(Washington, DC)—NJDC commends Congress for reaffirming today its unwavering commitment to the U.S.-Israel relationship by passing the United States-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2014.
Introduced by Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Roy Blunt (R-MO), the Act strengthens the relationship between the U.S. and Israel on issues from defense to energy while ensuring that Israel will have the resources to defend itself in an emergency.
“This Act sends a clear, bipartisan message that the U.S.-Israeli bond is unbreakable,” said Greg A. Rosenbaum, Chair of NJDC. “As we have said time and time again, Israel must not become a partisan wedge issue. No party has a claim on being a ‘better’ friend to Israel, and any attempt to claim that is absurd.”
Specifically, the U.S.-Israel Strategic Partnership of 2014:
* Expresses the sense of Congress that Israel is a major strategic partner of the United States.
* Increases the value of the United States’ forward-deployed weapons stockpile in Israel and authorizes additional defense transfers.
* Requires the Administration to take steps toward allowing Israel to be included in the top-tier category for license-free exports of certain U.S. technologies and products.
* Encourages government and private sector cooperation between the two countries in several areas such as energy, water, agriculture, cybersecurity, and alternative fuel technologies.
* States United States policy should include Israel in the list of countries that participate in the Visa Waiver Program, when Israel satisfies the requirements for inclusion
* Requires the Administration to provide more frequent and more detailed assessments on the status of Israel’s qualitative military edge over its neighbors.
* Strengthens collaboration between the U.S. and Israel on energy development and encourages increased cooperation between the two countries’ academic, business and governmental sectors.