U.S., Israel Face Growing Threats To Shared Interests
‘I hope President Biden will seize on this progress and help Israel and Saudi Arabia improve their relationship - an achievable and transformational goal. Here in Congress, we have a tremendous opportunity before us to demonstrate our commitment to Israel by prioritizing American strength with the NDAA. I hope our colleagues will continue to work swiftly to finish this essential business.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding U.S.-Israel relations:
“Yesterday, President Biden welcomed the President of Israel, Isaac Herzog, to Washington.
“Unfortunately, some of the loudest anti-Israel voices in the President’s own party took President Herzog’s visit as an opportunity to call the world’s only Jewish state ‘racist’ and House Democrats’ left wing boycotted President Herzog’s joint address to Congress this morning.
“These activist theatrics are unbecoming of elected American officials, and they are a distraction from the real threats that America, Israel, and our Arab friends face in the Middle East. I hope these threats were the focus of the conversation between the two Presidents.
“Of course, threats to our shared interests have grown in large part due to the Biden Administration’s naïve approach to the world’s largest state sponsor of terror, Iran.
“Over the last two and a half years, Iran has dramatically increased its nuclear activities and even rebuffed the Administration’s repeated begging for a return to President Obama’s flawed deal.
“It has consolidated influence in Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon. It funds and equips terrorist groups dedicated to Israel’s destruction. And the deadly arm of its IRGC extends right up to Israel’s borders.
“In the Arabian Gulf, Iranian military vessels have targeted or seized commercial vessels offshore nearly 20 times since 2021. On the Arabian peninsula, Iranian weapons have rained down on America’s Saudi and Emirati partners.
“In Iraq, Tehran works directly with Shia paramilitaries that threaten Iraq’s sovereignty as well as Iraq’s neighbors and U.S. forces. And Hizballah, Hamas, and other terrorist groups channel massive flows of Iranian support into increasing attacks on Israeli and American lives.
“Violent flare-ups along the border with Lebanon earlier this month have Israel’s forces on particularly high alert. But as our friends face growing threats, they need more bipartisan solidarity from Washington, not performative BDS or lectures from politicians in glass houses.
“Earlier this year, the President warned ominously that Israel ‘cannot continue down this road’ in its efforts to pass domestic judicial reforms. According to reports it’s a message he intends to continue delivering to the Israeli Prime Minister in the weeks to come.
“Mr. President, nobody here in Congress seems to like it when foreign politicians weigh in on American domestic politics and tell us how to do our job. So I try to stay out of the domestic politics of our fellow democracies.
“I have confidence in the Israeli people and their democratically elected leaders, including President Herzog, who we welcomed to the Capitol today, and Prime Minister Netanyahu, who will travel soon to Washington.
“Ironically, the radical House Democrats who crowed about boycotting the President’s historic address are the ones who could benefit the most from his perspective on guiding a coalition government – and a diverse nation – toward greater security, prosperity, and peace.
“President Herzog’s remarks were a reminder to anyone willing to listen that even in the face of growing threats, Israel and its Arab neighbors continue to offer tremendous opportunities to promote peace.
“I was in the region earlier this year and I can assure any skeptics that the promise of the Abraham Accords is real. It is changing the geopolitical and economic climate of a region that remains extremely important to the United States.
“I hope President Biden will seize on this progress and help Israel and Saudi Arabia improve their relationship – an achievable and transformational goal.
“Here in Congress, we have a tremendous opportunity before us to demonstrate our commitment to Israel by prioritizing American strength with the NDAA.
“I hope our colleagues will continue to work swiftly to finish this essential business.”
Related Issues: War on Terror, Senate Democrats, Iraq, Israel, America's Military, Iran