This weekend, top GOP presidential contenders had to choose between pandering to far-right fiscal conservatives and supporting guaranteed, unprecedented aid to Israel, as President Barack Obama has. Mitt Romney and Rick Perry simply chose wrong. Take action today to send a message that you stand for continued, guaranteed aid for Israel—read on to learn more.
In Saturday night’s debate, Texas Governor Rick Perry and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney both agreed with a radical and dangerous new approach to aid to Israel—that aid to all countries, including Israel, should “start at zero.” Perry said, “every country would start at zero,” though his “bet is that” Israel would receive aid. Romney for his part added “I agree with Governor Perry; start everything at zero.” Perry bets that Israel would get aid under this fundamentally new approach to assisting our democratic ally Israel? Romney reflexively agrees?! Click here or on the video window to watch for yourself and learn more.
While we haven’t heard again from the candidates, staff for these two candidates soon began backpedaling. Yet even after two days to reconsider and do damage control, the candidates have not clearly exempted Israel from this dangerous “start at zero” approach. Perhaps more disturbingly, neither the candidates nor their staff have once mentioned the 10-year Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2007 that guarantees and governs funding levels to Israel… yet another reason why aid to Israel should not “start at zero.” Why not? Do they not know? Why won’t they clearly support guaranteed aid to Israel given all this time to clarify what they meant to say?
Aid to our strategic ally Israel is the right thing to do—for America, and for Israel. President Obama knows this. That’s why in this difficult fiscal year President Obama made the largest ever security funding request for Israel in U.S. history, totaling $3 billion—in keeping with the 2007 Memorandum of Understanding. And that’s why above and beyond this unprecedented foreign aid request, Obama has made additional funding requests exceeding the Memorandum of Understanding, to save Israeli lives—including $205 million for the Iron Dome system.
Take a moment right now to send a message to GOP Chairman Reince Priebus insisting that he do everything he can to ensure that the Republican presidential nominee—regardless of who that might be—resolves to continue aid to Israel at current levels, and that the candidate fully understands the crucial Memorandum of Understanding that exists between the U.S. and Israel.
This issue is simply too important.
Together we can make a difference, and help make sure that everyone understands the importance of aid to Israel.
David A. Harris is the President and CEO of the National Jewish Democratic Council
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