In Politico today, New Jersey Congressman Steve Rothman penned an op-ed touting President Obama’s pro-Israel credentials. Rothman, a member of the House Defense and Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittees, argued that the shared interests and military and intelligence cooperation between the United States and Israel has never been as stronger.
Although Republican 2012 hopefuls have tried to use it as a talking point on the campaign trail, Israel should not be a partisan issue. Rothman makes that case with the facts on the ground:
Obama and his administration have overseen the largest-ever increase of military cooperation and aid to Israel; used his first U.N. Security Council veto to stop an anti-Israel resolution criticizing Israel’s settlement policies, and, reportedly, worked with the Israelis to create the Stuxnet computer virus to attack Iran’s nuclear program. Republicans, however, still label the president as anti-Israel.
Continuing, Rothman cites the March 2nd Congressional testimony of former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who said:
In terms of concrete steps to improve the security relationship between [the U.S. and Israel], more has been done in the last two years than in any comparable period in my entire career.
Rothman also notes that Gates’ career in the CIA began in 1966.
After elaborating specific joint-military ventures between the United States and Israel, as well as our shared commitment to preventing Iranian nuclear capabilities, Rothman concludes by talking about his hope for peace between Israel and the Palestinians:
We in the pro-Israel community continue to work, hope and pray for peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians. I believe that the Palestinians should recognize the Jewish State, end incitement and join Israel at the peace negotiating table without preconditions.
A secure two-state solution, negotiated in good faith, is in both nations’ long-term interests. But in the meantime, where issues speaking to Israel’s existence hang in the balance, the Obama administration has given — and continues to provide — unprecedented support for the defense and security of Israel.
Read the full op-ed in Politico.