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I Stand with Israel – Today. Tomorrow. Always

I am honored to share my views on the future of the United States-Israel relationship.

For the past 27 years I had a front row seat to history serving as a top aide to my boss and friend, United States Senator Lindsey Graham.

I consider the work we have done in the Senate building a strong U.S.-Israel relationship to be among our most important accomplishments.  In the U.S. House of Representatives, I will be a counterpart and partner to Lindsey, bringing that same drive, passion, and commitment to the U.S.-Israel relationship.

I know the mutual interests between the United States and Israel, as well as our deep affection and admiration for one another, make Israel America’s closest and most effective ally.  It is important to me personally that we maintain, nurture, and strengthen that relationship in the years to come.

Unfortunately, I see political storm clouds gathering on the horizon.  There is a growing movement in both the Republican and Democratic parties to jettison or downgrade the long-standing and mutually beneficial relationship between our two countries.  We see that happening with a recent vote in the U.S. House where some of the most conservative Republican members joined some of the most liberal Democratic members to vote against assistance to Israel.

That vote set a bad precedent and I fear that unless that movement is immediately confronted and defeated, it will gain momentum.  That would be bad for the United States and bad for Israel.  The only winners would be the Iranian Ayatollahs along with their minions and proxies — Hamas, Hezbollah, Houthis, and the rogues’ gallery assortment of small-time terrorists and thugs they support through financial means and other avenues.      

Personal Experiences in Israel 

Israel is a beacon of freedom and democracy in a very difficult region of the world.  I consider myself incredibly fortunate to have been invited and able to visit Israel with the American Israel Education Foundation.

My trip to Israel remains a cherished memory for me and yes, a source of envy for Julie, my wife of twenty-seven years.  She was unable to travel with me and missed the countless sights, sounds, and experiences Israel has to offer.  We hope to soon change that imbalance.

As an evangelical Christian, a visit to the Holy Land can often be defined as a life-changing experience.  Visiting the Old City of Jerusalem, the Wailing Wall, Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Sea of Galilee, and the Church of the Beatitudes are among my most treasured memories.    I returned from my visit with even more appreciation not only for my faith, but for Israel, its history, people, culture, customs, and traditions.

I was able to witness the great care Israel takes to promote the free worship of religion and the protection of historical religious sites.  I was able to speak with political leaders about the functioning of the only true democracy in the Middle East.  We broke bread with business leaders and entrepreneurs to discuss Israel’s bright future as a Start-up Nation.  We visited a military base to learn more about the need for a strong US-Israel military coordination to confront the threat posed by radical Islam and terrorism.  And we capped it off with a Shabat dinner, something this evangelical Christian had never gotten to experience but greatly enjoyed.

Recently, I looked back through photos of my trip to Israel in 2016.  So many memories.  Such interesting times.

I came across photos of my visit to Sderot where I saw the casings of the missiles and rockets which had been launched from Gaza.  I flipped through the photos of our visit to the bomb shelters along the highway and meeting with residents talking about the threat posed by mortar attacks.  But as I looked through the photos, I realized we had also stopped at a kibbutz for lunch and taken a quick tour.  Frankly, I had almost forgotten about it in the seven plus years that had passed.  Israel has so many sights, sounds, and history, it can be hard to process and remember it all.

But after more research, I realized the kibbutz I had visited was the now-infamous Kfar Aza.  The terrorists of Hamas had made it that way.

On October 7, Kfar Aza was the site of unspeakable acts of terror and violence committed by Hamas.  At least 62 Israelis lost their lives during the attack and aftermath of this peaceful kibbutz.  These innocent Israelis were living their lives and going about their business when evil showed up at their doorstep.  And to think I had visited it years ago – was heartbreaking.

Israel cannot rest until Hamas is eradicated.  Israel owes it to those who lost their lives on October 7.  The rest of the world should get behind Israel in this endeavor and get out of the way.  

As A Member of Congress

Israel will have no better friend in the United States House of Representatives.

I stand with Israel without apology.

Today. 

Tomorrow. 

Always.

  • I will never vote to restrict arms sales to Israel as they fight for their survival.
  • I will work to ensure that Israel has the latest and best military and intelligence tools to protect themselves and the United States.  Israels’ enemies are America’s enemies.  Israel is on the front lines in providing intelligence which saves American lives and the lives of other freedom-loving people around the globe.
  • I will hold public universities in the United States accountable for promoting anti-Semitism on campus. 
  • I will ensure Israel has and maintains a Qualitative Military Edge (QME) against any adversary or future adversary in the region.
  • I support Congress upholding the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on America’s annual aid $3.3 billion in aid to Israel. When the agreement is up for renewal, I will work to ensure that Israel’s needs are met in light of new challenges and threats.  As the threats against Israel rise, America’s commitment to Israel must increase to meet the challenge.
  • I strongly support Iron Dome and realize it has saved many Israeli lives.  My work with Lindsey Graham on Iron Dome has stretched through the years and across Administrations.  I realize its importance.
  • America must continue to work with Israel to fine-tune and update Iron Dome’s impressive military technology.  The missiles shot at Israel today may one day be fired at other allies or the United States itself.  Israel is the proving ground for this technology.  We must continue to support Israel with the financial, intelligence, and military tools they need to utilize and continually upgrade Iron Dome.
  • I will continue to oppose the Ayatollahs who lead Iran today.  They are thugs and terrorists and the recent drone attacks launched against Israel show how dangerous this regime remains.  The Ayatollahs are not interested in peace and must be confronted at every turn.
  • I strongly oppose Iran ever getting near a nuclear weapon and would favor steps to dismantle the Iranian nuclear program once and for all.
  • I consider it truly sad that many Iranians want a better life and to live at peace with their neighbors.  Unfortunately, at the first sign of protest and strife, innocent Iranians are gunned down in the streets by the brutal Iranian regime.  The Iranian people deserve better.  We must work to promote a new and free Iran at peace with its neighbors and one that respects the human rights of the Iranian people.
  • I support the Abraham Accords and favor extending them, or similar agreements, to other nations to promote peace between Israel and other nations in the region.
  • I support continued diplomacy and hope for improved relations between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Israel.  I will be a strong advocate and ally in this endeavor.   

Thank you again for the opportunity to speak about my views on the United States-Israel relationship.  I will always work to create closer ties between our nations and promote our shared values.

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