The Middle East and Israel as a Key Partner
When elected to Congress I will be committed to:
- Protecting and strengthening the U.S. – Israeli relationship;
- Working against terrorism in the region; and
- Promoting lasting peace with the Palestinian people.
The strategic partnership between the United States and Israel is one I respect and intend to uphold when elected to office. The Holy Land of Israel holds significance, not only as a revered location for many faiths, but also as the only Democracy in the Middle East and the strongest ally of the United States in the region.
I was fortunate to grow up with a strong Catholic faith and am instilling those same beliefs in my own children. Because of its importance to many faiths, including my own, it is important the Holy Land of Israel remain a safe and welcoming environment for people of all faiths. Given the respect I have for Israel as a Holy Land, and as a strategic partner of the United States, I intend to be a strong voice for Israel when elected to Congress.
Protecting and Strengthening Our Relationship
As the main ally of the United States in the Middle East, the importance and relevancy of Israel cannot be overstated. Protecting and strengthening the relationship between our two countries is something I am committed to on multiple levels.
First, I applaud President Trump’s decision to relocate the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. After many years of leaders advocating for such a move, I was pleased to see the action finalized, cementing the integrity of Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel.
Secondly, Israel is a key component of America’s Middle East security framework. The U.S. and Israel must pursue cooperative agreements that address the security needs of both countries. As a part of that, the United States must remain committed to giving Israel a fair military advantage to defend itself, including fulfilling military aide commitments the U.S. made to Israel. It is imperative Israel remain the most state-of-the-art entity in the region and the U.S. continue to support such efforts.
And finally, I am committed to and encouraged by non-military cooperation between the U.S. and Israel. As a former healthcare executive, I am particularly interested in scientific and healthcare advancements that result from the partnership between our countries.
The recent events and reactions to the global COVID-19 pandemic show just how important it is for nations to come together to fight the world’s problems. Israeli innovation is making a unique contribution to improve the health and welfare of citizens around the world, including Americans. From pharmaceutical advancements, to biotech and therapeutic innovation, to digitizing healthcare, Israel is a leader in medical research and development.
As an elected official, I will be committed to cooperative programs in healthcare that utilize the U.S. – Israel relationship to improve the health and wellbeing of both countries. I am committed to reducing barriers to innovation and to promoting open trade agreements that allow for the exchange of intellectual capital, including scientific, agricultural and industrial advancements of all kinds.
Working Against Terrorism in the Region
The shared threat the U.S. and Israel face by Iran, and its pursuit of nuclear weapons, further elevates the importance of defending the U.S. relationship with Israel. Iran fuels regional instability in an effort to promote radical Islamic terrorism. Iran looks to threaten and destabilize the region by backing insurgents in Iraq, Afghanistan, Bahrain, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Iran’s funding of Hezbollah in Lebanon, as well as Hamas in Gaza is proving to be the most existential threat to Israel.
Terrorist organizations such as, Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza, pose a direct threat to American interests and Israeli security. Congress must make clear that Israel is in position to defend itself against all terrorist organizations. Furthermore, the U.S. must ensure tough enforcement of necessary sanctions to counter known terrorist threats and their inhuman practices.
When elected to Congress, I will support measures that exert necessary economic pressure on Iran, pressuring them to be a neighbor, not a threat in the region. I do not support President Biden’s stated plan of rejoining the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. Sanctions imposed against Iran in recent years have been effective in reducing threat. According to former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, sanctions resulted in slashing “Iran’s revenue by hundreds of billions of dollars since the U.S. pullout in 2018.” I will also encourage normalized relations between other countries in the region – such as Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon – encouraging the Palestinians to come to the negotiating table, rather than turn towards terrorism.
Promoting Lasting Peace
From terrorist organizations to global movements like Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS), Israel is under constant attack. Despite these attacks, Israel consistently demonstrates its desire to find resolution and lasting peace with the Palestinian people.
The United States can play a role in this by encouraging direct talks between the Israeli and Palestinian people. Cooperative, productive talks that lead to a two-state solution can only be achieved through nonviolent actions and direct bilateral talks – without the pressure of outside intervention.
America has an obligation to stand strong with our partner, Israel. Congress should promote policies that protect and strengthen the U.S. relationship with Israel. We must support Israel’s ability to defend itself and encourage peace and stability in the region. I am committed to policies that will help stabilize the Western Hemisphere and protect the relationship between the United States and Israel. When elected, I intend to be a voice for Israel and further the friendship between our two nations.