Friday, June 4, 2010

Vernon Parker Candidate Arizona District-3
U.S.-Israel Relations
I am a passionate advocate for a strong U.S.-Israel relationship. Israel has no greater ally that the United States. It is a lifelong partnership founded on our shared heritage and lasting commitment to democracy. Israel has a scriptural right to exist and a sovereign duty to protect its citizens, and Israel has the right to live in peace within its borders.
Strategic Alliance
The Middle East is of strategic national importance to the U.S., and continuing cooperation between the U.S. and Israel is of critical importance for both nations. Despite the distance separating our lands, no country’s future is more closely intertwined with our own. Because of this dynamic, Israel and the U.S. have built an unwavering alliance of strategic cooperation.
This relationship can and will endure, and cooperation on national security and economic issues are critical to both nations.
Domestic Security
The freedom and liberties a democracy offers to its citizens, and visitors, leaves a country open to attack. Israel and the U.S. need no additional reminders of the daily peril its citizens are exposed to by its enemies. Opposition to our countries, our beliefs, and our way of life has become a calling card of many terrorist organizations.
Terrorist groups and enemy states seek nothing less than the destruction of Israel, and Israel and Israelis confront this threat each and every day. Israel has the right to live in peace within its borders, and as a democracy deserves support from its allies, first and foremost the U.S.
The U.S and Israel are united in opposition to terrorist organizations. Hezbollah and Hamas are terrorist organizations receiving support from Syria and Iran, and we must stand against them. These organizations use the civilian populations to hide weapons caches and, even worse, target civilians in their attacks. While Israel takes preventative measures to reduce civilian exposure to violence, these organizations go out of their way to put civilians in harm’s way.
The United States could to learn from Israel in the protection of its own borders and citizens. The security fence may not be ideal, but it is effective. U.S.-Israel cooperation on anti-terror efforts are critical to the security of each nation.
Peace Process
While negotiations can be spurred by third parties, Israelis and Palestinians must both be ready to make peace if it is to be lasting. Israel has acted in good faith and offered repeated concessions, and when defending itself from attack Israel has gone out of its way to prevent civilian casualties. But lasting peace appears distant.
The Palestinian Authority shows little appetite for formal peace but has an opportunity to begin down the path. It must dismantle terror networks in the West Bank and improve economic conditions.
Hamas shows no willingness for lasting peace in Gaza. It leaders prefer to focus on terrorism, not infrastructure or economic development for its people.
Iran must not be allowed to attain nuclear weapons. A nation must be taken at the word of its leaders, and Iran’s leaders suggest Israel should be wiped from the map, and Iran is a state sponsor of terrorism. Iran’s behavior in the international community is reckless.
The U.S. Congress must continue to lead the charge to bring additional international pressure on the political and religious leaders of Iran and support efforts of moderate Iranians to lead the country.
Jerusalem is the undivided and eternal capital of Israel. The U.S. government should move its embassy to Jerusalem in support.