Guest Column: Both parties continue to stand with Israel
November 7, 2012
As polls across the nation begin to close, we are writing this piece anxiously awaiting the results of Tuesday’s election. This presidential race will in many ways determine the direction our country takes for more than just the next four years. The results of this election will likely determine the course our government will take to address the economy and our healthcare system and might change the very role it plays in our daily lives. Further, with partisan bickering at its worst in decades and little common ground between the parties, few of these issues are likely to be decided with a broad consensus. Yet with our sides divided, we are proud to say that we will continue to come together as one to support the U.S.-Israel relationship.
Democrats and Republicans alike have proven that Israel’s safety is a top legislative priority. In a Congress where spending bills are lucky to even be considered by both chambers, bills supporting foreign aid for Israel pass with flying colors. This past year, Congress approved the stringent economic sanctions on Iran, the most serious economic sanctions passed on a country to date. Iran’s covert nuclear program threatens Israel’s existence, as well as our security and interests abroad and at home. On this, the United States, led by President Barack Obama and Congressional leaders, has assured Israel that it has its back.
On an executive level, Obama recently approved sending $3.1 billion dollars of foreign aid to Israel in order to meet his predecessor’s pledge of $30 billion over ten years. It’s no secret that George W. Bush and Obama disagree on most important issues, but they are on the same page when it comes to our support for our greatest Middle East ally.
We are confident that we will see further cooperation between the U.S. and Israel in the next four years, regardless of this election’s outcome. Just this past week, Israel and America held their largest joint military operation to date. The knowledge, experience and training that both sides gain from such exercises have proven to be invaluable on the battlefield. Furthermore, Israeli military technology has saved thousands of American lives, including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who benefited from an Israeli bandage designed for gunshot wounds.
The current, fragile situation across the Middle East brought on by the Arab Spring makes our strong, bipartisan support for Israel even more important. Israel remains the most stable nation in the Middle East. As long as Israel is safe, the United States can always count on one stable, democratic nation in the Middle East.
The bipartisan support for the U.S.-Israel relationship should be a model for Washington to follow, not the exception. It is an example of America’s commitment to the principles of democracy, solidarity, and freedom throughout the world. We hope that in the future, this model of continued bipartisanship will be a catalyst for further agreement among our parties on the most important issues facing the American people.
Adam Roth, Weinberg sophomore, President of College Democrats
Dane Stier, Weinberg junior, President of College Republicans