Representatives Virginia Foxx (R-NC) and Jim Jordan (R-OH) are currently pushing a “Dear Colleague” letter - included below - in support of foreign aid to Israel. Instead of citing an inconclusive Jerusalem Post story about the commitment of the U.S. to Israeli foreign aid in a letter to President Barack Obama, they might want to consider educating their own caucus about supporting foreign aid. Foxx and Jordan should spend more time thinking about the 95 colleagues who they joined when they voted against HR 3081, the bill that approved appropriations of foreign aid. Despite this opposition, I am proud that the bill passed with 95% of the Democratic caucus voting in favor and, as far as we know, the support of the Obama administration.
(Note: The Post article includes the fact that Israeli diplomatic officials “completely discounted the likelihood that the current disagreements with the US would lead to punitive sanctions against Israel.”)
July 29, 2009
As highlighted in a Jerusalem Post article recently, remarks made by Pentagon officials have led some Israeli officials to question the commitment of U.S. foreign assistance to Israel. Regardless of how you voted on the FY10 House Foreign Operations Appropriations bill (H.R. 3081), as Congress continues working through the annual appropriations process, we invite you to join us in sending President Obama a letter reiterating the critical need for U.S. foreign aid to Israel. The deadline is COB Thursday, July 30. Please contact Brandon Renz (5-2071) with Congresswoman Foxx if you have any questions or if you’d like to sign this letter.
Member of Congress
Member of Congress
Dear President Obama:
We are writing to reaffirm Congressional support for upholding strong ties between our government and the state of Israel. The US-Israel relationship is rooted in shared values and a deep commitment to democracy, freedom and human rights. Israel has long been on the front lines fighting terrorism and serves as a vital force for stability in a volatile region. Thus, standing with Israel is not just in our strategic interests, it’s a moral imperative.We hope you can understand our deep concerns in light of recent press accounts suggesting that foreign assistance to Israel may be in danger. If true, the development represents an unwelcome turnabout in U.S. policy that will prove most unhelpful to our goals of promoting peace and security in the Middle East.
In a meeting between defense officials and the Israeli government, Pentagon officials reportedly “discussed the possibility that the US would cut the FMF (foreign military financing) due to the political tension between the countries or because of the global financial crisis.” We were further alarmed later in the day when State Department Deputy Spokesman Robert Wood left open the option of imposing financial sanctions on the Israelis, saying only that it was still “premature” to talk about the possibility.
The foreign-military aid the United States provides Israel is vital to the national security of both nations. At a time when Iran seems intent on acquiring nuclear weapons and bolstering terror groups across the Middle East, the administration should be focused on strengthening the hand of our allies – not weakening it. We look forward to hearing from you on this issue.
UPDATE: Click here to see a “full list of those who signed the letter ... along with their vote on the aid bill” and further comment from NJDC.
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