.

Shelley has led Congressional efforts to hold the Palestinian Authority (PA) accountable by restricting any aid or support to a government that includes Hamas. She will continue to demand that before the U.S. recognizes a Palestinian state, the terrorist infrastructure must be dismantled and the Palestinian people must accept Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state. She introduced legislation to prevent foreign aid from going to any Egyptian government that does not abide by the peace treaty with Israel.. Shelley is spearheading the effort in Congress to end the anti-Israel bias at the United Nations, by convincing member states to oppose the one-sided, anti-Israel resolutions that have become commonplace.  

SEN. BEN CARDIN (D-MD), Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Senate Chair of the U.S. Helsinki Commission, is committed to a strong and secure Israel.  He has sponsored several key pieces of legislation including:  S. Res 185 – “A resolution reaffirming the commitment of the United States to a negotiated settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, reaffirming opposition to the inclusion of Hamas in a unity government”.    S. Res 188 – “A resolution expressing the sense of the Senate in support of the accession of Israel to the Convention on the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.”  Most recently, S. Res 574 – “Calling on the United Nations to take concerted actions against leaders in Iran for their statements calling for the destruction of another United Nations Member State, Israel.”

Senator Cardin is an outspoken supporter of a strong U.S.-Israel alliance.  In his statement responding to the terrorist attack against Israeli tourists in Bulgaria in July 2012, he said, “Israel and its citizens have endured far too many terrorist attacks.  As the strongest of allies and partners in combating terrorism, we reaffirm our support for Israel’s right to defend its people and take appropriate actions to ensure their safety.”  

SEN. ROBERT CASEY, JR. (D -PA), Senate Committees, on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry,Committee on Foreign Relations, Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Joint Economic Committee (Chairman), has actively supported Israel by working to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons capability and financing terrorism in the Middle East through its proxies Hamas and Hezbollah.

Senator Casey introduced the bipartisan Iran Sanctions Enabling Act and cosponsored the Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act, both of which have been enacted. He also cosponsored a bipartisan Senate resolution stating that Iran cannot be allowed to obtain nuclear weapons and that containment of a nuclear-armed Iran is not an option. As Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near Eastern and South and Central Asian Affairs, Senator Casey organized a bipartisan group of 76 Senators to urge the European Union to designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. In July 2012, the Senator led a Senate delegation to Israel and other Middle Eastern countries to discuss the Iranian threat and also presided over the subcommittee’s hearing on Iran’s support for terrorism in the Middle East.

Senator Casey’s policy is to stand up for Israel’s right to defend itself, including the right under international law to establish a naval blockade to prevent weapons from being delivered to Hamas. 

(D-MN), incumbent, sits on Senate Committees on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, Commerce, Science and Transportation, Subcommittee on Competitiveness, Innovation, and Export Promotion (Chairwoman).   In 2007, she signed the Schumer-Graham letter to Secretary of State Condoleeza Rick calling for pressure on friendly Arab states to end their Israeli boycott and to stop supporting terrorist groups.  The following year, in May of 2008, she spoke on the Senate floor and issued a press release in honor of Israel's 60th anniversary noting that Israelis and Americans have enjoyed a long friendship based on common values rooted in democracy and mutual strategic goals. 

“Israel’s survival and success are a remarkable testimony to the vision that inspired its creation six decades ago, and to the Israeli people who have made that vision a reality,’’ Klobuchar said. “Though the journey has not always been along a straight and smooth path, each step along the way has been paved with the two fundamental and complementary tenets of the Israeli nation: resilience and faith.’’ Klobuchar, who visited Israel two years ago, said the country has been an important American ally in pursuing democracy and security in the Middle East." 

In the last session of Congress she co sponsored Senate Resolution 321 which reaffirmed the Senate's commitment to a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict based on the establishment of two states while also reaffirming Israel's security and denouncing the use of violence and terror.  She also co sponsored the Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act and several acts to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.  

GOV. LINDA LINGLE (R-Candidate, HI), is committed to a strong US–Israel relationship. “The State of Israel is personal to me.” As Governor of Hawaii she led a delegation to meet with then Prime Minister Ariel and other notables and was struck by similarities between Hawaii and Israel—both small, isolated, neither possessing the kind of natural resources usually thought to bring prosperity, having a strong need for self-sufficiency in food, energy and other areas. Both have diverse ethnic and religious populations coexisting in prosperity. 

Despite Hawaii being 9,000 miles distant from Israel, Lingle understands that both Israel and the United States benefit when their relationship is strong. As a U.S. Senator, she would be committed to advancing  the shared economic and security goals of both nations and would fight any and all attempts to delegitimize the Jewish state. “America must stand unequivocally with Israel and I support Israel’s right to self-defense.” She considers President Obama's notion that Israel should return to its pre-1967 cease fire lines to be both uninformed and reckless. “Peace in the Middle East will never be attained when all of the sacrifice is made by Israel.” If there is to be peace between the Palestinians and Israel, it must be based on one undeniable fact: Israel has a right to exist as a Jewish state. 

Lingle is adamant that Iran cannot be allowed to enrich uranium to the point where it can build nuclear weapons. She supports the Iran Sanctions Enhancement Act, and endorses Sen. Mark Kirk’s “follow the money” approach, to penalize companies that seek to evade sanctions. Lingle would close loopholes that have been exploited by sworn enemies of Israel, like Hamas and Hezbollah. “It is absurd that U.S. taxpayers have continued to see their dollars reach the wallets of Israel’s enemies.” She would make aid to the Palestinian Authority conditional on its living up to its obligations. The enemy of my friend does not deserve our help!

JOSH MANDEL (R-Candidate OH) is a Marine Corps officer with two tours of duty in Iraq, He understands that America and Israel face a common enemy in radical Islam. Mandel has built a record supporting Israel while serving in the Ohio state government. In 2007, as his first piece of legislation in the Ohio House of Representatives, Josh authored and led the charge to divest the Ohio pension funds from companies doing business in Iran, making Ohio the first state in the nation to do so. As Ohio’s Treasurer, Mandel invested $18 million of state funds in Israel Bonds in April 2011. This is the largest purchase of Israel Bonds in Ohio history.
Mandel summarizes his “Guiding Principles and Positions” in support of the U.S.-Israel relationship:
• The Jews have a Biblical right to the land of Israel.

• Israel is the best friend the United States has in the Middle East.
• Israel has an unarguable right to defend itself and make its own decisions about negotiating trustworthy and enforceable peace agreements with its neighbors.
• Supporting Israel’s right to survive and prosper is in the best interest of America.
• America and Israel face a common enemy in radical Islam.
• For the best interest of America, the bond between Israel and the United States should be unbreakable.
•  There is no such thing as “East Jerusalem” or “West Jerusalem” – there is simply one Jerusalem, the capital of Israel. Jews should be allowed to build homes and conduct commerce anywhere in Jerusalem.
• The Senate should reject international attempts by Syria, Lebanon and other governments to delegitimize Israel and its right to self-defense.
• The Senate should demand that the U.S. government honor previous understandings between Israel and the United States.
• The Senate should enact crippling sanctions on Iran.
• The Senate should continue to fund military aid to Israel.

His opponent, Sherrod Brown, voted against foreign aid for Israel in 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000 and 2001. While Israel was under attack at the United Nations, Senator Brown stood with J Street denouncing Israel's settlement policies as an illegal obstacle to peace efforts. Senator Brown refused to join a bi-partisan group of 76 Senators in signing a letter to President Obama requiring “an absolute Palestinian commitment to ending terrorist violence and to building the institutions necessary for a viable Palestinian state living side-by-side, in peace with the Jewish state of Israel."

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL JR. (R-KY), Senate Minority Leader and member Senate Committees On Agriculture, Nutrition And Forestry,  Appropriations, has an impressive and long record, in both the House and Senate, of sponsoring important legislation for a secure and independent Israel and deftly garnering support from his Republican and Democratic colleagues.   He has cosponsored Resolution 10, recognizing the right of Israel to defend itself against attacks from Gaza and reaffirming the United States' strong support for Israel in its battle with Hamas, and supporting the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. He has consistently expressed commitment to the welfare and survival of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state with secure borders and recognizes Israel's right to act in self-defense.
In cosponsoring Resolution 534 he condemned Hezbollah and Hamas - Hezbollah and Hamas and as state sponsors or terrorism and supported Israel's exercise of its right to self-defense.
In cosponsoring  Resolution 5 he oppose the unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state and urging the President to assert clearly United States opposition to such a unilateral declaration of statehood.

Senator McConnell has taken a tougher stand on the Iran nuclear weapons debate than President Obama.  He has stated unequivocally that, "What is needed when it comes to Iran is a clear declaratory policy that would declare what we would do, and why.  In intending to offer 'all options,' it has inadvertently blurred the most important one and that is a determined military operation to end Iran's nuclear program."  

SEN. ROBERT MENENDEZ (D-NJ) Senate committees on Banking, Finance, Senior Member Foreign Relations,  was an  architect of U.S. policy to to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon’s capability.  In December 2011, Senator Menendez authored an amendment that passed the Senate 100-0 and became law, sanctioning the Central Bank of Iran and preventing any international financial institution that does business with the Central Bank of Iran from doing business in the United States. This new tool has substantially impacted the Iranian economy, causing the Iran currency to fall by more than 50% and has reducing revenue from Iran’s petroleum export revenue by $45-50 billion. Sen. Menendez is a strong advocate for the Jewish people’s right to live in peace and security in their homeland.  “The legitimacy of any peace process must be weighed against the assurances Israel requires for its security.  A peace agreement must be sustainable and can be achieved only by the two parties negotiating with each other.”  In September 2011, Senators Menendez and Lieberman led a letter, signed by 14 Senators, to President Obama urging him to “make it clear that we will not tolerate continued threats to Israel…or attempts to delegitimize Israel at the UN or other forums” and that “violence and unilateralism against Israel will be met with the strongest U.S. opposition.” 

(R-Indiana) is currently the Indiana State Treasurer. Under Richard's stewardship the Indiana State Treasurer’s Office is one of the most fiscally sound in the US. As an Evangelical, Richard Mourdock has a strong commitment to supporting Israel including the investment of 35 Million Dollars of Israel Bonds for the State of Indiana.  As a historian, Richard often quotes his hero Dietrich Bonehoeffer, a young German clergyman who during the Holocaust spoke up to save Jews, was involved in trying to overthrow Hitler and was executed a week before the war ended. For Richard Mourdock, the lesson of the life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer is "Those of conscience who see evil and turn their back to evil become a part of that which they hope to avoid."

SEN. BILL NELSON (D-FL) Senate Committees on the Budget, Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, Committee on Finance,Select Committee on Intelligence, Special Committee on Aging, continues to work for bipartisan support for the U.S.- Israel relationship. Senator Nelson, along with Senators Boxer and Kirk, introduced a bipartisan bill to authorize further assistance to Israel for the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system. 

Nelson cosponsored:

S. 2165, the United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act of 2012, to enhance Israel’s qualitative military edge (QME) as well as measures to strengthen U.S.-Israel strategic cooperation on missile defense, homeland security, energy, intelligence and cyber-security. The bill also reaffirms the unwavering commitment to the security of Israel as a Jewish state as well as our nation’s commitment to forge a peaceful, negotiated settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that results in two states living side-by-side in peace and security. 

S Res 10; A resolution recognizing the right of Israel to defend itself against attacks from Gaza and reaffirming the United States' strong support for Israel in its battle with Hamas, and supporting the Israeli-Palestinian peace process - Cosponsor

S Res 321; The sense of the Senate regarding the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. - Cosponsor, reaffirming  the Senate's commitment to: (1) a lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict based on the establishment of two states, Israel and Palestine; and (2) Israel's security. Denounces the use of violence and terror.

SRes 224; A Resolution regarding the Israeli-Palestinian peace process – stating the Senate's commitment to: (1) a lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict based on the establishment of two states, Israel and Palestine; and (2) Israel's security. Denounces the use of violence and terror. Calls on: (1) President Bush to engage Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) to begin negotiations; (2) the Hamas-led PA to recognize Israel's right to exist, renounce and end all terror and incitement, and accept past agreements and obligations with Israel; and (3) moderate Arab states to intensify their diplomatic efforts toward a two-state solution. Urges President Bush to consider appointing as Special Envoy for Middle East Peace an individual who has held cabinet rank or someone equally qualified with an extensive knowledge of foreign affairs and the Middle East region in particular.

REP. DENNIS REHBERG (R-MT, at large), House Appropriations Committee, has an outstanding record of legislation and public statements on behalf of a strong US-Israel relationship. He spoke against President Obama's position on using the 1949 cease fire lines as a starting point in negotiations with the Palestinians. He wants Jerusalem as the site of the United States Embassy. He believes the U.S. should withhold funding the UN until it retracts its accusations of Israeli war crimes.  

Rehberg opposes any unilateral declaration of a Palestine State and would prevent the U.S. from lending legitimacy to such an unlawful declaration by prohibiting any official U.S. document from referring to "Palestine."

HEATHER WILSON (R, NM) Republican candidate for the US is on record stating Israel is America’s closest ally in a very dangerous neighborhood of the world.  It is a beacon of democracy in a region where democracy is only a dream for far too many people.  It is a thriving entrepreneurial society that demonstrates that there is a path to prosperity through free enterprise.  It is an invaluable partner in the struggle against terrorism.  It is a model for the rule of law and respect for religious liberty.” Wilson’s experience in the US Air Force with a Ph.D. in International Relations, as member of the National Security Council Staff and as former chair of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Subcommittee on technical intelligence make her well qualified to advocate for the US-Israel alliance. In her tenure as congresswoman, she was a strong supporter of military aid to Israel. Rather than fund the Palestinian Authority, Wilson wants to see the 10 year military aid commitment enacted under President Bush entirely honored. She asserts that it is essential for Israel and beneficial for the US as well to cooperate on the development of anti-ballistic missile technologies. Affirming Israel’s right to self defense, she notes that it is mutually advantageous to continue counter-terrorism and intelligence cooperation with Israel. Wilson pledges to support crippling sanctions and “disruptive actions” to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapon capability. Recognizing that real US interests are often sacrificed to placate Middle East oil despots, Wilson advocates a balanced, long term energy policy that makes America more energy independent.

GOV. TOMMY THOMPSON (R-WI) supports the longstanding, strong relationship between the United States and Israel. "Our people share a deep and abiding friendship based on a commitment to core values including democracy,human rights, rule of law, and freedom of the press and religion. Both nations endure as symbols
of liberty and pluralism in a world threatened and tainted by authoritarianism and intolerance -
particularly in those nations that surround Israel...The United States and Israel share an economic philosophy, based on entrepreneurial initiative,open markets, free trade and an approach that places its faith in the abilities and imagination of individual American and Israeli citizens, not their respective governments. America benefits from its close relationship with Israel. Intelligence sharing, joint development of advanced military technology and cooperation on homeland security protect citizens of both countries. Our trade relationships continue to grow. Israel’s entrepreneurial and innovative business culture has created many new companies with opportunities for Americans and Israelis alike."

Gov. Thompson has been to Israel three times,  On each of my visits, I had the wonderful opportunity to strengthen the bonds between the United States and the people of Israel. He last led trade delegations to Israel and is the recipient of an award from Teddy Kollek for his work to develop business relationships with Israel. He was the first U.S. governor to purchase Israeli bonds. Wisconsin invested $10 million in Israeli bonds. 

The Emergency Committee for Israel released a report highlighting his opponent's troubling foreign policy record. She has been
nothing less than hostile to the U.S.-Israel alliance. She has accused Israel of war crimes, befriended anti-Israel groups, refused to sign bipartisan letters of support for Israel, and defended the libelous Goldstone Report."

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