Strong support for Israel has been a bipartisan consensus in America since the founding of the Jewish state. Democrats and Republicans have come together for decades in the belief that the Jewish people have the right to self-determination, and that the State of Israel is the embodiment of that right. Unfortunately, the historic U.S.-Israel partnership has suffered in recent years. This is not only bad for Israel, which counts America as its greatest ally, but for the U.S., which relies on Israel for everything from intelligence and counterterrorism to technology and trade. With the threat of an Iranian bomb, the resurgence of al Qaeda, and increasing violence in Syria and Iraq, the U.S. cannot protect its vital interests in the Middle East without restoring trust with Israel. It’s also important to remember that being pro-Israel is not anti-Palestinian. In fact, shoring up Israel’s security and prosperity is crucial for improving the lives of ordinary people in the Palestinian territories. A Jewish state that feels safe and secure within its borders is one that is capable of taking risks for peace. An Israel with a vibrant economy is one that provides jobs and trade opportunities to Palestinians. As has been shown in the last five years, keeping Israel at arm’s length has produced no benefit to Palestinians or to the U.S., and has actually made peace seem less likely than ever. Close U.S.-Israeli relations is the best antidote to failing peace talks and to a troubled, dangerous region.
What has Brad Sherman done? The pro-Israel community came together in 2012 to mourn the loss of Howard Berman, one of America’s greatest pro-Israel congressmen. As has been widely acknowledged since on both sides of the aisle, Brad Sherman is failing to fill that void.
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