Chairman Ros-Lehtinen and Ranking Member Deutch Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Reaffirm the U.S. – Israel Strategic Partnership

Mar 4, 2013 Issues: Foreign Affairs

(WASHINGTON) – Today U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee, and Ted Deutch (D-FL), Ranking Member of the Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee, introduced H.R. 938, the United States-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2013. This bill reaffirms the U.S. commitment to enhancing security cooperation with Israel in pursuit of shared objectives, as well as encourages greater bilateral cooperation in the areas of cyber-security and the sciences.

The United States-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2013 is a multifaceted legislation that:

  • Declares Israel to be a major strategic partner of the United States; and
  • Calls on the U.S. government to work with the government of Israel to ensure the conditions are met so that Israel can become a Visa Waiver program country; and
  • Authorizes the President to carry out U.S.–Israel cooperative activities and promote cooperation in the fields of energy, water, homeland security, agriculture, and alternative fuel technologies; and
  • Urges the President to support the procurement, maintenance, and enhancement and sustainment of the Iron Dome defense system, Arrow 2, Arrow 3, and David’s Sling.

Statement by Ros-Lehtinen: “I am honored to join my South Florida colleague, Ted Deutch, in introducing this important legislation to support the U.S. – Israel bilateral relationship. At a time when Israel faces a more precarious security situation than ever before, it is important for the United States to reaffirm its unwavering support and commitment to the unbreakable bond between our two great democracies. As we examine the regimes surrounding Israel, we see Iran’s continued march toward nuclear weapons, the future stability of Assad’s chemical weapons stockpile remains in serious doubt in Syria, and Egypt’s Morsi is either unable or unwilling, to control the lawless Sinai. There couldn’t be a more important time for the U.S. to remind the world that we will not sit idly by while these threats put in peril the very existence of our friend and democratic ally, the Jewish State of Israel.”

Statement by Deutch: “I am proud to join with my friend and colleague, Chairman Ros-Lehtinen, to introduce the United States-Israel Strategic Partnership Act, a bill that reaffirms and strengthens the unshakeable bond between the United States and Israel.  As strong allies, the U.S. and Israel must work together on behalf of our shared security interests to strengthen Israel and promote stability in the Middle East.  This bill not only reinforces and enhances our strategic partnership with Israel, it builds upon decades of broad cooperation between our two countries and reaffirms the shared values and mutual interests that form the foundation of the U.S.-Israel relationship.”