My faith is central to my existence – as it is to most of us across East Alabama. While I believe Israel’s defense and our steadfast support of its people is central to my faith as a Christian, I also believe it’s central to who we are as Americans.
I consistently hear how important Israel is to East Alabamians for many reasons – religious, historic, defense-related. Most Americans share this powerful connection and it should not be denied by U.S. policy makers.
These are incredibly tough times for our friend and ally in the Middle East, and it is vital that America does not turn its back on Israel in its ongoing hour of need.
As most of us know, Israel is the only democracy in the volatile Middle East. The United States is connected both historically and culturally to Israel and her security is linked closely to our national security.
From my view, the direction of U.S. foreign policy toward Israel in recent years has been terribly disheartening. Instead of treating Israel as a friend and ally, a colder and more distant relationship has been allowed to develop.
A perfect example of this is the current U.S. policy toward Iran. Their radical regime is desperately trying to develop a nuclear weapon. The Ayatollah, Iran’s supreme leader, has stated that Israel should be destroyed. But in his State of the Union Speech recently, President Obama warned Congress not to get involved with his Administration’s negotiations with Iran and even threatened to veto a tough Iran sanctions bill working its way through Congress.
I also was disappointed, but not surprised, to learn President Obama will not be meeting with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during his upcoming visit to the U.S.
As Chairman of the House Armed Services Strategic Forces subcommittee, I have had the unique opportunity to work closely with Israel on their Iron Dome short-range rocket defense system. This system serves as one of Israel’s main defenses against hostile rocket and mortar attacks like what they have faced most recently from terrorist groups like Hamas. I’m proud to note that production of Iron Dome parts, including on the Tamir interceptor, will begin to occur in Alabama because of bipartisan efforts I have led to begin co-production of this vital defense system.
This is one of many important defense-related projects in our state, but I also believe it is particularly reflective of our support for Israel and our shared values.
I look forward to hearing from Prime Minister Netanyahu when he addresses a joint session of Congress this spring, and will continue to fight for and stand with all Americans to defend our great ally Israel.
As always, I’d like to hear from you on this or any issue. Please sign up for my e-Newsletter at www.mikerogers.house.gov, like me on Facebook at Congressman Mike D. Rogers, follow me on Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram at RepMikeRogersAL, on Tumblr at www.repmikerogersal.tumblr.com and subscribe to my YouTube page at MikeRogersAL03.