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Strengthening our Ties with Israel

September 25, 2020
Column

The United States has enjoyed a strategic partnership and friendship with Israel since President Truman recognized the modern state only eleven minutes after its founding in 1948. They remain our most important ally in the Middle East as the only true democratic republic in the region. From the early days of this republic until now, the U.S. has worked steadfastly to help Israel defend itself while remaining committed to the ultimate goal of peace in the region. We have not lost sight of this goal, even as COVID-19 has impacted day-to-day life in both our nations.

President Trump has made ensuring a secure Israel in a peaceful Middle East a hallmark goal of his foreign policy. In the last two months alone, this has manifested through two Arab states – the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain - recognizing the state of Israel and establishing normalized relations. These agreements, known as the Abraham Accords, are the first new recognition of Israel by Arab states since 1994 and allow for the development of a military and trade relationship. This is a major step forward to normalizing relations across the Middle East and bringing stability to one of the most volatile regions worldwide. I hope more nations will follow suit. To compliment this agreement, I have cosponsored H.Res. 1110 which supports the normalization agreements, and calls on other Arab and Muslim states to support normalization and peace with Israel.

Not all threats to Israel come from within the region. China has recently attempted to sow its anti-democratic worldview in the Middle East. As a part of its “Belt and Road Initiative,” China has significantly increased investment in Middle Eastern countries such as Egypt, the UAE, and even Israel. While we work to diversify global supply chains of essential medicines, PPE, and other essential components of the COVID response, it only makes sense to deepen our collaborative partnerships with strong allies such as Israel in order to reduce reliance on China and to shore up our ability to jointly address future similar crises. In order to steer us in this direction, I have cosponsored H.R.6829, the Expanding Medical Partnerships with Israel to Lessen Dependence on China Act.

There is a long and productive history of partnership between US and Israel in the fields of pharmaceuticals and biotechnology and this bill would further this key area of our relationship.I have also cosponsored H.R.5605, the United States-Israel PTSD Collaborative Research Act, which would take our collective research and experience to develop best-practices in research, diagnosing, and treating PTSD. It makes sense for our countries to partner as we work to better understand the condition and identify the best methods to treat and rehabilitate our servicemembers and veterans.

I am proud of our nation’s long, constructive history of collaborating with Israel toward peace and prosperity, and I appreciate all President Trump has done to further our goals. Together, the United States and Israel remain a force for good around the world and an example for others who strive toward democracy.

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