Israel deserves America’s unequivocal support
As the only true democracy in the Middle East, Israel has been a beacon of economic prosperity and human rights for its people. Christians, Muslims and Jews enjoy equal protection before the law and the freedom to practice their own religion. In fact, the Ambassador recently wrote in the Wall Street Journal that Israel has become the safe haven for Christians in the Middle East who are fleeing neighboring Arab countries where they are being persecuted, murdered and denied the right to worship freely. Israel has an independent judiciary that supports the rule of law. There are 52 Arab-Israeli judges in the judicial system and 24 female members of the Knesset. It has free elections where any citizen of any background has the right to vote. Israel elected their first female prime minister in 1969 and is the only nation in the Middle East that Freedom House lists as a free nation.
The Jewish State is one of the leaders in start-up companies, technological innovation and the pursuit of a cleaner environment. More than 85 percent of Israel’s wastewater is recycled. Both Israel and the United States are the first to arrive to a global crisis such as a tsunami in Haiti or the nuclear reactor disaster in Japan. Israel has developed a bandage that has saved countless numbers of our soldiers overseas. It was because paramedics happened to have this bandage that Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is still with us today. And during a time of growing security challenges, Israel is the only nation in the Middle East that America can constantly count on to stand tall for the right values.
Israel and the United States share common security threats and enemies. The Iranian government pursues nuclear weapons with no end in sight, denies the Holocaust ever occurred and promises to wipe Israel off of the map. Iran not only poses an existential threat to Israel, but also to our Arab allies in the region. Iran has already tried to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in Washington, DC and has threatened to attack the United States on multiple occasions.
Meanwhile, it is propping the Assad regime in Syria as it massacres thousands of its people. Syria has joined the Iranians in becoming the largest state sponsors of terrorism around the world, and that’s before Iran gets a nuclear weapon... Both nations provide billions of dollars in funding, weapons and safe harbor to terrorist groups Hamas and Hezbollah. Their charters call for the destruction of the Jewish state and all Jews around the world. Hezbollah already has American blood on its hands. It was responsible for the 1983 suicide bombings of the Marine barracks in Beirut that killed close to 300 American soldiers.
The head of the Israeli Defense Forces Intelligence estimates that there are currently 200,000 rockets pointed at Israel; 60,000 of which are coming from Hezbollah and another 10,000 from Hamas in the Gaza strip. Many of these are being stockpiled in hospitals, community centers and schools. The U.S. military has already uncovered a plethora of evidence showing Iranian weapons and agents operating within Afghanistan and Iraq who have directly been involved in the deaths of our forces.
Some have suggested that the United States should distance itself from Israel as a way to diplomatically deal with the rising threats in the Middle East. Distancing ourselves from Israel would be naïve and exemplify a failure to understand the root causes of the threats both of us face in the Middle East. Iran, Palestinian Authority, Hamas, Hezbollah and others do not recognize Israel’s right to exist, which in no way hinges on whether we stand by Israel. What has made the United States the stalwart defender of good in the world is that we come to the aid of our allies. Israel and the United States constantly share critical intelligence and build unparalleled military defense systems, something that only occurs when the trust and relationship between us is strong. We believe in the same values and our goals of peace couldn’t be more aligned. One doesn’t defeat an enemy by abandoning an ally that is surrounded by actors that want to destroy her. It is through strength, resolve and alliances that peace remains in reach and that the force for good prevails. According to Gallup, 71 percent of Americans recognize we must support Israel. Now more than ever, the United States must stand unapologetically by Israel.