As a Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, David has been a consistent supporter of a robust relationship with Israel. Israel is a strong and brave democracy and has been an inspiration for the world for more than sixty years. The State of Israel was founded on the values of pluralism, justice, and respect for human rights, and as a practicing Jew, David is proud that Israel continues to embody those same values today. It is because of these shared values and a commitment to protecting minorities and workers, rejecting discrimination of any kind, and the strong belief in freedom of speech and an impartial judiciary, that the relationship between the United States and Israel is so strong and mutually reinforcing.
Israel remains America’s strongest ally in a volatile region. It is absolutely imperative that the United States makes it unmistakably clear that our support for the State of Israel is unshakable. In addition, we must strongly and vocally support the absolute right of Israel to defend itself and take all steps necessary to protect the safety and security of the State of Israel and her people.
David's trips to Israel have only strengthened his belief that a strong Israel is not only vital to her people, but also vital to U.S. interests. The United States must be prepared to provide additional assistance to Israel for her increasing defense needs.
The United States-Israel Alliance in the Middle East Peace Process and Israel’s Right to Exist
The partnership between the United States and Israel and our commitment to ensuring Israel is able to protect its people from the extraordinary, on-going threats against them must always be the centerpiece of our foreign policy in the Middle East.
Israel is surrounded by many self-proclaimed enemies, including those who have publicly declared their intention to destroy the State of Israel and the Jewish people. In addition, many of her enemies continue to engage in hostile military and terrorist actions against Israel and her civilian population. The Palestinian Authority must stop inciting violence and hatred in school textbooks. Both nations need to prepare their populations for the negotiations and painful concessions that a peace agreement will require.
David is firmly committed to ensuring that Israel maintains her qualitative military edge. In addition, David fully supports our country’s foreign aid initiatives which include our multi-year commitment to Israel’s defense.
The Importance of the Role of the United States in Achieving Peace in the Region
The United States plays an important role in ensuring that peace in the region is realized. Our responsibility is to protect American interests and ensure that Israel is strong and protected from those who threaten her existence.
David supports American efforts to bring about a two-state solution, which results in a peaceful Palestinian state living side by side with Israel. The United States can and must play a vigorous role in attempting to facilitate that solution by helping both parties bridge the gaps for a mutually agreeable peace determined by the parties themselves.
Economic Cooperation and Business Development
The United States and Israel have a unique opportunity to collaborate on economic development initiatives, particularly those focused on the knowledge and innovation economy of the 21st century. The United States and Israel must aggressively pursue opportunities for research, innovation, technology, and entrepreneurship.
In Congress, David has focused on efforts to promote regional innovation devoted to bio-technology, life sciences, medical devices, advanced manufacturing and other technology. With the second greatest number of companies on the NASDAQ, Israel must always be a very strong partner in this economic development strategy.
David supports moving the U.S. Embassy to Israel's capital, Jerusalem. Jerusalem must be recognized as Israel’s capital. Israel must be recognized as a Jewish state.
The Threat from Iran
David has often spoken about the threat that Iran poses to Israel. This threat is real and can not be ignored. Being cognizant of this threat also requires a clear-eyed reassessment of what is working, what is not achieving what we aim, and when we need to change our approach.
That is why, after extensive review and consultation with experts in many fields, David ultimately supported the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), calling it “one of the most difficult and consequential decisions that I will ever make as a Member of Congress.”
After a two-month review, and only after receiving assurances to concerns raised in a letter to President Obama, David announced his support. This decision is based on well founded believe the United States and the world will be safer with the JCPOA than without.
Without a doubt, a nuclear Iran is a threat to the United States, Israel and the world. Ira can not develop nuclear weapons. All participants in the debate agree on that point. The question is, what is the most effective way to achieve that goal. The fact is that the sanctions regime on Iran was not achieving this goal, a fact acknowledged by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in 2012, in an address to the United Nations:“Under the leadership of President Obama, the international community has passed some of the strongest sanctions to date…It’s had an effect on the economy, but we must face the truth. Sanctions have not stopped Iran’s nuclear program.”
Given this, a new approach needed to be found. The JCPOA forces Iran to relinquish its nuclear weapons ambitions and reaffirms, by its own language, that “under no circumstances will Iran ever seek, develop, or acquire any nuclear weapons.” This is an important concession.
The multi-national agreement with Iran imposes serious limitations on Iran’s nuclear program, and forces Iran to accept the most intrusive and rigorous inspections regime ever imposed on any country through a negotiated settlement.
The fact is, without this agreement the continued trajectory of Iran’s pre-agreement actions posed a much greater threat to Israel, the region, the U.S, and the world.
But David recognizes this agreement is only as strong as the commitment and the capacity to rigorously monitor and enforce it – and to act decisively if the terms are ever violated. That is why he supported several measures, now law, which will ensure robust monitoring, transparency for inspections, and clear consequences in the event this agreement is violated.