Latest Report on “Freedom in the World” Confirms Why We Must Continue To Support Our Ally Israel, Ros-Lehtinen Says; Freedom House’s 2013 Report on Freedom in the World Lists Israel as the Middle East’s Only “Free” Country

Jan 22, 2013 Issues: Foreign Affairs


Washington, DC – Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee, made the following statement on Freedom House’s report that Israel is the Middle East’s only “free” state:

“As Israelis go to the polls today to elect their new government leaders, it only serves to further highlight the latest report by Freedom House that Israel is the lone ‘free’ country in the Middle East and North Africa region. This is just another reminder of how important it is that the U.S. continues to stand resolutely with our friend and ally, the democratic Jewish State of Israel.

“While Israel makes up only about two percent of the population of the entire Middle East, that two percent serves as the only free society in the region. She serves as an oasis of freedom in a desert of oppression where millions suffer under authoritarian regimes. Abu Mazen’s willingness to align himself with Hamas undermines the peace process; Morsi’s overtures toward Iranian despot Ahmadinejad further alienates Israel from Egypt; In Syria, Assad’s continued crackdown on opposition forces highlight the stranglehold despotic regimes have in the region and their desire to hold on to power at all costs.

Now more than ever, in this time of uncertainty and increasing tensions in the Middle East, the United States must continue to firmly support our democratic ally Israel. I encourage the Administration to strengthen our bilateral relations with Israel and to work closely with the new Israeli Knesset.”