Cruz hits O’Rourke for voting no on funds for Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense — but he did, too
Israel is critically important to the United States. Because it is the home of the Jewish people, because it is an exemplary democracy that shares our values, and because it is a crucial contributor to our national security objectives in the region, the U.S. should do everything we can to support the state of Israel. Israel is second only to Silicon Valley for high-tech innovation, and many of the medical and technological advances on which our whole society depends have been developed there. For these reasons and more, I am a proud advocate for Israel.
I support a two-state solution but one which the parties directly negotiate themselves. I also support continued U.S. engagement and leadership in that process. Any ultimate solution will have to recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish democratic state, with secure and defensible borders, and will require a demilitarized Palestinian partner for peace. Hezbollah and Hamas have thousands of missiles aimed at Israel and continue to call for its destruction. Iran is establishing itself in Syria and Lebanon as a destabilizing force. Israel has the right and the obligation to defend itself against all of these threats.
Palestinians and Israelis should be able to live in peace, with dignity. Key to that politically, is a two-state solution that allows for full sovereignty for the people of Israel and the future state of Palestine. However, this cannot happen without committed, responsible leadership on both sides. I am hopeful that a new generation of Palestinian leadership will be able to lead the Palestinian people toward a peaceful, negotiated resolution with Israel that results in two states.
I carefully examine every bill that comes before me and while we may never agree on every vote I cast, I think it’s fair that on the issue of Israel, like any other issue, that I be evaluated based on the totality of my record.
I support Israel’s qualitative military edge, and I have voted for and will continue to support foreign aid for Israel. I cosponsored and then voted for a resolution in the last Congress to encourage the Obama Administration to quickly finalize a robust and long-term Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Israel. The resulting agreement will last 10 years and provide Israel $3.8 billion per year.
This Congress, I supported the Taylor Force Act, which prohibits certain foreign aid from being made available for the West Bank and Gaza unless the State Department certifies that the Palestinian Authority is taking steps to end acts of violence. In October, I cosponsored the Hezbollah International Financing Prevention Act, and I have voted in favor of the same bill each of the last three Congresses. I co- sponsored the Iran Ballistic Missiles and International Sanctions Enforcement Act. I oppose efforts, economically and diplomatically, to boycott or delegitimize Israel.
I have traveled to Israel during my time in Congress, including communities on the border with Gaza where I met with Israeli families who have lived through the terror of attacks from Hamas militants. I have also met with Members of Knesset to reinforce the friendship between our two countries. These experiences have helped me to better understand the need for our close relationship.
As long as I am an elected official, I will work to build on these votes and experiences and continue to be a strong advocate for Israel.